There are a range of options to help resolve disputes about injury management.
Types of injury management disputes include:
- where there is no injury management plan or it has not been followed or supported
- there is no recover at work plan or it has not been followed
- where no suitable work has been provided for the worker
- the capacity to perform work is disputed.
Employers are required to provide suitable work to support a worker to recover from an injury if they are unable to perform their normal duties.
Suitable work may include:
- changing or reducing hours of work (e.g. working part time)
- modifying duties (e.g. no longer doing any heavy lifting)
- completing a different job (e.g. office work rather than manual work)
- providing training opportunities (e.g. to do another job in the company)
- working at a different work site or workplace.
When disputes happen, there is help available.
Request help from the insurer
The first step is to contact the insurer and ask them to help resolve the dispute.
The insurer can discuss the issue(s) with all parties and attempt to resolve the dispute.
Injury management consultants are medical practitioners who help workers, treating doctors, employers and insurers find solutions for workers to recover at work. They assess the nature of the problem and attempt to mediate a solution through discussions with the nominated treating doctor.
Workplace rehabilitation providers offer specialised workplace rehabilitation services to help workers recover at work after an injury. The service is largely delivered at the workplace and aims to consider all aspects that have an impact on the worker recovering at work.
Talk to SIRA
Where a dispute relates to an employer’s obligation to provide suitable work, you can get help from SIRA by calling us on 13 10 50 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply to the Workers Compensation Commission to resolve the dispute
The Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) is an independent tribunal that helps resolve workers compensation disputes between workers, employers and/or insurers.
Examples of the disputes they resolve include:
- work capacity decisions
- weekly payments compensation
- suitable work following a work injury
- medical, hospital and related expenses
- permanent impairment compensation
- pain and suffering compensation
- compensation for damage to personal property
- compensation for domestic assistance
- degree of permanent impairment.
Anyone involved in an injury management dispute (worker, employer, insurer) can lodge an application to have a dispute resolved by the WCC.
If you do apply to have the dispute resolved by the WCC, only the information included in the insurer’s original decision notice and the documents you submitted for the initial insurer review will be considered (unless there are exceptional circumstances). That’s why it is important for you to include all relevant information when you request an insurer review.
For more information please call the WCC on 1300 368 040 or visit their website.