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Injury management disputes

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
  • there is no return to work plan or it has not been followed
  • where no suitable duties have been provided for the worker
  • the capacity to perform work duties is disputed.

Employers are required to provide suitable work when a worker is unable to return to their normal duties after an injury.

Suitable work (sometimes also referred to as suitable duties, suitable employment, modified or light duties) can include:

  • changing hours of work (eg working part time)
  • modifying duties (eg no longer doing any heavy lifting)
  • completing a different job (eg office work rather than manual work)
  • providing training opportunities (eg to do another job in the company)
  • trying a different workplace.

When disputes happen there is help available to have it resolved. Give us a call on 13 10 50 and we can talk you through the process outlined below.

Request help from the insurer

The first step is to contact the insurer and request they help resolve the dispute.

The insurer may be able to discuss the issues with all parties and attempt to resolve the dispute.

They may also engage an injury management consultant or an approved workplace rehabilitation provider to help.

Injury management consultants are medical practitioners who help insurers, employers, workers and treating doctors find return to work solutions. 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 return to work after an injury. The service is largely delivered at the workplace and is aimed at ensuring all aspects that have an impact on the worker returning to work are considered.

Talk with us or SafeWork NSW

Where a dispute relates to an employer’s obligation to provide suitable work, you can seek help from us or a SafeWork NSW inspector.

SafeWork NSW inspectors have the authority to advise employers and issue notices or penalties for non-compliance with legislative obligations.

Apply to the Workers Compensation Commission to resolve the dispute

The Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) is an independent tribunal. It helps resolve workers compensation disputes between workers, employers and/or insurers.

Examples of the disputes they resolve include:

  • weekly benefits compensation
  • suitable work following a work injury
  • medical, hospital and related expenses
  • liability for permanent impairment compensation
  • pain and suffering compensation
  • compensation for death of a worker
  • 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 resolve the dispute with the WCC.

If you do apply to have the dispute resolved by the WCC, only the information included in the insurer’s original dispute notice and the documents you submitted for this initial insurer review will be considered (unless exceptional circumstances). That’s why it’s important for you to include all relevant information when you request an insurer review.

For more information see their website.