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Motor accidents

We have prepared frequently asked questions that provide you with information about the impacts of COVID-19 on the motor accidents scheme.

Claimant and injured person questions

Green Slip and CTP questions

I don’t want to register my vehicle because I am worried that I will catch COVID-19. How will this affect my ability to drive my vehicle?

Driving an unregistered vehicle is illegal and potentially dangerous. If you’re caught driving an unregistered vehicle, you may be fined, and police may remove the number plates on the spot.

You can purchase your Green Slip on line. We encourage you to use our Green Slip Check to compare prices between insurers.

If you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can also renew your vehicle's registration online with Service NSW.

Contact Service NSW for details about vehicle registration or call 13 77 88.

Health care practitioner questions

Do telehealth services require pre-approval?

Telehealth services require pre-approval from the insurer and must be consented to by all parties.

What if telehealth services are not an appropriate type of service delivery?

You will need to consider the appropriateness of this mode of service delivery for each person on a case-by-case basis.

You are responsible for delivering telehealth services in accordance with the principles of professional conduct and the relevant professional and practice guidelines to ensure that all care is taken to ensure the safety, appropriateness and effectiveness of the service.

I am concerned about conducting independent medical examinations and other patient assessments. What should I do?

SIRA has issued guidance material for both referrers and examiners to consider for independent medical examinations and reports during the COVID-19 pandemic:

I am conducting a telehealth consultation with an injured person. How can they complete the ‘Injured person’s consent’ section on a Certificate of Fitness?

When you conduct a telehealth consultation, the ‘Injured person’s consent’ section of the Certificate of Fitness does not need to be filled in by your patient. You are not required to send the certificate to them to complete.

You still require the injured person’s consent to share the certificate with another party, including the insurer. This is to comply with privacy laws. You can ask for the person’s consent verbally during the telehealth consultation or by email.

I am a doctor and I have been asked to perform a medicolegal assessment. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, what do I need to consider before agreeing to carry out the assessment?

When determining whether it is appropriate to accept a referral for a medicolegal examination, each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis. The examiner should also consider the following:

  • the purpose of the assessment
  • the injured person’s unique circumstances
  • advice from the Federal and NSW Government, including what restrictions may be in place at that time
  • the appropriate method, or combination of methods, for the assessment.

More guidance for examiners offering independent medical examinations and reports can be found here

Certificate of capacity / certificate of fitness

What changes have been made in issuing a certificate of capacity / certificate of fitness?

The first certificate of fitness for a motor accident -related injury must still be issued by a medical practitioner.

For injured road users, a subsequent certificate can continue to be provided by a medical practitioner via the Certificate of Fitness.

However, treating physiotherapists and treating psychologists with general registration under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a can now issue second or subsequent certificates via the Certificate of capacity/certificate of fitness - treating physiotherapist or psychologist where they are providing treatment for all of a claimant’s injuries as a result of the motor accident.

Do these changes affect both the workers compensation and motor accident schemes?

Yes. The COVID-19 Legislative Amendment (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 was passed by NSW Parliament on Tuesday 24 March 2020. This included creating Regulation and Guideline making powers to provide a degree of flexibility for certification of an injured person’s ability to work.

The Workers Compensation Regulation 2016 and Motor Accident Guidelines were re-gazetted Friday 17 April 2020, permitting appropriately qualified treating physiotherapists and treating psychologists, as well as medical practitioners to issue a subsequent certificate of fitness.

Which health professionals can now issue subsequent certificates?

From the 17 April 2020, treating physiotherapists and treating psychologists who have general registration under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a, as well as medical practitioners, can now issue subsequent certificates of fitness.

Treating physiotherapists and treating psychologists must be providing treatment for all of a claimant’s injuries as a result of the motor accident. A physiotherapist or psychologist cannot issue a Certificate of capacity/certificate of fitness – treating physiotherapist or psychologist if an injured person is receiving treatment from different health practitioners (apart from their medical practitioner).

Note the amendments do not change the requirement that an initial certificate of fitness needs be issued by a medical practitioner.

Will other practitioners (other than medical practitioners, physiotherapists and psychologists) be able to issue subsequent certificates?

No. The intention is that the initial certificate of fitness may be provided by a medical practitioner and subsequent certificates are only to be issued by a medical practitioner, or a treating physiotherapist or psychologist who has general registration under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a. No other practitioners will be able to issue certificates.

What training, information, resources or support is available?

A SIRA training package for treating physiotherapists and psychologists on how to complete the Certificate of Capacity is now available on the SIRA website.

Can any physiotherapist or psychologist issue these subsequent certificates?

No. To issue a certificate, the physiotherapist or psychologist must:

  • have general registration under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a
  • be providing treatment for all of a claimant’s injuries as a result of the motor accident.
  • refer the person back to the medical practitioner if an injured person is receiving concurrent treatment from another health practitioner
  • use the certificate of fitness / certificate of capacity - treating physiotherapist or psychologist form
  • only certify a person’s capacity for weekly entitlements

How long are these changes in place?

These changes came into effect on 17 April 2020 and will be in place for 12 months unless revoked or amended earlier.

Contact SIRA for support

Our team is here to support you at this challenging time.

CTP Assist

Phone: 1300 656 919

Email: ctpassist@sira.nsw.gov.au.