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How to access other treatment and support: Alternatives to workers compensation

This factsheet is for workers who are reaching the end of their entitlement period to claim medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses through the workers compensation system.

The time period is imposed by section 59A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.

This factsheet (also available as a pdf) aims to help you to plan for your transition by working with your case manager and existing providers and accessing alternative treatment and support.

What you might still be able to claim under workers compensation

You might still be entitled to claim:

  • certain equipment such as home or vehicle modifications, hearing aids and batteries, crutches, prosthetics, other artificial aids or spectacles
  • secondary surgery in certain circumstances.

Who to contact before your entitlement period ends

You should contact your case manager, GP or treating health provider to discuss how you can prepare for this change in your entitlements.

You can also reach out to any of the following treatment and support services if they are appropriate to your circumstances.

Medical support

Primary Health Networks provide health care services such as treatments for drug and alcohol addiction, oral health issues, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, mental health, and obesity. To find the PHNs in your area and ask about your eligibility, visit http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/PHN-Contacts

Medicare provides:

  • low cost or free access to allied health services
  • special funding for optometry, audiology and diagnostic services
  • access to services for people with chronic illnesses and those experiencing mental ill health.

You will need a referral from a GP to access to most Medicare programs.

Find out more by visiting https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/whats-covered-medicare

Discounted medications

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) provides access to some medications at government-subsidised prices. A co-payment for the cost of PBS medicines is usually required and this varies with medication types. The PBS safety net provides a threshold for total co-payments in any calendar year.

If your co-payment exceeds the threshold, you may be eligible for discounted co-payments for the remainder of the calendar year.

You can discuss this with your pharmacist or visit https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/pharmaceutical-benefits-scheme

Mental health support

In addition to services offered by your GP and other treatment providers, you can seek mental health support from:

  • Lifeline, which provides access to crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Call 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au
  • Beyond Blue, which provides online tools and information to assist in managing stressful situations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1300 224 636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au
  • Mental Health Line, which can put you in touch with a mental health professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can also help find local treatment options. Call 1800 011 511. Anyone experiencing acute mental health issues should contact the Mental Health Crisis Team in their local area. For more information visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/
  • MensLine Australia, which is a telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns. They are there to help anywhere, anytime. Call 1300 789 978 or visit www.mensline.org.au

In an emergency, call 000 or go to a local hospital emergency department.

Help to overcome drug and alcohol issues

Counselling Online is a program funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and provides free and confidential drug and alcohol counselling. Call 1800 422 599 or visit https://www.counsellingonline.org.au/

Narcotics Anonymous reports positive outcomes through its group experience with the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. If you are reliant on drugs (including prescription medication) and want to stop, they can help. Call 1300 652 820 or visit https://www.na.org.au/multi/

Other support in the community

Search the HSNet (Human Services Network) online database to find out about health, disability, aged care, welfare, community participation, education, legal and housing support services in your area. It lists opening hours, fees, eligibility requirements and locations for each. Visit www.hsnet.nsw.gov.au

Ability Links NSW is a free program that assists people with disabilities aged up to 64 years, and carers and families of people with disability. Coordinators known as 'Linkers' work closely with people, their families and carers to support them to achieve particular outcomes. For example, workers might want to participate in sport, education, volunteering, or other activities. Visit www.abilitylinksnsw.org.au

Financial support

Centrelink provides financial assistance to carers, families, indigenous Australians, job seekers, older Australians, people with disability, rural and remote Australians, students, trainees and visa holders. Call 13 24 68 or visit www.humanservices.gov.au
The Financial Rights Legal Centre provides free advice and information about finance issues such as credit, banking, debt or personal insurance. The community-based centre specialises in providing financial advice and advocacy services, including:

  • advice over the phone through its credit and debt hotline
  • financial counsellor search tool
  • face to face financial counselling
  • self-help information (fact sheets, guides, sample letter templates)
  • legal advice and representation.

Call 1800 007 007 or visit http://financialrights.org.au

Housing support

Housing Pathways provides assistance with Aboriginal, community and social housing. Applications can also be made for private rental assistance or transfers. Call 1800 422 322 or visit www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/applying-assistance/housing-pathways

Disability support

The National Disability Insurance Scheme provides community links and individualised support for people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers. Call 1800 800 110 or visit www.ndis.gov.au

More information

Should you have any queries, please contact your insurer.