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SIRA funded programs to support recovery at work

Recovery @ Work mental health programs

We have a range of programs to help people manage their mental health in the workplace, as well as their colleagues supporting them.

A supportive workplace can make a big difference.

Recovery Boost

Recovery Boost is a grants program for organisations in NSW, designed to help reduce mental health stigma and help collect data about what works.

We offer up to $50,000 to organisations with great ideas to create positive change.

If you have a new or existing idea, express your interest in Boost.  For more information go to the mental health @ work website and read the program guide.

Recovery @ work toolkit

We are building a recovery @ work toolkit. It breaks recovery into two actions: talking and planning.

While we work on the toolkit, go to the mental health at work website and download the What is recovery at work? guide and register your interest.

Lived experience engagement

People with lived experience of mental ill-health are key to driving better health outcomes by participating, influencing and leading mental health initiatives.

We want to provide opportunities for people with lived experience to lend their voices to recovery at work. Two projects are underway:

  • A reference group to support the development of initiatives within SIRA's recovery @ work program.
  • A model for engaging people with lived experience of mental ill-health to inform the development and evaluation of relevant programs.

For more information go to the mental health @ work website.

Recover at Work Assist for Small Business

This program helps small employers overcome financial hardship when providing suitable work to help their worker recover at work after a work-related injury or illness.

COVID-19 information:

  • If a small business using the Recover at work assist program for a worker on a recovery at work plan scales back/closes due to the impact of COVID-19, the period of the program remaining can be resumed, once the period of changed business operations is over and the worker returns to work on their upgrading plan.

What do I need to do? Update the vocational program details form with the amended end dates when known and submit to the insurer.

How does it work?

The insurer provides your employer with an assistance payment of up to $400 per week for a combined total of up to six weeks.

This payment helps to offset the costs of making alternative arrangements to cover your usual duties while you participate in a recover at work plan and build capacity so you can return to your pre-injury duties and hours. For example, your employer might employ a casual staff member or offer overtime to existing staff.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:

  • are receiving weekly payments
  • have current work capacity
  • use the program within 26 weeks from the date the injury was entered into the insurer's system.

Small employers are eligible if they:

  • employ up to 19 full-time (or equivalent) workers
  • have a basic premium tariff of $30,000 or less
  • hold a current workers compensation policy with an insurer in NSW
  • can demonstrate that alternative arrangements have been made to carry out the worker’s pre-injury duties
  • can demonstrate it is not reasonably practicable to offer suitable work
  • can demonstrate that engaging additional assistance to enable the worker to recover at work will cause financial hardship to the business.

For more information read the Recover at Work Assist for Small Business guidance material, factsheet for employers, and insurers along with frequently asked questions about the program.

How to apply

Speak to the insurer about this program. They will advise whether you and your employer are eligible.

A workplace rehabilitation provider will conduct a workplace assessment and prepare a recovery at work plan in consultation with you, your employer and your doctor.

A member of your support team will:

If your request to use a SIRA-funded program has not been approved, find out how to request a review of a program decision.

Further information

Work trial program

The work trial program is a voluntary short-term work arrangement that provides you with suitable work.

COVID-19 information:

This program can be used to assist workers maintain their capacity for work if their pre-injury employer has had to scale back/close down due to the impact of COVID-19

When your pre-injury employer is unable to provide suitable work, a work trial places you (the trainee) with a new employer (host employer) for a short-term work arrangement of up to 12 weeks.

As a trainee you can keep active and:

  • improve your capacity to return to your pre-injury job, or
  • develop skills, knowledge, and experience in order to obtain a new job
  • demonstrate your ability to a potential employer.

You don’t receive payment from your host employer during the work trial but you continue to receive weekly payments from the insurer.

The insurer or SIRA will pay for travel to and from the workplace as well as essential equipment to perform your work trial duties.

Read the work trial guidance material for more information.

Also read:

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:

  • are receiving or entitled to receive weekly workers compensation payments
  • have capacity to work but your employer can’t provide suitable duties
  • haven’t accepted a commutation or work injury damages settlement.

Employers are eligible if they:

  • don’t have a workers compensation liability to you
  • have no current employer/employee relationship with you
  • hold a current workers compensation policy or self-insurer licence
  • are not attached to your pre-injury employer by way of an insurance policy or insurance licence.

How to apply

Speak to your workplace rehabilitation provider or other members of your support team about using the work trial program if you can’t return to your job.

They will:

They should also use the work trial check list.

If your request to use a SIRA-funded program has not been approved, find out how to request a review of a program decision.

Further information

Equipment and workplace modification program

This program can be used to purchase equipment or make modifications to help you recover at work or start work with a new employer.

COVID-19 information:

  • a worker who is receiving workers compensation payments and is required to work from home to manage social distancing requirements, may be able to be supported by SIRA’s equipment program

What do I need to do? Submit an application with evidence of the need to work from home due to COVID-19 for funding of relevant equipment using the vocational program details form.

Equipment and workplace modifications can be specific to your functional requirements or necessary for you to start a new role.

Read the equipment and workplace modification program guidance material for more information.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:

  • are receiving or entitled to receive weekly workers compensation payments when the program commences
  • haven’t accepted a commutation or work injury damages settlement
  • have used your entitlement to new employment assistance – if starting work with a new employer.

How to apply

Speak to your workplace rehabilitation provider, or insurer case manager about using the equipment and workplace modification program.

They will:

  • determine if this program is suitable for you, can help you with equipment or workplace modifications that meet your needs and can be funded under this program.
  • arrange completion of the vocational program details form
  • organise insurer approval
  • organise payment for program costs using the vocational claim for payment form.

If your request to use a SIRA-funded program has not been approved, find out how to request a review of a program decision.

Further information

Training program

This program can help you develop new skills and qualifications for a different role with your pre-injury employer or start a new job.

COVID-19 information:

  • workers who are currently undertaking face to face training funded by SIRA, may need support to access equipment to study online if their training institution requires this.

What do I need to do? Discuss with the insurer and submit your request using the training application form and providing the information under the 'Do you need an extension amendment?' heading for the equipment if needed

  • workers who may have to suspend their return to work for an extended period due to their workplace scaling back/closing down, may wish to consider if training could be used during this period to retain their motivation and prevent disengagement. For more information see SIRA’s training program materials

What do I need to do? Apply using the training application form. Document the reasons any of the program principles may not strictly be met and contact vocprograms@sira.nsw.gov.au if you are unsure.

What is it?

The training program can be used to pay for the costs associated with completing training with TAFE, a university or registered training organisation.

Costs might include course fees and associated expenses like stationery, textbooks, essential course equipment, travel and accommodation.

Read the training program guidance material for more information.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:

  • are receiving or entitled to receive, weekly workers compensation payments when the program commences
  • haven’t accepted a commutation or work injury damages settlement
  • have used your entitlement to the education or training assistance benefit where eligible

How to apply

Speak to your workplace rehabilitation provider, or insurer case manager about using the training program if you can’t return to your job.

They will:

If your request to use a SIRA-funded program has not been approved, find out how to request a review of a program decision.

Further information

JobCover placement program

This program is designed to help you secure ongoing employment with a new employer.

COVID-19 information:

  • For employers who have employed workers using the JobCover Placement program (JCPP) but need to scale back/close their workplaces temporarily due to the impact of COVID-19, the duration of the JCPP for the worker will be increased to accommodate that period of change.

What do I need to do?

  • Employers should keep a record of the period of changed operations to support their claim for the incentive payments as their business re-opens along with the usual proof of payment of wages to the worker.
  • Re-negotiate the new end date of the JCPP agreement with the employer/worker/ insurer when known and submit the amended agreement form to the insurer.

There are three benefits available to eligible employers to encourage an employer to offer you a job:

  • incentive payments of up to $27,400 for up to 12 months
  • your wages are not included in the new employer's workers compensation premium for two years
  • the new employer is protected against the costs associated with your existing injury during the first two years of your employment.

Incentive payments increase according to the length of time you remain employed:

  • up to $400 per week for first 12 weeks (maximum of $4,800)
  • up to $500 per week for next 14 weeks (maximum $7,000)
  • up to $600 per week for next 26 weeks (maximum $15,600).

Read the fact sheet for workers and employers for more information.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:

  • are receiving or entitled to receive weekly workers compensation payments when the program commences
  • can’t return to work with your pre-injury employer because of your injury
  • haven’t  accepted a commutation or work injury damages settlement.

Employers are eligible if they:

  • are able to offer employment to you for a minimum of 12 months
  • can provide a minimum of 64 paid hours per month or a return to your pre-injury hours
  • hold a current workers compensation policy or self-insurer’s licence.

Read the JobCover placement program guidance material for more information.

How to apply

Speak to your workplace rehabilitation provider, or insurer case manager about using the JobCover placement program.

They will:

  • determine if this program is suitable for you and help you find potential host employers and conduct a workplace assessment to match your capacity to the requirements of the job.
  • complete the JobCover program agreement form
  • organise insurer approval (agreement)
  • organise payments using the JobCover incentive payment claim form (for employers).

If your request to use a SIRA-funded program has not been approved, find out how to request a review of a program decision.

Further information

Transition to work program

This program helps pay for immediate or short term costs that might prevent you from starting work with a new employer.

COVID-19 information:

This program can be used to address a financial barrier that is preventing a workers from accessing new employment.

What do I need to do? Provide evidence of the financial barrier preventing you from accepting the offer of employment. Then submit your application to the insurer using the vocational program details form vocational program details form.

It provides funding of up to:

  • $200 to help you job-seek or start work
  • $5,000 to address immediate or short term barriers that prevent you from accepting an offer of new employment.

The funding could be used to pay for a range of things including:

  • travel costs
  • relocation and accommodation
  • child care
  • clothing and related expenses

Read the transition to work guidance material for more information.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:

  • can’t return to work with your pre-injury employer because of your injury
  • have a barrier or need that is preventing you from finding or accepting new employment
  • are receiving or are entitled to receive, weekly workers compensation payments or recently stopped weekly payments because you started working
  • haven’t accepted a commutation or work injury damages settlement.
  • have used your entitlement to new employment assistance

How to apply

Speak to your workplace rehabilitation provider, or insurer case manager about using the transition to work program.

They will:

For information on what to do when a request to use a SIRA funded program has not been approved, find out how to request a review of a program decision.

Further information