Construction worker

Roles in the Rehabilitation Process After a WorkCover Claim

This article discusses the individual roles in the rehabilitation process after a WorkCover claim. Click the links below to go to the relevant section or read along to find out more.

  1. Role of the injured worker
  2. Role of the employer
  3. Role of WorkCover
  4. Role of treating doctor
  5. Role of the health providers

Role of the injured worker

An injured worker must genuinely participate in rehabilitation.  If you don’t, WorkCover may suspend payment of compensation benefits.

You are required to:-

• keep WorkCover informed of any material change in your circumstances; and
• to advise WorkCover of any return to work, while receiving weekly compensation payments.

If WorkCover is not informed of any new circumstances, penalties can apply.

Role of the employer

Employers must take every reasonable step to help you with rehabilitation while you are receiving compensation benefits.  If they don’t, penalties apply.

An employer with 30 or more employees in a high risk industry must have a Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator.  The coordinator is responsible for planning and monitoring the workers reintegration into the workplace.  They are required to liaise with you, your doctors, rehabilitation providers and WorkCover, until the claim is finalised.

An employer with less than 30 employees is required to keep in regular contact with you and WorkCover, in addition to supporting the rehabilitation process.

Boss and employee huddle around a computer

Role of WorkCover

A WorkCover Customer Advisor is the person who manages your claim until your condition has stabilised or you recover.  A customer advisor is responsible for approving treatment and working with rehabilitation providers to set recovery goals and develop a return to work plan.  The customer advisor is the central point of contact during the rehabilitation process.

Role of the treating doctor

The treating doctor’s role in the rehabilitation process is to determine what rehabilitation you need as a result of your work related injury.  Rehabilitation might include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychological counselling or training for new job skills.

The customer advisor will consult the treating doctor and other rehabilitation providers to develop a return to work plan.  The treating doctor must give approval before any plan is started, or as changes to the plan occur.

Sometimes, WorkCover will engage an external occupational therapist to conduct a worksite assessment, to gather information regarding rehabilitation or developing a suitable duties program.

Role of the health providers

Health providers, other than treating doctors, play an important role in the rehabilitation process.  Health providers are required to:-

• provide focussed rehabilitation aimed at you returning to work;
• provide assessments, written reports and give feedback to customer advisors;
• keep WorkCover advised of your progress; and
• participate in case conferencing when asked to do so.

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