General practitioners and other health professionals
Treating patients with a work related injury
Some of the activities you will be involved in as the NTD include:
If your patient has sustained a work-related injury, you will need to complete a certificate of capacity, which includes:
You will be required to provide your patient with a certificate of capacity.
Your patient is encouraged to report their injury to their employer as soon as possible. They can also notify the insurer directly online.
The employer must notify the insurer of the injury within 48 hours. Your patient will often provide them with a copy of their certificate of capacity.
Within 7 days, the insurer will determine whether your patient has been approved to receive provisional payments.
This may include up to 12 weeks of weekly payments, as well as reasonably necessary medical and related treatment up to $7500 whilst liability is being determined.
Your patient will continue to be eligible for medical and related treatment during this time.
During this time, you will work with the insurer and other service providers to assist with your patient’s return to, and recovery at, work. This may include participating in the development of an injury management plan by the insurer, and ensuring your patient is receiving the right intervention to assist them with achieving their recovery and return to work goals.
Psychosocial issues are best addressed as soon as they are identified.
After 130 weeks of receiving payments, a decision will be made about your patient’s capacity for work.
The outcome of this decision will determine whether your patient will continue to receive weekly payments.
Patients that continue to receive payments beyond 130 weeks, and have a whole person impairment under 21%, will cease to receive these payments at 5 years.
Access to reasonably necessary medical treatment will extend for up to 2 years after weekly benefits have ceased. This may extend further in certain situations depending on your patient’s level of whole person impairment.
Patients with a whole person impairment of 21% or more may continue to receive weekly payments until retirement age (plus one year).
There is a strong positive association between unemployment and increased rates of overall mortality from:
Not returning to work can result in your patient’s condition deteriorating faster than if they return to suitable work conditions. It can also give rise to secondary psychological symptoms.
To ensure your patient is provided with the level of support required for their injury, you and other service providers are encouraged to take an active role in the management of their recovery at work journey.Learn more about the importance of recovery at work
If your patient’s recovery or workers compensation claim is being impacted by issues you can’t resolve, there is a process to escalate them.
As a GP, you are well positioned to identify psychosocial issues that may present a barrier to return to work during the assessment and injury management of your patient.
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