There are a range of options available to you to help resolve disputes about suitable employment and medical treatment.
disputes about suitable employment
Under NSW workers compensation legislation, your employer has an obligation to provide you with suitable duties to support your recovery after a workplace injury or illness. This is so you can return to work in some capacity (whether on a full-time or part-time basis), provided it’s reasonably practicable for your employer.
‘Suitable duties’ should be the same as or equivalent to your pre-injury employment wherever possible.
Disputes about suitable duties may arise when:
- your employer doesn’t offer suitable duties
- your employer withdraws an offer of suitable duties
- your treating doctor is reluctant to support the offer of suitable duties
- your capacity doesn't progress as anticipated.
Where there’s a dispute about an employer’s obligation to provide suitable duties, you should start by contacting your insurance agent for help.
You also have the option to seek assistance from the State Insurance Regulatory Authority. For more information visit their website www.sira.nsw.gov.au or contact them on 13 10 50
disputes about medical, hospital and rehabilitation treatment
If there’s a disagreement about the medical treatment being provided, either you or the insurance agent can request a second opinion about your treatment needs from an independent medical examiner or one of the SIRA approved independent allied health providers.
Allied health providers include physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, remedial massage therapists, and psychologists and counsellors.
For further information you can visit the SIRA website or contact them on 13 10 50
Workers Compensation Commission
If you can’t come to an agreement, you can choose to lodge an application with the Workers Compensation Commission. The Commission resolves disputes between injured workers and employers about workers compensation matters (for example weekly compensation payments, compensation for permanent impairment and/or pain and suffering, and medical expenses).
The Commission encourages workers, employers and insurance agents to discuss ways to resolve the dispute at all stages of the process.
For more detailed information, you can contact the Workers Compensation Commission by calling 1300 368 040
workers compensation independent review office
If at any stage you are dissatisfied with the management of your injury, you can contact the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) on 13 94 76.
The Workers Compensation Independent Review Office fact sheet contains general information about workers compensation entitlements and procedures. The factsheet is not a detailed explanation of the law as it applies to claims made by individual workers.
Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service
The Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS) provides funding to pay for costs incurred by some injured workers when disputing decisions made by the insurance agent. You can contact ILARS by calling 13 94 76 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.