WorkCover is a system put in place as insurance for employers to cover employees in the case of an injury sustained at work, but may also cover instances of travel to/from work or at a work function. Previous prejudices and stigmas of utilising WorkCover are thankfully becoming a thing of the past with many employers now being much more accommodating and supportive of employees undergoing rehabilitation. I always recommend that clients utilise WorkCover if they have sustained an injury at work as that is why the system was implemented, and to utilise the system to ensure you achieve full rehabilitation.
To begin a WorkCover claim your GP must fill out the requisite paperwork and submit this paperwork to WorkCover. From here it will be assigned to a case manager and will be pending approval. Your case manager will speak with you and your employer to confirm the injury was sustained whilst at work, if you have completed an injury incidence/report form at the time of the injury this process should be nice and simple. Most claims are covered under WorkCover without too many concerns, often contention happens in an employee vs contractor situation, or in a situation where a client has a pre-existing condition. Following the claim being accepted you will have also obtained a claim number.
Accessing physiotherapy through the WorkCover system is simple. All that we require is a valid referral from your GP via your WorkCover certificate along with an in-date certificate, as long as you attend your follow-up appointments with your GP and regularly attend physiotherapy sessions WorkCover will continue to fund your treatment. From the outset, WorkCover will cover your first five physiotherapy consults. After this, I will call and discuss your case and progress with your case manager and will obtain more treatment sessions if needed. Physiotherapy is eligible to continue as long as you have a valid medical certificate and your case manager continues to approve further treatment.
I always recommend that my clients keep an open dialogue with their case manager and employer to ensure a smooth process of returning to work. Often speedbumps are hit when communication slows and people are unsure of where you are at with returning to work. Planning a return to work is often done through myself and your GP but should also involve input from your employer as well as other potential outside sources such as an occupational therapist.
With regards to billing through WorkCover all of the claims are made by myself via WorkCover’s online portal, at no point during treatment are you billed or expected to have out-of-pocket expenses. The only situation that this may occur is if you begin treatment whilst WorkCover is still determining whether your case is accepted or not and WorkCover deems that it was not a workplace injury and won’t cover your claim. I understand that sometimes being out of work and suddenly being hit with an unexpected bill isn’t anyone’s definition of a fun time, so we are able to work out payment plans should that be required so that you are still able to access and continue treatment.