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Most popular questions

Workers: The people involved in the claims process

You (injured worker)

You have an important role to play in your recovery. No one knows how you’re feeling better than you do, so it’s important that you communicate that to your employer and treating health practitioner(s).

It will help your recovery and return to safe work if you're able to stay positive; ask for help from others when you need it; and concentrate on what you can do, not just what you can't do both at home and at work. Knowing what you can do will also help your employer and your treating health practitioner(s) to find things you can safely do back at work.

The longer you’re away from work the harder it is to return, and the worse it is for your health and wellbeing, so actively participating in your return to safe work is the best thing you can do.

Your Employer

If you are injured at work, your employer has an important role to play in assisting in your recovery and safe return to work. Your employer needs to provide you with suitable and/or pre-injury employment (where possible) and consult with you. You can be assisted during this consultation by a support person or representative, your treating health practitioner (with your consent) and the occupational rehabilitation provider (if any). To help your employer to help you it is important to stay in touch with them if you are away from work and keep them informed of your progress, treatment and any relevant issues/concerns/problems as they arise.

The VWA Agent

VWA engages authorised VWA Agents to manage your claim and make decisions about your entitlement to compensation, e.g. weekly payments, medical and like expenses etc. to be paid to you. They also provide assistance to help you and your employer with return to work planning.

Unless your employer is an approved self-insurer they are required to choose one of these authorised agents as their VWA Agent.

If you are unsure which Agent is managing your claim, please contact the VWA Advisory Service on freecall 1800 136 089.

Independent Medical Examiners

An independent medical examiner may be asked by your VWA Agent to examine you and provide your VWA Agent with an opinion about your injury or illness, work capacity and treatment. They do not provide you with treatment.

An independent medical examination is conducted so that the examiner can provide independent information to your VWA Agent to support your recovery, rehabilitation and return to safe work. These reports may also be used to help your VWA Agent to make decisions about your entitlement to weekly payments and medical and like services.

Depending on your injury circumstances, you may be required to attend an independent medical examination conducted by a medical practitioner, physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor, psychologist or dentist before your claim is accepted, and at reasonable intervals. Independent medical examiners are not employees or representatives of VWA, VWA Agents or self-insurers. However, they are paid by VWA Agents and self-insurers for the independent medical advice they provide.

Treating Medical Practitioner

After your work-related injury or illness you may visit your treating medical practitioner who will assess your work capacity and may provide you with a VWA Certificate of Capacity. This could be your general practitioner or a specialist. Only a medical practitioner can issue you with your first VWA Certificate of Capacity.

Treating medical practitioners are responsible for the overall management of an injured worker’s injury or illness. This includes primary care of the injury or illness, making an appropriate diagnosis and referrals, monitoring progress and outcomes and facilitating your return to safe work. When you visit your treating medical practitioner you should provide them with information about your claim, employer, VWA Agent and work duties.

Allied health professionals

You may require treatment for your injury from an allied health professional. You do not need a referral/request from your medical practitioner if you are seeking treatment from a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath or podiatrist. However, you will need to obtain a referral/request from your medical practitioner for other types of allied health services approved by VWA.

You can choose which allied healthcare professional you use providing they are registered with VWA. When you visit an allied healthcare professional, you should provide them with information about your claim, employer, VWA Agent and work duties.

Occupational rehabilitation provider

Occupational rehabilitation is about preparing you, your employer and your workplace (where possible) for your safe return to work.

Occupational rehabilitation providers are independent of VWA and VWA Agents, though they are paid by VWA Agents and self-insurers to provide return to work assistance. Their purpose is to provide independent and impartial assistance and advice to help you return to work.