Family counselling services guidelines

Guidelines for the provision of counselling services to families of workers.


About the guidelines

These guidelines are in line with the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act) and/or Accident Compensation Act 1985. They aim to inform the provision of family counselling services to family members of a worker.

Throughout these guidelines, any reference to WorkSafe's agents also includes self-insurers.

List of current self-insurers

Family counselling services

Medical practitioners, psychologists and social workers have experience in helping families deal with grief and loss following a work-related severe injury or death of a worker. They can provide practical strategies for managing difficult times and feelings throughout the grieving process.

What we can pay for

WorkSafe can pay the reasonable costs, up to the maximum statutory amount, of family counselling services required by family members of a worker who has sustained a work-related severe injury where immediate inpatient hospital treatment was received, or where death resulted from the work-related injury, under the following conditions.

  • The service is delivered in Australia.
  • The service is provided by a medical practitioner, psychologist or social worker approved by WorkSafe to provide the services.
  • The service is provided to family member(s) of a worker who has died.
  • The service is provided to family member(s) of a worker who has sustained a severe work-related injury incurred on or after 1 July 2006.
  • Where the family member is a partner, parent, grandparent, sibling or child of the worker or of the worker's partner. Parent includes a person who has day to day care and control of the worker.

What we will not pay for

WorkSafe will not pay for any costs relating to the following circumstances.

  • Where a provider is not approved by WorkSafe to provide the services.
  • Services provided outside the Commonwealth of Australia unless approval of WorkSafe or an agent is obtained before the service was provided (except in some emergency situations).
  • More than one family counselling consultation provided on the same day to the same family member.
  • Non-attendance or cancellation of appointments.
  • Telehealth services not provided in line with our Telehealth policy.
  • Medication and other pharmacy items.
  • Travel and accommodation expenses for the purposes of receiving family counselling services.
  • Costs of accessing e-therapy or telehealth services such as the costs of or associated with using a computer, telephone, tablet, software or the internet.

How much WorkSafe can pay

WorkSafe can only pay up to a maximum amount for family members for counselling services. The maximum amount is determined by the date of injury or death. Our Family Counselling fee schedule outlines the maximum amount that WorkSafe can pay per family unit, not per individual.

Who can provide these services

We can only fund Family counselling services to the worker's family members by:

  • a medical practitioner
  • a registered psychologist
  • a social worker approved by WorkSafe to provide counselling services

Accessing services

Family counselling can be accessed by a family member without a referral or pre-approval from WorkSafe or an agent.

WorkSafe Advisory Service

WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

1800 136 089 More contact options

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