What WorkSafe will pay for
WorkSafe can pay the reasonable costs of personal and household services at the request of a medical practitioner if those services are required as a result of a work-related injury or illness. This can include payment of the purchase or hire of home exercise equipment in exceptional circumstances.
What is home exercise equipment?
Home exercise equipment is equipment commonly found in gymnasiums that can be purchased or hired for use in the home such as stationery exercise bikes, treadmills, rowing machines and weights.
When will WorkSafe consider paying for home exercise equipment?
WorkSafe considers that it is more beneficial for exercise programs that require equipment (such as treadmills) to be performed in gymnasiums where the exercises are undertaken in a supervised and safe environment using properly maintained equipment.
However, WorkSafe will consider payment for the purchase or hire of home exercise equipment in exceptional circumstances where:
- a medical practitioner has requested the provision of home exercise equipment for the rehabilitation of a work-related injury or illness; and
- the injured worker is unable to access a community gym or exercise facility due to their remote location; and
- the injured worker will be unable to achieve their rehabilitation goals without the provision of home exercise equipment (e.g. by alternative exercise methods such as a structured walking program or floor based exercises).
Is prior approval required?
Written approval from the WorkSafe Agent is required for home exercise equipment.
What information does a WorkSafe Agent require?
In order to consider a request for home exercise equipment, the following information should be provided to the WorkSafe Agent:
(a) Medical Practitioner Request
The request must state that the worker requires home exercise equipment for the rehabilitation of their work-related injury or illness.
(b) Written Recommendation
The written recommendation must include:
- an explanation as to why the worker cannot access community gym or exercise facilities;
- an explanation as to why the worker's rehabilitation goals could not be achieved by alternative methods (e.g. a structured walking program);
- the clinical rationale for how the use of the equipment will assist with the rehabilitation of the worker's work-related injury or illness;
- the anticipated duration of use of the equipment;
- confirmation that the worker is willing to regularly use the equipment and understands how to safely use the equipment;
- details of the recommended equipment that meets the worker's minimum requirements - type, make, model, cost;
- details of the recommended supplier for the new equipment. The supplier must be a registered business that is eligible to be approved by WorkSafe.
- for hired equipment, the specific goals associated with using the equipment, a baseline standardised functional outcome measure (such as the Upper Extremity Functional Index); and the plan for monitoring and evaluating the use of the equipment.
What are the worker's obligations in relation to home exercise equipment?
- The injured worker must ensure that the equipment is at all times:
- used only by the worker;
- used as intended and in a responsible manner;
- not wilfully damaged or destroyed;
- properly maintained; and
- stored responsibly.
Hired equipment must be maintained and returned in the same condition in which it was received. The equipment supplier must be contacted as soon as hired equipment is no longer required for a work-related injury or illness. WorkSafe will not be responsible for any late return fees or any payment requested by the hirer relating to damaged or destroyed equipment.
In relation to home exercise equipment, what will WorkSafe not fund?
WorkSafe is unable to pay for:
- services provided outside Australia, unless the Agent has provided prior approval
- a service that is not approved by WorkSafe
- services by a provider who is not approved by WorkSafe
- a service that is unrelated to the compensable injury
- services where the costs are not considered reasonable
- any service where the necessity of the treatment or service and its relationship to the compensable injury cannot be established, and
- services that are not in line with WorkSafe's Clinical Framework.