An independent review of a 'reviewable decision' can be requested:
by you, as the worker to whom the decision relates
on your behalf by a nominated person or representative who is 18 years or older
by your legal guardian or a representative or person nominated by your legal guardian if you are under 18 years of age or you are living with a legal disability, as long as that nominated person is 18 years or older
There are circumstances where the WCIRS can still review the decision without a GDOC. Sometimes after a 'reviewable decision' has been through a conciliation, the conciliation officer might direct the agent to pay compensation in relation to that decision. The direction might be revoked by a court because there is a genuine dispute about the decision. The date of the court finding can be used instead of a GDOC date on an application for independent review to the WCIRS.
You or your nominated person or representative will need to lodge an application form to ask WCIRS to review a reviewable decision.
The form only asks you for information that we need to complete the review. Although we have access to your compensation claim information, this form will ask you for some of that information in order to verify your identity and to understand which decision you would like us to review.
It's important for us to get a complete understanding of why you believe the decision doesn’t seem right. You can tell us why in the ‘request an independent review’ form.
Lodging an application form with us is easy. You can lodge a request for an independent review using any one of these channels:
PDF application form
You can call our friendly service team on 03 4243 7061 who can assist in completing the application form and email or post it to you to review, sign and return to us by email or post. If you need a translator when calling us, please let us know when we answer and we'll be happy to assist.
We understand that sometimes decisions are wrong. The IRO will consider all the relevant information about your claim, including why you think the decision is wrong, the compensation law and then decide whether it is a 'sustainable decision' meaning that it has reasonable prospects of being upheld by a court.
The role of the IRO is to review all relevant information to determine whether or not the decision being reviewed is 'sustainable'. A sustainable decision is one which has a reasonable prospect of being maintained by a court, taking into account the information that was before the agent and any further information provided to the IRO during the review period.
More information about how an IRO assesses the sustainability of a decision can be found at:
If you're under the age of 18 years or are living with a legal disability, your legal guardian, representative or person nominated by your legal guardian who is 18 years or older will need to represent you.
If you are over 18 years of age, you do not need to be represented to lodge an application with the WCIRS.
The WCIRS team can also help lodge an application. However, if you would like to be represented, you are able to:
nominate a friend or family member to represent or assist you, provided that person is 18 years or older
It depends on whether the worker was already receiving a payment or service at the time the decision was made.
Already receiving a payment or service at the time of the decision
If you were already receiving a weekly payment related to the decision or a medical or like service when the decision was made, within 2 business days of the decision being overturned or withdrawn the agent/Claims and Recovery Support Division will:
restore the payment or service, including payments or services the agent would have been required to pay if it had not made the overturned or withdrawn decision; and
write to you confirming this has occurred
The agent/Claims and Recovery Support Division may also choose to make a new decision after a decision is overturned or withdrawn and write to you to let you know what the new decision is.
Not receiving a payment or service at the time of the decision
If the reviewable decision that is overturned or withdrawn relates to a decision not to accept liability for your claim (including injury, condition or disease) or not to pay a weekly payment or for a medical and like service that you were not receiving at the time the decision was made, within 2 business days of the decision being overturned or withdrawn the agent/Claims and Recovery Support Division will:
start making a new decision in accordance with the IRO’s review and
Personal and health information collected for your application will be used for validating and assessing your application. The information may also be used for administering and enforcing legislation administered by WorkSafe, administration and evaluation of WorkSafe’s programs generally and legal proceedings. Subject to Section 595 of the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 and other legislation administered by WorkSafe, WorkSafe may disclose this information to its contractors and agents, to other regulatory agencies, to a court or tribunal and to any person or organisation authorised by the individual to whom it relates, or by law, to obtain it. Collection of this information is authorised by the legislation administered by WorkSafe.
We understand this information can seem complex. Please contact our service team directly on 03 4243 7061 between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday if you need any help. If you require a translator service, please let our team know when you call.
WCIRS offers a free, fast and independent avenue for injured workers to have disputed agent decisions about their claims reviewed. It was established in 2020 in response to a report by the Victorian Ombudsman' which recommended the establishment of a dedicated WorkSafe business unit to independently review disputed decisions made by WorkSafe agents.
On 1 September 2022, the WIC introduced a new arbitration service for workers. To be eligible for arbitration, workers must apply within 60 days of receiving a GDC after conciliation. An arbitration hearing must start within 30 days of the dispute being referred.
The changes to the WCIRS application timelines complement and support the introduction of the arbitration service. They will do this by ensuring reviews can be completed in time for workers to still meet the deadline for referrals for arbitration.
In addition, the changes to the WCIRS application timelines will ensure that:
workers can continue to access the service and receive contemporary, quick and fair review outcomes
the review process is not unnecessarily drawn out or complicated by further agent decisions which may need to be changed if a disputed decision is overturned a long time after it is made and
support more timely review while medical entitlements and evidence are relevant and current
Arbitration provides a faster, less formal and less expensive alternative for dispute resolution to litigation, the outcome of which is binding on both parties (i.e. agent and injured worker). By contrast, a review decision via the WCIRS is non-binding, leaving workers with a further review option (via arbitration or court) should they remain unsatisfied with the outcome.
Exceptional circumstances are those which are out of the ordinary, unavoidable or unexpected. Whether there are exceptional circumstances will depend on the worker’s particular situation. They are circumstances that:
are outside the worker’s control
the worker could not reasonably have prevented or accommodated and
they must have had a significant and demonstrably negative effect on the worker’s ability to apply to WCIRS within the prescribed time limit
In the context of a WCIRS application, the fact that the worker has suffered an injury requiring treatment will not ordinarily be considered an exceptional circumstance.
Under compensation law, where a decision is sent by post, it is reasonably assumed the worker becomes aware of the decision two business days after posting. Under the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000, where a decision is sent by email, it is reasonably assumed the worker becomes aware of the decision on the same day it was emailed. These ‘awareness’ assumptions apply unless the worker provides evidence of when they received the decision by mail or the email.