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Notify WorkSafe Call 1300 366 322

Managing an existing workers comp claim during the pandemic

Last Updated:14 May 2020 11:14am

Please check this page and these links regularly for updates

There has been an increase in the number of calls to our Helpline for information on workers compensation claims, injury management and COVID-19. The information below covers commonly asked questions and may answer your concerns; if not please contact our Helpline.

For workers whose questions are not answered below, you are encouraged to contact your employer or their insurer.

For employers whose questions are not answered below, you are encouraged to contact your insurer.

Obtaining and providing workers compensation medical certificates

Workers must continue to provide workers compensation medical certificates for any period for which they are unable to attend work due to a work-related injury or illness.

Workers should contact their treating doctor to discuss their current system for conducting medical examinations and providing medical certificates.

If you are experiencing difficulty in arranging an appointment to obtain a workers compensation medical certificate, you should contact your employer or insurer to discuss options.

Return to work

Employers are required to keep a worker's position available for 12 months after they are incapacitated for work following a workplace injury/illness unless:

  • it is highly improbable that they will be able to perform their pre-injury role, or
  • the work they were employed to do is no longer available.

If a worker’s employment is terminated while they are incapacitated for work, they should continue to provide workers compensation medical certificates and discuss ongoing obligations with the insurer. The employer is obliged to continue to make weekly payments and payment of medical and other expenses in accordance with the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

The Act requires employers to provide suitable alternative duties unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. In light of the current COVID-19 situation, it may be that employers are unable to provide those duties. If this is the case, the worker and employer should contact the insurer to discuss options.

Access to rehabilitation programs

Where your treatment/injury management program involves attendance at a gym, pool or other facility currently closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions, you should discuss alternatives with your doctor, employer or insurer.

Independent medical examinations

If you have been requested to attend an independent medical examination and have concerns about attending, you should contact the person who arranged the appointment.

Medical practitioners who would normally travel to Tasmania to conduct independent medical examinations must now comply with Tasmanian Border Restrictions. More information on border control for health workers is available at Coronavirus.tas.gov.au (external link).

Medical practitioners

Medical practitioners should be guided by information or guidelines provided to them by the Medical Board/Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (external link) about how medical examinations may be conducted during this time.

Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal

If you have or are likely to have a matter before the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal (external link), you should contact the Tribunal directly to discuss your case and options for attendance: call (03) 61 66 4750 or email workers.compensation@justice.tas.gov.au.

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