Injury Management FAQs
Below is a list of frequently asked questions relating to injury management.
Please scroll down the list to locate the FAQ you need.
Injury Management - Mental Health Advice and Support
To provide Managers/Supervisors, staff and students with some practical guidance on how to support a staff member or student who may need assistance in relation to a mental health illness.
What resources are available to Managers/Supervisors, staff and students should advice and/or support be required in relation to mental health illness?
The University is committed to providing ongoing support to staff and students with a mental illness and provides a variety of pathways to access information, advice and direct assistance, as each person’s needs are different.
- A comprehensive website “Wellbeing Hub ” to provide the University community with support and resources:
- Direct, immediate intervention and emergency support for urgent issues;
- Online materials aimed at improving and developing the capacity of individuals;
- Practical toolkits (i.e. Mental Health Toolkit for Supervisors) on how to support a staff member who may need assistance coping at work;
- Information on how to access free counselling services through either Student life services (for students) or the Employee Assistance Program (for staff and their immediate family);
- Disability support for staff and students with a permanent or temporary medical issue through the provision of reasonable workplace adjustments;
- Access to a number of positive psychology strategies through the “Wellbeing hub” webpage which looks at how positive emotion, improving engagement, building relationships, looking after your body will assist people to be more resilient, enjoy life more and reach their full potential;
- Online Thriving Managers toolkit for all managers, which provides relevant and practical tools for ongoing support;
- Online Mental Health Awareness at the University of Adelaide;
- A wellbeing framework which looks at opportunities and options under key areas including (1) Healthy minds: (2) Healthy bodies; (3) Healthy exercise: and (4) Healthy relationships: (5) Healthy motivation;
- An injury Management, rehabilitation and workers compensation service and processes which support staff who have a work or non-work related injury or illness. The processes support employees with a mental health illness and set out arrangements to enable them to stay or return to work; and
- Information on wellbeing events, activities and resources including tips, university wellbeing promotions and links to external websites including Beyond Blue, RU OK, Lifeline, Conversations Matter and New Access.
The support arrangements and resources provided combine both individual and organisational strategies. They encourage openness, raise awareness and reiterate that everyone has a role to play in creating a mentally healthy workplace.
For further information on mental health advice and support, who do I contact?
Workplace Wellbeing Specialist (HR Branch) – 831 34943
HSW Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor (HR Branch) – 831 35904
Employee Assistance Program (which includes a free confidential counselling/advice service and additional support for Managers/Supervisors through Manager Assist.)
Injury Management - Rehabilitation for Non-Work-Related Injuries or Illness
Most staff are able to return back to work to their normal duties after a non-work related injury or illness, however, in some circumstances additional support may assist in promoting recovery and a safe return to work. This information sheet provides some general guidance regarding the support available for a staff member experiencing a non-work-related injury or illness which impacts on their capacity for work.
When does the University of Adelaide support rehabilitation for non-work-related injuries or illness?
When a staff member’s capacity to perform the inherent requirements of their job is affected, or in doubt, due to personal illness and/or injury. In these circumstances the University will consider reasonable adjustments/accommodations and use of flexible work arrangements to support the staff member’s return to work.
Why does the University need to provide reasonable adjustments for non-work-related injuries or illness?
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (the Act), the University is obliged to provide reasonable adjustments for a staff member with a disability (i.e. illness/injury) to enable them to carry out the inherent requirements of their job. The definition of ‘disability’ in the Act is very broad and covers both temporary and permanent disability. For more information regarding the University’s goals and intentions in relation to disabilities, please refer to the University of Adelaide Disability Action Plan.
(Note: The inherent requirements are the essential activities of the job. The core duties that must be carried out in order to fulfill the purpose of a position.)
If you have a non-work-related injury or illness, when should you ask for assistance, and who should you contact?
If you have a non-work-related injury or illness, that could have the potential to impact on your work, you should speak to your Manager/Supervisor and/or the Injury Management & Wellbeing Advisor (Human Resources) on ext 35904 about the support that may be available.
If you are the Manager/Supervisor of a staff member who has a non-work-related injury or illness, when should you ask for assistance and who should you contact?
Firstly it is important to note that as the person’s Manager/Supervisor you are best placed and should feel empowered to provide support to the injured/ill staff member. You are also best placed to monitor how the staff member is coping on a day to day basis.
However, if it is identified during the process that:
- reasonable adjustments will change the inherent requirements of the person’s job; and/or
- include changes that will exceed a three month period; and/or
- the injury or illness requires a documented support plan; and/or
- the injury or illness is complex and presents a risk in relation to the requirements of the staff members role; and/or
- you require any advice or assistance,
What documentation is required, if non-work-related rehabilitation is supported by your School/Branch?
It is recommended that staff obtain documentation regarding capacity for work and appropriate duties from the treating medical practitioner.
It is recommended that Managers/Supervisors document any simple agreements regarding workplace adjustments, via an email to the staff member, to clarify the arrangement in place, the duration and review date (if applicable). More complex agreements should be documented by the University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor. For example if the return to work is graduated over an extended period i.e. progressively increasing hours and/or duties.
Do staff have to provide personal medical information, or a medical authority, if they are participating in a non-work-related rehabilitation program, or other support?
In some cases additional information is required to ensure that the return to work is appropriate and supported by the treating doctor. If an exchange of clinical information is required, a medical authority will need to be sought from the staff member. The University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor (ext 35904) must be consulted and facilitate any such request.
Is participation in a non-work-related rehabilitation program compulsory?
If a staff member with a non-work-related injury/illness does not wish to participate in this process other options should be explored with the assistance of the relevant Human Resources Advisor for your Faculty/Division.
What personal medical information will be shared with the Manager/Supervisor when a staff member is being supported via a non-work-related rehabilitation program?
Only information relating to a staff member’s capacity for work will be released to their Manager/Supervisor, as necessary to facilitate the staff member’s rehabilitation and safe return to work.
What personal medical information will be shared with the work colleagues of a staff member being supported via a non-work-related rehabilitation program?
Personal medical information will not be shared. But if an agreed rehabilitation program is implemented where there are significant changes to a staff member’s role, it may be necessary to communicate with the staff members colleagues (for example a supervisor may wish to prepare colleagues for a staff member’s return to work with information about what they will and will not be able to do). This should be done sensitively and with the permission of the staff member. The University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor can provide advice and assistance to both the staff member and their supervisor if required.
Who pays the costs of treatment and rehabilitation expenses for non-work-related injuries/illnesses?
- Medical expenses are the responsibility of the staff member.
- Time away from work is covered by the appropriate available leave type (supported by medical certificate).
- The cost of general workplace equipment, external rehabilitation assistance, medical reports (requested by the employer), legal advice and additional resources is the responsibility of the School/Branch.
What if the Manager/Supervisor does not agree with the information provided by a staff member’s doctor in relation to the staff member’s capacity, when they are supported via a non-work-related rehab program?
In some circumstances, the University may request additional information from a staff member’s medical practitioner and/or request that an independent medical assessment is undertaken to determine their current capacity, prognosis and recommendations. In these circumstances the cost of examination/report will be borne by the School/Branch and the staff member will receive a full copy of any report provided.
The University’s Enterprise Agreement allows for information to be obtained under two clauses:
6.6 Incapacity to Perform Duties; and 7.4 Workplace Wellbeing;
The use of these clauses should only be undertaken with the support of Human Resources.
Please gain assistance from the relevant Human Resources Advisor for your Faculty/Division.
What reasonable adjustments could be considered by a Manager/Supervisor, when a staff member is to be supported via a non-work-related rehabilitation program?
The types of adjustments will depend on the individual and their capacity/symptoms. Encourage the person to think about their own solutions as well as offering some of your own.
They may include:
- Offering flexible work arrangements
- Discuss some of the existing options for voluntary flexible work arrangements outlined in the University’s Enterprise Agreement. Options may include temporary reduction of fraction, purchased leave and compressed weeks.
- Investigate variable start and finish times and/or structure work and work hours to match the persons most productive time of day.
- Plan the use of sick leave and annual leave (with the support of a medical certificate) to temporarily reduce hours or allow attendance at appointments.
- Change usual shift patterns to allow a longer period of day/afternoon/night shifts because changing the schedule of medication can be problematic.
- Support the use of a flexible work arrangement to allow the person to gradually transition back to work following a period of time off.
- Increasing the frequency of one-on-one meetings to prioritise tasks and review deadlines
- Reviewing how tasks are allocated.
- Considering whether a temporary change to some duties is appropriate and can be supported (e.g. reduced contact with the public/students/other staff members)
- Appointing a buddy or mentor - someone on a similar grade and outside the usual management structure.
- Reviewing the physical layout of their workspace. For example if they have difficulty concentrating in open plan, investigate whether there is a quieter location on the floor (e.g. a corner rather than adjacent to a busy thoroughfare or the lunchroom. Or purchasing specific equipment (e.g. sit/stand workstation).
The Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor can work with you to develop a formalised Rehabilitation and Return to Work Plan.
- Offering flexible work arrangements
The purpose of these FAQs is to provide answers to frequently asked questions related to Workers Compensation and Injury Management processes at The University of Adelaide.
How do I lodge a claim for Workers Compensation?
When lodging a claim for workers compensation, a Workers Compensation Claim Form must be completed, signed and returned to the Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor, Human Resources, together with an accompanying Work Capacity Certificate and any other relevant documentation. Please contact the University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor on extension ph: 8313 5904 if you require assistance.
Who is eligible to lodge a claim for Workers Compensation?
You must be an employee of the University of Adelaide, injured in the course of your employment, to be eligible to make a claim for workers compensation.
If you are a student or volunteer and are injured while participating in a University activity (on or off campus) please contact the Legal and Risk Branch (email@example.com) for information about the University’s insurance.
What are my rights and responsibilities in the Injury Management process?
- You can expect early and timely intervention by the University in providing recovery and return to work services
- You can expect the University to actively manage your injury and claim and provide services in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Return to Work Act
- You can expect the University to cooperate in assisting your recovery and return to work and to reasonably support you in receiving any benefit available under the Return to Work Act
- To be treated fairly and with integrity, respect and courtesy
- To choose your own doctor
- To be provided with assistance in the making of a claim, and where required, information as to where you can access advice, advocacy and support
- To be provided, where possible, services and information in your preferred language and format, including interpreters and to have your cultural beliefs and values treated with sensitivity and respect
- To consent to the release and exchange of information between the University, your doctor and treatment providers.
- To have all documentation relating to your work injury maintained in a confidential manner
- To be consulted in the development of your suitable duties / recovery and return to work plans
- To request a review of a decision, where applicable
- To be supported by another person and to be represented by a union, advocate or lawyer
- To be able to provide feedback and to access the complaints handling process.
Your responsibilities are outlined in the Injury Management Chapter of the HSW Handbook
Why do I need a Work Capacity Certificate from my doctor?
This is the documentation the University’s Workers Compensation Claims Manager requires in order to determine and manage your claim. If accepted the certificates support your entitlement to workers compensation benefits for:
- time off work that your doctor believes is appropriate for your recovery.
- reasonable medical treatment your doctor thinks is appropriate for your recovery (e.g. physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, pharmaceutical, surgery, rehabilitation etc.)
I have to travel to attend therapy, medical appointments, etc in order to obtain treatment for my injury/illness. Are travel expenses compensable under workers compensation?
Yes, reasonable travel expenses are compensable. You should keep a written record identifying the dates on which you travel, where you travelled from and to and how far you travelled. Each travel claim may require evidence of attendance at the appointment, usually in the form of a medical account or medical certificate. The University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor will provide you with the reimbursement form on request. It should be noted that any travel via taxi requires approval by the Claims Manager. Please contact the University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor to discuss your request in the first instance on ph: 8313 5904.
One of my treatment providers sent an account to the University, but it has not been paid. Why?
If you have an accepted claim you are entitled to the reasonable costs of medical treatment but please note that workers compensation will not pay for or reimburse:
- treatment or services unrelated to your work-related injury or illness
- treatment from a person who isn’t appropriately registered, qualified or authorised by Return to Work SA to provide the service.
If a medical expense is not approved by the Claims Manager you will receive a letter advising of this, however, it is suggested that before you attend appointments for treatment with someone other than your treating doctor, that you contact the Claims Manager or Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor to confirm that the treatment and payment will be covered.
I have an accepted workers compensation claim, but my treating doctor asked me to pay the account. What do I do now?
All accounts, paid or unpaid should be forwarded to the Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor, Human Resources. If you have paid the account and it is for approved treatment, the Claims Manager will arrange to reimburse you.
How long does it take to be reimbursed for medical expenses?
Employees are advised during the initial meeting with the Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor regarding timeframes for reimbursement of approved medical expenses. Dependant on the timing of approval in relation to the finance payment cycle, reimbursements generally take between two and four weeks.
I have an accepted workers compensation claim and am not happy with my doctor's advice. What should I do?
Initially, you should talk to your doctor and express your concerns. If you do not feel comfortable with this approach the Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor can, with your permission, contact your doctor to try and resolve any problems. If you are not happy with your doctor's advice and treatment program, you have the right to choose another treating doctor.
I have an accepted workers compensation claim and have been cleared to work full hours, but I still need to attend medical appointments. When should I schedule the appointments?
There is an expectation that whenever possible, appointments should be made for times outside of working hours. However if this is not possible, you should consult with your supervisor to determine a mutually suitable arrangement. For example, starting work a little later or finishing a little earlier when the session is within working hours. If your course of treatment could last some weeks, sessions can be scheduled in advance, ensuring appropriate times.
What do I do if I disagree with the Claim Manager's decision to reject my workers compensation claim?
It is recommended that you talk with the Senior consultant. If you remain dissatisfied with the decision you can:
- lodge your concern or complaint using a University Complaint Report Form. Further information is provided in the University’s Workers Compensation Complaints Process outlined in Appendix A of the Injury Management process; or
- lodge a Notice of Dispute in the SA Employment Tribunal. This organisation provides workers, employers and the Claims Manager with a service that facilitates the resolution of workers compensation disputes by involving all parties in an informal process to achieve a fair agreement. The Claims Manager, Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor or your Union can assist you with this process.
You have the right to legal representation at any time because of an unresolved dispute. You may choose to be supported through the SA Union’s Workers Compensation Service– Contact SA Unions on 8279 2220 for information. You don’t need to be a union member to use this service.
I do not like the way the Claims Manager is managing my workers compensation claim. Can I choose another Claims Manager?
You cannot choose another Claims Manager.
However, please be aware that all key decisions in relation to your claim (e.g. determinations, reviews, investigations) are made in accordance with the RTW Act and Regulations and Self-Insurance Standards for Self-Insured Employers, in consultation with the University of Adelaide’s Injury Management Team comprising of:
- Director, HSW (the Claims Manager)
- Manager, HSW Policy and Injury Management
- Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor,
- Senior consultant (Claims and Injury Management).
If you have any concerns in relation to the way your claim is being managed, please:
- discuss your concerns with the Director HSW; or Manager HSW Policy and Injury Management; or Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor; or if you wish to formalise your concerns
- lodge your concern or complaint using a University Complaint Report Form. Further information is provided in the University’s Workers Compensation Complaints Process outlined in Appendix A of the Injury Management process.
I have an accepted workers compensation claim and have been referred for an independent medical examination by the Claims Manager. Do I have to go and what is it?
Sometimes it is necessary to have an independent review of medical information to improve your chances of recovery.
The Senior consultant (Claims and Injury Management) will make the appointment and let you know the details. You will need to bring copies of relevant tests, and you need to attend the appointment. It should be noted that failure to attend an appointment could prejudice your claim for compensation and in particular could result in the discontinuance or suspension of any entitlement you may have to income maintenance payments. If you can’t attend for a good reason, please contact the Senior consultant (Claims and Injury Management) as soon as possible. (Please note that the specialist who conducts the assessment will send a copy of their report to both you and the Senior consultant (Claims and Injury Management).
I have an open workers compensation claim. Can my weekly payments (income maintenance) be stopped?
If you don’t co-operate with your treating doctor, refuse to participate in your rehabilitation or return to work plan, or participate in a way that frustrates the process, your weekly payments may be stopped.
For example if you:
- Refuse to follow the requirements set out in your Return to Work plan
- Refuse to undertake a suitable job or unreasonably quit suitable employment
- Move interstate, overseas or to an isolated area without the Claims Manager’s consent
- Do not provide current WorkCapacity Certificates
- Do not attend medical and rehabilitation appointments as arranged by the Claims Manager.
The Claims Manager is required by law to give you formal notice of the intention to cease payments.
What is a 'Seriously Injured Worker' in the context of the Return to Work Act (SA) 2014?
Seriously injured workers are defined as having a work injury that has resulted in a permanent impairment and the degree of impairment has been assessed as 30% or more for psychiatric injury or 35% or more for physical injury.
If you sustain a serious injury at work the University will provide you with:
- Income support until retirement age
- 100% notional weekly earnings in the first year
- 80% notional weekly earnings for subsequent years
- Lifetime treatment, care and support services.
Once determined as a seriously injured worker your needs will be assessed by the University’s Claims Manager and Injury Management Team in consultation with you and your treating medical practitioners. Services will then be provided in accordance with this assessment and your entitlements.
Seriously injured workers can elect to receive a single lump sum payment for economic loss in lieu of ongoing weekly payments until retirement age. There are some conditions though and the Senior consultant (Claims and Injury Management
How do I know if I am a Seriously Injured Worker?
If your injury is likely to be classified as serious, the University’s Claims Manager (Director HSW) will refer you for a whole person impairment assessment (by an accredited impairment assessor) when there is evidence that your injury has stabilised. If the University’s Claims Manager does not refer you and you think that you may require an assessment, you may request one.
While you are waiting for your injury to stabilise, you may apply to the University to make an interim decision to classify your injury as serious until such time as you are able to undergo a permanent impairment assessment.
Requests for an assessment or interim assessment as a seriously injured worker can be made by contacting the University’s Claims Manager or Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor.
My treating medical practitioner is recommending a particular course of treatment or equipment (eg physiotherapy, surgery etc). How are these types of services/equipment approved by the University?
If you have an approved claim and require a particular course of treatment, procedure or equipment (eg course of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, gym program, surgery etc), the relevant treating practitioner is required to notify the University’s Claims Manager (or a member of the Injury Management Team) and request approval in advance of that treatment or procedure.
This requirement is set out in Section 22 of the Return to Work Regulations 2015 and requires and application that includes:
- supporting medical evidence
- details of the claim (including your name,contact details, dob, claim number, injury details (including date and nature of injury), details of the service or equipment forming the basis of the application and details of the reason for making the application.
Applications for pre-approved treatment or equipment should be made out to the University’s Claims Manager. Assistance can be provided by the University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor.
In the course of my work related injury some of my property was damaged. Can I be reimbursed?
If you have an approved claim and, in consequence of the trauma out of which the injury arose, damage occurred to any therapeutic appliances, clothes, or personal effects you are entitled, subject to limitations prescribed by the Return to Work Regulations 2015 (Section 25), to be compensated for the full amount of the damage (note that this does not extend to damage to a motor vehicle). The Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor can assist you with making an application to the University’s Claims Manager for consideration of reimbursement for this damage.
I am currently receiving income maintenance payments and have a Recovery and Return to Work Plan but would like to take some annual leave from the University. Do I need to notify the Claims Manager?
Yes. As well as the usual approval process (via your manager/supervisor), if you are currently receiving income maintenance and have a Recovery and Return to Work Plan in place, you need to advise the Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor, Human Resources. Your income maintenance will be discontinued for the period of your leave and existing annual leave will be utilised.
Can I go overseas if I'm currently receiving income maintenance?
Yes, but if you intend to be absent from Australia for a period in excess of 28 days (work or non-work-related) you must notify the Claims Manager or the Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor, at least 28 days before leaving Australia. As part of this notification you must provide the following details:
- The date on which you intend to leave Australia
- The date on which you intend to return or an estimated duration of absence
- Details of the places you will be while absent from Australia
- Contact information
- Details of any treatment that you intend to receive, or details of any arrangements for treatment that you have made while absent from Australia
- Details of any employment you intend to undertake or seek while absent from Australia
- Details of any consultation in relation to the proposed absence that you have undertaken with the University or any other employer (including information as to the outcome of that conversation.
If the intended absence is for the purposes of annual leave, you must also complete a Consent to Discontinuance of Compensation by way of Income Maintenance form. This form can be obtained by contacting the Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor, Human Resources.
If it is considered that your absence may impair the prospects of the your recovery or return to work, the Claims Manager may, after giving at least 14 days notice, suspend or reduce the weekly payments.
Are there any time limits to workers compensation entitlements?
If you are going to make a claim for workers compensation you should endeavour to do so as soon as practicable after your injury but it must be made within six months. Information about how to make a claim can be found in the Injury Management chapter of the HSW Handbook. The University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor can also provide assistance.
If you suffer an injury which is compensable and are not assessed as being a Seriously Injured Worker (see Q 14), you may be eligible for:
- income support to cover your wages for up to two years
- reasonable and necessary medical expenses:
- If you have a weekly payment entitlement, medical expenses are able to be paid for a continuous period of 12 months after weekly payments cease.
- If your claim is for medical expenses only you are entitled to reasonable medical expenses for a continuous period of 12 months from the date of injury.
The 12 month limitation does not apply to:
- Seriously injured workers, or
- Therapeutic appliances required to maintain your capacity.
Reasonably necessary costs include:
- The cost of medical services
- The cost of hospitalization and all associated medical, surgical and nursing services
- The cost of approved recovery/return to work services
- The cost of travelling, or being transported to and from any place for the purpose of receiving medical services, hospitalisation or approved recovery/return to work
- Nursing or personal attendance
- The cost of the provision, maintenance, replacement or repairs of therapeutic appliances
- The cost of medicines and other material purchased on the prescription or recommendation of a medical expert.
I understand that there are time limits on my entitlements to income support and medical expenses (unless I am classified as a seriously injured worker), but what if my doctor thinks I might need surgery in the future?
Before your entitlement to medical expenses comes to an end you can apply for pre-approval with the Claims Manager for any future surgery that is medically recommended. The reasonable medical costs associated with pre-approved surgery will be covered, along with up to thirteen weeks of income support.
Similarly, if your income support has ended but your claim is still open for medical expenses and you require surgery during that period, you can apply for approval for up to thirteen weeks of income maintenance.
Contact the University’s Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor for assistance.
Who can I contact if I have any other questions about work related injuries and illness?
Any member of the University’s Injury Management Team can be contacted:
Person Role Contact Number Emma Condon Senior consultant (Claims and Injury Management) 8210 2812 Louise Dunn Injury Management and Wellbeing Advisor 8313 5904 Louisa Bowes Manager, HSW Policy and Injury Management 8313 0174 Paul Roberts Acting Claims Manager and Acting Director, HSW 8313 6079
Disability - Information for Staff
The University of Adelaide supports staff with a disability.
Refer here for more information.
Please contact your local HSW team.