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.

(Printable version)

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.

(Printable version)

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.

(Printable version)

  • 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 ( 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:

    1. 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
    2. 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:

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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?

  • 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
    • Accommodation
    • 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.
  • My entitlement to medical expenses is coming to an end. I'm ok now, but my doctor says I'll need surgery in the future. Is this covered?

    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 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?

Further information

Please contact your local HSW team.