1.2.7 Requests to amend the record

A worker may request the amendment of their personal information where it is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.

The request must be in writing and must state the particulars of the information to be amended and the amendments sought to be made.

An amendment can be made by altering the record or by adding a notation to the record and the applicant must be notified of the decision about the request for correction or amendment within 30 days from the date the request was received.

Decide not to amend

If the Agent does not agree to amend the record it must notify the worker of its decision.

Review of a decision

If an applicant is dissatisfied with the decision, they may apply for review of that decision to the WIC Workcover Injury Commission.

Opinion evidence

Where opinion evidence is involved, Agents must not simply substitute the applicant’s opinions for those already contained in the record where the amendments would cause the document to be illogical, disjointed or confusing to a reader. Instances in which amendment might be appropriate include where:

  • the facts underlying the opinion have been thoroughly discredited or demonstrated to be totally inadequate
  • the person with the opinion was tainted by bias or ill will, incompetence, lack of balance or necessary experience
  • the facts underlying the opinion are so trivial as to render the opinion dangerous and likely to result in error
  • the facts underlying the opinion were misapprehended.
Practicability & cost

Practicability and cost are relevant factors in responding to requests for amendment of a record. This does not apply to:

  • records disclosed to individuals outside the formal process, eg general or routine correspondence
  • records disclosed in response to ATI requests under s9 of the WIRC Act Workplace Injury Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 2013
  • decisions or determinations made about a claim for an entitlement or a benefit under the WIRC Act (eg acceptance/rejection notice, WIC direction)
  • records created by authorities such as the Ombudsman, Auditor-General or Commissioners with power to investigate and make findings as the ultimate administrative review authority (eg a report following a complaint or an own motion investigation).

Amending a record involves recording accurately what occurred. Matters of lawfulness or jurisdiction (ie lack of authority) are matters for determination under the review provisions of the WIRC Act (eg WIC, County Court, Magistrates’ Court).

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Claims management

A statement of opinion is distinct from a determination made by an Agent to administer and manage workers’ claims. In discharging the statutory duty to decide matters relevant to the determination of a claim, Agents are required to decide between conflicting statements and/or opinions, including medical opinions.

A determination made about a claim is an administrative decision regarding matters relevant to the claim. Therefore, unless and until the determination is set aside or varied as authorised by law (WIC, County Court), it stands by force of the authority conferred upon it by the WIRC Act.

Amending the record cannot be undertaken to achieve a collateral attack upon an administrative decision for which a separate and distinct legal process of review has been established under the WIRC Act. Each request to amend a record must be reviewed carefully on its own facts and surrounding circumstances.

Medical or OR reports

Workers who wish to access or correct their personal information contained in medical or occupational rehabilitation reports may, under privacy laws, seek access directly from the relevant IME Independent Medical Examiner / Independent Medical Examination/OR Occupational Rehabilitation provider who assessed them, collected their information or prepared a report as part of their injury claim management.

1.2.8 Information disputes

The WIRC Act includes dispute and review provisions to resolve disputes.

Documents do not exist or cannot be found

If the decision is that documents do not exist or cannot be located, the notice of decision advises the worker to seek review of the decision using the Agent’s and WorkSafe internal complaint resolution procedures.

The decision notice must inform the worker of their right to complain to the WIC.

Original decision taking too long

If an Agent/WorkSafe does not provide a written notice of its decision to a worker within the statutory timeframe a worker may:

  • contact the Agent to confirm the status of the request
  • complain to the Agent and exercise the complaint resolution processes
  • complain to the WIC.
Worker not satisfied with the original decision

A worker should be given the opportunity to request a review of the original decision by an internal Senior Officer within 28 days of the date the worker received the decision.

This is in addition to a worker's right to apply for Conciliation directly to the WIC within 60 days from receiving the decision.

The review is to be carried out by a Senior Officer and a response must be provided within 14 days from the date of receipt of the application. The Senior Officer must be independent of the original decision and must make a fresh decision.

Worker not satisfied with internal review decision

If a worker is not satisfied with the Agent’s internal review decision, they can apply to the WIC for conciliation within 60 days from the date of the original decision.

Conciliation unable to resolve a dispute

If the WIC is unable to resolve a dispute and:

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