A worker who is temporarily absent from Australia is entitled to a maximum aggregate period of 28 days of weekly payments, based on certificates issued by overseas practitioners.
The worker may submit:
- a certificate issued by an Australian practitioner covering a period of up to 28 days, issued before the worker leaves Australia, and
additional certificates issued by an overseas practitioner for up to a total of 28 days, issued after the worker leaves Australia (Note: Telehealth consultations do not extend to workers who are outside of Australia).
The 28 day time limit may be extended by an Agent if they believe there are special circumstances.
Upon receipt of a certificate from a worker, Agents should follow the process detailed above from step 3 onwards, remembering the 28 day limit.
- has a certificate in Australia for the period 1-28 January
- travels overseas for five months from mid-January to mid-June
- provides certificates from overseas doctors for the whole period
- the Agent is not satisfied that an extension is justified.
In this case, weekly payments are payable as follows:
- 1 - 28 January on the Australian certificate
- 29 January - 25 February (28 days) on the overseas certificates.
There is no further entitlement to weekly payments until further certificates are issued by a doctor in Australia.
Medical and like services
Upon receipt of a certificate from a worker follow the process detailed in 22.214.171.124 from step 3 onwards.
Worker not yet overseas
Where possible, Agents should have the worker medically examined before they leave Australia, as part of determining ongoing eligibility for weekly payments.
Worker already overseas
If the worker is already overseas, Agents should limit IMEs to where absolutely necessary for effective claims management.
A person with seniority at the Agent should:
- undertake a thorough review of the information already on file
- consider whether any extra information required to assess the worker’s ongoing entitlements could be obtained by other means, e.g. through the worker’s current treaters
- the Agent must refer the matter to a Medical Advisor to determine whether an IME Independent Medical Examiner / Independent Medical Examination is necessary and to assist in determining the appropriate speciality of any examiner/s required.
If it is determined that an examination is required, the Agent must seek WorkSafe’s endorsement prior to arranging the examination. Referrals for endorsement should be emailed to the WorkSafe Entitlements Team’s mailbox at email@example.com.
Returning to Australia for an IME
Agents can pay reasonable travel expenses incurred by a worker returning to Australia to attend an IME, e.g. return flights, accommodation, meals and transportation needed for the duration of their stay.
If multiple examinations or other appointments such as worker interviews, OR Occupational Rehabilitation services and vocational assessment are needed, the Agent should ensure they are all completed in one trip.
Organising an IME overseas
Where the worker is unable to travel to Australia an IME can be arranged in their country of residence or a country within a reasonable distance to the worker.
For information on how to arrange private investigations for workers residing overseas please see Process for investigations.
Ongoing entitlement reviews
Regular reviews of a worker’s ongoing entitlement to weekly payments should occur as is reasonably necessary, and for claims post second entitlement period, at least every two years.