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3.7.2.2 Temporary absence from Australia


Weekly payments

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 28 day limit:

  • does not apply to certificates issued by Australian practitioners
  • may be extended by an Agent if they believe there are special circumstances.

Upon receipt of a certificate from a worker, follow the process detailed above from step 3 onwards, remembering the 28 day limit.

Medical and like services

Upon receipt of a certificate from a worker follow the process detailed in 3.7.2.1 from step 3 onwards.

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3.7.2.3 IMEs for overseas workers - claims management

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.

See: Worker moves overseas

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 entitlements@worksafe.vic.gov.au.

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.

See: Travel expenses for an independent medical examination

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.

Private investigations

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.

See: Post second entitlement period review

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