WorkSafe can pay the reasonable costs of psychology services to assist a worker in the treatment or rehabilitation of a work-related An injury/disease is work related if it arose out of or in the course of employment and the scope of employment. injury or illness, following the provision of a written referral from a medical practitioner.
WorkSafe will only pay for psychology services by healthcare professionals who are:
- registered with WorkSafe to provide psychology services and
- registered to practice as a psychologist Registered psychologist means a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise in the psychology profession (other than as a student). with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
WorkSafe can pay for the reasonable costs of a medical and like expense where a worker is entitled to provisional payments on a claimed mental injury.
See: 6.5 Provisional payments for a mental injury
Services in excess of 60 minutes
WorkSafe can pay for psychology consultations in excess of 60 minutes where clinically justified and with prior Agent approval (see ‘What can the Agent pay for in relation to psychology services?’ in the Psychology Policy).
Psychology services in excess of 60 minutes can be paid for, with prior Agent approval in the following circumstances:
- psychology sessions where the Agent has determined, on recommendation of a psychologist, that it is appropriate to undertake longer sessions
- psychometric tests where such tests would normally take longer than one hour. The Agent must be provided with the test results
- use of trauma focused intervention ie trauma focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
WorkSafe will not pay for
- more than one psychology service on the same day for the same worker
- psychology services greater than one hour duration (other than exception listed above in 'services in excess of 60 minutes'
- costs associated with devices used to access e-therapy services such as computer, internet, telephone or tablet.
Reporting requirements of psychologists
Information is required by the employer and the Agent to assist in the worker’s return to function and work.
Providers must submit to the Agent:
- Psychology treatment notification form (PS604)
Completion of the psychology treatment notification form is required by the treating psychologist by the fifth consultation.
This form must be forwarded to the worker’s employer or authorised Agent advising that treatment has commenced and providing information regarding the goals, strategies and outcomes of treatment. This information assists the treater, employer and the authorised Agent to manage the worker’s return to function, behaviour and work.
Agents should ensure they obtain this form from the Psychologist if they have not yet received it by the fifth session.
- Psychology review form (PS109)
The psychology review form should only be completed upon request from the authorised Agent, employer or WorkSafe. This form can be utilised to seek further information as needed in line with Clinical Framework.
WorkSafe can pay the reasonable costs of mental health support for workers with an accepted physical injury claim to assist with their recovery from a work-related injury or illness, following the provision of a written referral from a medical practitioner.
Where a worker may need the assistance of mental health support, the Agent will pay for a maximum of 13 weeks of reasonable medical and like expenses without the need to determine liability for this treatment.
Mental health support may include but not limited to psychology treatment, psychiatry and medication prescribed for the purpose of treating mental injury.
Mental health treatment examples
- the worker has suffered a physical injury as a result of a traumatic incident
- the worker has indicated they are not coping with their injury
- the worker has attempted to return to work but has been unsuccessful
- relationship issues with employer have failed to be resolved through interventions such as Occupational Rehabilitation or RTW Return to Work Inspectorate
- relationship issues outside of work appear to result from the worker’s injury
- worker has indicated that they wish to seek treatment from a psychologist for their physical injury.
Any worker who indicates a need or want for mental health support as a result of their physical injury will have access to a maximum of 13 weeks of reasonable medical and like treatment following the receipt of a referral from a medical practitioner, without the need for liability being assessed for this treatment.
Upon being advised of a referral for psychology support, the Agent should inform the requesting medical practitioner and mental health provider (where known) of the limited 13 weeks of support. A Psychology Treatment Notification Form is required from a psychologist for any claim where psychology treatment is required beyond four sessions.
More than 13 weeks required
If it appears the worker will need more than the 13 weeks of support, the mental health provider of the ongoing services should advise the agent in writing (by no later than week 10). Please note that a Psychology Treatment Notification Form should have already been completed for any claim where psychology treatment is required beyond four sessions therefore further written confirmation will be required if services are intended to continue beyond 13 weeks.
This requirement reduces the likelihood of a worker reaching 13 weeks and being unable to access further treatment while liability for ongoing services is being assessed. If the need for additional sessions becomes apparent before the 10 week notification timeframe, the mental health provider should advise the Agent as soon as possible.
The Psychology Treatment Notification Form allows for the indication of ‘medium’ and ‘long term’ estimated duration- further written confirmation at the 10 week mark to support this initial estimate would be advisable. The agent may request confirmation that this initial estimate of required treatment is still relevant for the workers treatment needs.
If the Agent is unable to determine the appropriateness of additional psychological treatment beyond 13 weeks following engagement with the mental health provider, the Agent may request the worker be independently assessed by an Independent Medical Examiner (Psychiatrist/Psychologist). All relevant information should be provided to the Independent Medical Examiner to assist with the examination.