One of the more frequent questions we get asked at Integrate physio is about the Workcover QLD system and how it works. Most of us will never have to use it, however there are some very important things to know about the process that may save you some time and energy in the future.
Workcover – Where do I start?
Depending on the severity of the injury, you will have to start at one of these two places
- Your GP
The doctor will write up a Medical Certificate that is the essential piece of paperwork you need to have while recovering. The next steps are:
- You need to send this Certificate to Workcover, who will then approve or deny the certificate (most people will receive a text message with a claim number).
- The certificate must have ‘physiotherapy’ under approved treatment.
- You will be assigned a case manager.
Important to know: If you go to the physio first, you will have to pay up front until you get the Certificate (if it is then approved you will be eligible for a refund on your out of pocket expenses).
Can I choose my own provider?
The short answer – yes, you have the right to choose your own medical care team.
You can choose your own doctor, physio or specialist (for example, if you have a physio you regularly see but your doctor or your workplace tells you you need to see a different physio/’their’ physio for the work injury, the doctor/workplace is misleading you).
Other important things to know:
- You can change doctors or physios at any point through the process, you just need to inform your case manager and doctor.
- You can request second opinions from other specialists if you feel like the specialist you originally saw did not listen to you or you’re not sure about their plan of action, this goes through your case manager and doctor.
What else do I need to know about Workcover?
Keep your case manager up to date
You need to send your case manager an up-to-date medical certificate whenever you receive a new one from your doctor. This is your main responsibility.
If your certificate expires you are no longer able to access medical care, and must go back to paying up front until the certificate is renewed.
You need to turn up to the appointments as scheduled by your medical team. These appointments are essential for your recovery
Your Physio has responsibilities too
It is your physio’s responsibility to communicate to Workcover and request ongoing treatment. As long as the medical certificate is current, the sessions are likely to be approved.
You’re still covered if you change jobs
If you leave your job or change jobs while under Workcover, you are still covered for ongoing medical treatment
Communication is key
Ultimately, the Workcover system is there to help, and the biggest reason we see people having bad experiences is where communication breaks down. Our best advice is to be transparent with your case manager about your life (for example, going on holidays is ok!) and utilise the medical team to your full extent.
Recovering at work is also normal – going back before you are 100% (on light duties or reduced hours or both) is usually the best way to keep your momentum going so you can get back to everything you want to do in all your life, not just work.