Return to work assistance
Return to work assistance provides eligible workers with financial assistance for costs and services associated with return to work.
Expenses payable under return to work assistance apply only to services provided and costs incurred on or after 29 April 2016.
Note: These benefits do not apply to:
- exempt categories of workers (police officers, paramedics or fire fighters)
- coal miners
- volunteers prescribed by the Workers Compensation (Bush Fire, Emergency and Rescue Services) Act 1987.
New employment assistance
New employment assistance may be claimed by a worker in cases where they are unable to return to work with their pre-injury employer, due to their injury. A cumulative total of up to $1,000 can be claimed for expenses involved in returning to work with a new employer, including:
- transport (eg public transport or motor vehicle registration)
- education or training (eg industry licences or certificates)
- equipment (eg tools of trade), or
- any similar service or assistance.
To claim new employment assistance, a worker must contact the insurer to confirm:
- they have accepted a written offer of employment for a period of three months or more with a new employer
- how the item or service will assist them to return to work, and
- the amount being claimed along with supporting quotes and invoices.
Once the worker has made a claim for new employment assistance, the insurer must determine liability within 14 days.
Education or training assistance
Education or training assistance is designed to support workers in cases where additional skills are required to improve their readiness for work with the same employer, or a new employer. A cumulative total of up to $8,000 can be claimed for expenses that may include:
- course fees
- other related expenses (eg text books, travel).
To claim education or training assistance, a worker must:
- have been assessed as having a permanent impairment of more than 20 per cent
- have received weekly payments of compensation (paid or payable) for a period of 78 weeks or more
- demonstrate the education or training is consistent with their injury management plan and will assist them to return to work, and
- ensure that the education or training assistance is provided by:
- a registered training organisation, or
- a registered higher education provider.
To make a claim, the worker must complete the training application form. It is recommended that the person completing the application form confirms with the insurer that the worker is entitled to education or training assistance.
Once the worker has made a claim for education or training assistance, the insurer must determine liability within 21 days.