All about WorkCover Certificates of Capacity in Victoria
What is a certificate of capacity?
A certificate of capacity (Vic) is a document that describes your injury or illness.
It also provides an opinion on your capacity to work and any limitations that you have on performing your work tasks.
You need a certificate of capacity if if you are making a WorkCover claim and that claim includes a claim for weekly payments.
You also need a certificate of capacity if you have an accepted WorkCover claim and you wish to obtain WorkCover payments because you are not able to perform your pre-injury employment.
If you have a WorkCover claim for medical expenses only, you do not need a certificate of capacity in Victoria.
Is a medical certificate the same as the certificate of capacity?
No, they are different. A certificate of capacity is a specific medical certificate that that is used in matters where WorkCover or TAC are involved.
The certificate of capacity not only includes the diagnosis of injury, but also includes a comment by the treating medical practitioner about work capacity.
Each certificate of capacity will indicate whether a worker has a capacity for full unrestricted duties, modified duties, or no work capacity at all.
A normal medical certificate on the other hand is the type of certificate you might get from your doctor if you need time off work for a flu or for any other non-related work condition.
Normal medical certificates are not accepted by WorkCover
In order to obtain Weekly payments from the WorkCover insurer, you will need to obtain certificates of capacity.
Who can complete a WorkCover certificate of capacity (Vic)?
The initial medical certificate needs to be completed by a medical practitioner.
This means your GP, a surgeon or a psychiatrist. Subsequent certificates are able to be completed by a medical practitioner or a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath.
When do I need a certificate of capacity?
When you have suffered an injury or illness at work and you’re not able to perform your pre-injury duties.
What happens if my WorkCover certificates are not issued?
WorkCover payments will not be made by the WorkCover Insurer unless you have provided them with valid certificates of capacity.
In some cases, The WorkCover Insurer will accept a signed statutory declaration in lieu of a WorkCover certificate or certificates.
However, this is the exception rather than the rule.
What about certificates of capacity and return to work?
You are not able to return to work unless you have a certificate certifying you either fit for full duties or fit for modified duties.
Sometimes people refer to certificates certifying them with some level of work capacity as fit for work certificates.
Return to work plans are developed based on the restrictions listed in the certificate of capacity.
Because of this, it is important that the person that is providing the certificate identifies each restriction on the certificate.
You need to make sure that the person that is certifying you understands the type of work you do and the specific tasks.
Who do I send my WorkCover certificate of capacity to?
You should provide a copy of the certificate of capacity to your employer or the insurer directly.
You should ensure to keep copies of your certificates of capacity.
When is a WorkCover certificate considered invalid in Victoria?
If it covers more than 28 days it will be rejected by the insurance company.
The exception to this is if the insurer has agreed to allow it to run for more than 28 days.
Some certificates can be three months but you first need the approval from the insurer.
Your first certificate of capacity needs to be for a 14 day period.
Can certificates of capacity be backdated?
Certificates of capacity can be backdated for a period of 90 days. Backdated certificates must still be for periods of not more than 28 days
How do I get a blank WorkCover certificate of capacity?
You can download and print a copy of the certificate of capacity by visiting this page.
Will the practitioner contact my employer about my certificate?
On some occasions the medical practitioner may contact your employer to find out more about your employment and the specific roles that you perform.
Your employer may also contact your medical practitioner to coordinate a return to work plan.