What is a WorkCover certificate?

What is a WorkCover certificate graphic

A WorkCover certificate is usually called a certificate of capacity or a work capacity certificate. It is a certificate that is specifically used in WorkCover matters, and is different to a normal medical certificate that you might get from your doctor if you need time off work for non work related matters (eg: if you have a cold or the flu).

These certificates are far more detailed than an ordinary medical certificate. Whereas a normal medical certificate might simply say something like:

“I certify I have seen Mr X today and he required the next week off work due to a medical condition”

A WorkCover certificate on the other hand provides specific details in relation to a person’s work related medical condition, as well as comments on their capacity to work.

It includes the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Claim number
  • Examination date
  • Clinical diagnosis based on examination (ie: what is the injury or condition)
  • Capacity to sit, stand, bend, squat, kneel, reach above shoulder height, use injured arm/hand, left, neck movement.
  • Mental health function, attention/concentration, memory, judgement.
  • Other functional considerations
  • Work Environment considerations
  • Certification as to whether you have a capacity for pre-injury employment, suitable employment/modified duties, no capacity for employment (and for what period)
  • Comments regarding the treatment plan, including injury management, strategies to increase capacity for work, address any return to work barriers that might exist, and/or to prevent an aggravation or recurrence of the injury.
  • Declaration by the person certifying the certificate
  • Declaration by you the worker
  • Your signature and date of signature

A medical certificate and WorkCover certificate are therefore different things.

For this reason, WorkCover insurers will not accept normal medical certificates instead of WorkCover certificates. You must provide the insurer with WorkCover certificates if you are to be paid weekly payments.

Here’s what a WorkCover certificate looks like (below):

workcover certificate pages 1 and 2

What is a return to work certificate?

Some people wonder what a return to work certificate is. This is not a different certificate.

It is simply a WorkCover certificate where a person has been certified as having a capacity for their full, pre injury employment, or alternatively, a capacity for suitable employment (sometimes called modified duties).

Sometimes people call these ‘clearance certificates’ or fit for work certificates. In reality, they are just WorkCover certificates.

Please keep in mind that the information contained on this page should not be considered legal advice and no content on this site should replace the need to obtain advice tailored to the specific facts of your case. The facts of a case can significantly alter the advice that can provided. This site only provides general advice. Read more here.

Sidebar graphic of WorkCover benefits guide

To contact Michael or Peter call 1800 746 442 or email [email protected]

Written by the Work Injury Site team