All about the Workplace Injury Commission
The Workplace Injury Commission is a Victorian government authority that provides injured workers who are pursuing a WorkCover claim or who have a WorkCover claim on foot with mechanisms to contest decisions made by the WorkCover insurer.
The Workplace Injury Commission was previously called the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service (ACCS).
The rest of this page will look at the Workplace Injury Commission in more detail and how to utilize their services in relation to your claim.
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What services does the Workplace Injury Commission provide?
Just as it did when it was known as the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service, the Workplace Injury Commission organises and provides a conciliation service for people that wish to dispute decisions made by the WorkCover insurer.
Typical WorkCover related decisions that a person may proceed to Conciliation with are;
• Rejection of claims
• Non-decisions of the insurer
• Termination of medical like expenses or a particular type of medical expense
• Termination of weekly payments
• Rejection of injuries relating to impairment claims
Here’s further information on the conciliation process and outcomes:
In order to initiate a conciliation with the Workplace Injury Commission, you need to fill out the specific Application for Conciliation form. This is just as you needed to do with the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service.
However the form has changed and is more detailed than the form a person previously needed to fill out.
If you wish to pursue a matter to Conciliation the application for Conciliation form should be lodged within 60 days of receiving the WorkCover insurer’s decision that you wish to dispute.
You can still pursue disputes outside the 60 day period however you will need to provide reasons on the Application for Conciliation form as to why the conciliation request has been lodged outside the 60 day time period.
You are able to have representation at the Workplace Injury Commission’s scheduled Conciliation.
Representation can come from a lawyer (the lawyer will need to seek permission to represent you from the Commission and the insurer first), or a non-lawyer such as WorkCover assist or another representative (do not need to obtain permission for representation).
Arbitration was not a option under the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service.
However from 1 September 2022 the Arbitration service is available as an option to injured workers who were injured or after 1 September 2022.
So if you were injured prior to 1 September 2022, you do not have the option of pursuing a matter to Arbitration. You can only do so if you were inured after 1 September 2022.
How does the arbitration service work?
After you’ve gone through the conciliation process, if your matter has failed to resolve and you have obtained a genuine dispute certificate, depending upon the nature of your dispute with the WorkCover insurer you elect to pursue the matter to arbitration.
Previously, if you obtained a genuine dispute certificate the only option you had was to issue Proceedings in the WorkCover Magistrates’ court.
Typical decisions that may proceed to arbitration include: claim rejections, reduction in weekly payments and terminations.
The Workplace Injury Commission at arbitration can make an order for weekly payments not exceeding a total of 52 weeks and $20,000 for medical and like expenses.
The decision made by the Commission is binding on the parties involved in the dispute.
A referral to arbitration after the matter has gone through the Conciliation process must be made within 60 days after Conciliation.
An initial arbitration hearing must start within 30 days of the dispute being referred and the final arbitration hearing must start within 90 days of the application.
If you elect to proceed to Arbitration we would recommend that you have legal representation – or at least obtain some advice from a WorkCover lawyer so you know you’re on the right track.
There is however automatic right to legal representation at an arbitration hearing and you must ask permission from commission to have legal representation.
In the event that you are successful, some legal costs are payable to your lawyer.
The Workplace Injury Commission was previously known as the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service. It’s a government body that provides services allowing people to contest decisions made by WorkCover insurer’s.
It provides a conciliation service and an arbitration service.