Moving interstate while on WorkCover (Vic)
Just because you have a WorkCover claim does not mean that you need to continue to reside in Victoria.
You are able to move interstate (and overseas) should you wish if you have a Victorian WorkCover claim on foot.
However, there are a number of considerations.
This article will explore these.
If you are moving away from Victoria to another state in Australia, you are required to contact the WorkCover insurer and let them know.
You should contact the insurer well before you leave.
You can do so by calling the insurer up and letting your case manager know, or simply just sending them an email.
Certificates of capacity
This is applicable only if you are in receipt of weekly payments and you are obtaining certificates of capacity on an ongoing basis.
Obviously to continue to receive weekly payments you will need to continue to obtain certificates of capacity.
In some instances, you may be able to continue to obtain certificates of capacity from your existing Victorian medical provider (e.g. your GP, physiotherapist, psychiatrist etc).
It may be possible to have regular telehealth consultations with your medical provider who will then provide you with updated certificates as required.
However you should not assume that this arrangement will be acceptable to both your medical provider and the insurer.
So you should discuss it with your case manager and your medical provider and see whether it would be an acceptable arrangement for all involved.
Telehealth consultations to obtain certificates of capacity may be more appropriate if you have a psychological injury rather than a physical injury, where it is likely less important for them to physically assess you.
If a telehealth arrangement is not acceptable the insurer and/or your medical provider, then you will need to find a medical practitioner in the area that you’re moving to who would be willing to provider certificates of capacity in Victorian WorkCover matters.
You will need to continue using the same Victorian certificate of capacity form.
Note that if there are any delays in providing updated certificates of capacity then your weekly payments may be impacted.
During the life of your Victorian WorkCover matter, there are a number of instances where the WorkCover Insurer may organise an appointment for you to be assessed by an independent medical examiner.
- When determining whether to accept or reject your WorkCover claim
- When determining whether a particular medical treatment is reasonable such as physiotherapy or surgery or the provision of a particular type of medication.
- To determine your work capacity and entitlement to the payment of weekly payments.
- For the purposes of an impairment benefit lump sum claim.
- At various stages during a common law claim
Most of these medical assessments occur in Melbourne.
It is possible however that if you were to move interstate that the insurer could find a medical practitioner in the area to which you’re moving to who could assess you.
However, sometimes the insurer doesn’t wish to do this.
And it may also not be possible for them to locate a suitable doctor in the area.
As with obtaining certificates of capacity, it may be possible for you to undergo telehealth assessments, but this is certainly not something that can happen in all matters.
It is dependent upon the nature of the assessment and the relevant injury or condition that is being assessed.
So you may from time to time be required to travel back to Victoria to be medically assessed.
Medical related travel expenses
If you are required to travel back to Victoria to be medically assessed during your WorkCover matter, whether that be to attend an appointment organised by the WorkCover insurer or to attend the medical panel, then the WorkCover insurer is required to pay your travel expenses.
So you should ensure to discuss this with the WorkCover insurer and make arrangements for them to cover your travel expenses well prior to the appointment.
Please note that if you have a lawyer assisting you with your WorkCover matter, if they are arrange appointments for you, the WorkCover insurer is not responsible for related travel expenses.
In some cases the law firm may assist you by covering some or all of these expenses but this is certainly not the norm.
You are able to move to another state if you have a Victorian WorkCover claim on foot.
You can do this at any time during the life of your claim.
You should ensure to notify the insurer that you wish to move as soon as possible, and ideally before you move.
If you are in receipt of weekly payments you will need to continue to obtain certificates of capacity and you should make inquiries with your current medical practitioner to see whether they may be open to providing them based on telehealth assessments and you should also check with the insurer.
If this is not an acceptable arrangement for your medical practitioner and the insurer, then you should find a medical practitioner in the area that you are moving to that would be happy to provide certificates of capacity. You will need to continue to use the Victorian certificate of capacity form.
You may be required to undergo medical assessments organised by the insurer, or attend the medical panel. In some instances it may be possible to have these assessments performed as telehealth assessments (very unlikely when it comes to medical panel assessments).
If telehealth isn’t acceptable in these instances, then you will need to travel back to Victoria. If you are required to travel back to Victoria to be assessed keep in mind that you can claim your travel expenses from the insurer.