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Mental Health Claim Provisional Liability changes in Victoria

Fundamental changes to the VIC Workers Compensation scheme that could impact both workers and employers. 
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Mental health injuries are currently a disproportionate contributor to the Victorian Workers Compensation scheme claim costs and the State has made some fundamental changes to their Workers Compensation scheme that could impact both workers and employers.

New laws providing provisional workers compensation benefits to workers who lodge a mental injury claim have passed the Victorian Parliament and will commence in July 2021.

The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Provisional Payments) Bill 2020 (Vic) allows workers with lodged claims to recover reasonable medical expenses whilst they await confirmation of eligibility.  Before these changes, workers could wait the mandatory 28 days before medical expenses were covered by an accepted claim.  This had been viewed by some stakeholders as detrimental to the rehabilitation of injuries, as workers could be limited in accessing relevant medical and allied health support in treating their condition.

Proactive employers may benefit from taking action on day 1 (when the claim is handed to the employer), very early in the 28 day eligibility period. This has proven to provide a better return to work outcome and better control of claims costs, which both minimises the impact on premium and supports the worker.

Gallagher Workplace Risk can help employers through our specialists in Workers Compensation, in-house Occupational Therapists, Safety, Education & Training and Accident & Health. We can assist employers to understand and manage their workplace mental health risk factors to control hazards and respond to reported injuries.

Contact Gallagher Workplace Risk on 1300 789 467 or enquirieswpr@ajg.com.au to discuss how we can support your business with a range of interventions, including:

  1. Delivery of Safety Climate surveys and psychological systems audits of your policies and procedures to identify risk and nominate appropriate controls
  2. Design education and training programs to help raise awareness of mental health risk factors and ways to better self-manage or support others
  3. Create Inherent Requirements of the Job Dictionaries which include assessment of physical and cognitive risk factors to help guide risk management and worker rehabilitation from injury
  4. Assess the psychological and physical capacity of your people to perform the demands of their jobs using our independent in house occupational therapists.