Return to Work Programs

Policy

The TAC can pay the reasonable cost of vocational rehabilitation services for an eligible client who requires support to return to work due injuries sustained in a transport accident.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.12(3) 

Guidelines

Who is eligible for TAC funded vocational rehabilitation services?

A TAC client who:

  • qualifies as an earner for the purposes of receiving loss of earnings, or loss of earnings capacity or qualifies as a non-earner for the purposes of receiving loss of earnings capacity; and
  • is able to actively participate in the return to work process and employment, and
  • is unable to return to their pre-injury field of employment without the support of vocational rehabilitation services

    or
  • is a school leaver that was involved in a transport accident while they were still at school, and
  • is able to actively participate in the return to work process and employment

is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

In relation to vocational rehabilitation services what will the TAC consider funding?

The TAC will consider paying for the following vocational services:

  • A vocational assessment.
  • Pre-employment services prior to commencing a TAC funded Return to Work (RTW) Program, such as advice concerning job seeking support and preparation of a return to work plan.
  • A TAC funded employer incentive package that may include:
    • A vocational allowance. The TAC will consider paying a vocational allowance to reimburse the wages paid by the employer during the Return to Work Program. The vocational allowance is funded to compensate for the employer for their cost of supporting the client return to work. The amount of vocational allowance that is paid reduces as the return to work program progresses.
    • Victorian WorkCover Authority (workcover) insurance for a client participating in a TAC RTW program, for a period of up to six months from the date the program commences. The workcover insurance provides an employer with Victorian WorkCover Authority premium and cost protection.
      • Victorian WorkCover Authority insurance can only be provided to Victorian workers participating in a TAC RTW program, pursuant to section 445 of the Workplace Injury, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (2013). The provision of WorkCover insurance in the absence of other employer incentives, may be approved as a TAC RTW program, where it will ensure an early and effective return to work. It is not mandatory for a vocational rehabilitation consultant to be involved in a program in order for the Victorian WorkCover Authority insurance to be offered by the TAC.
      • Where there is a workcover claim during a TAC RTW program, the TAC will pay for the potential rise in future premium costs and the Victorian WorkCover Authority excess.
      • Where there is a workcover claim the main relationship for the purposes of any claim is between the employer and the TAC's WorkCover insurer. The employer, the TAC's Victorian WorkCover Authority insurer and the TAC have joint responsibility for coordinating the worker's rehabilitation and return to work.
    • Vocational services from a return to work specialist such as work place assessment, job modification and advice concerning job seeking.
  • The reasonable cost of modifications to a work station and/or equipment to maximise the effectiveness of a client's return to work or maintenance of employment, where the transport accident injuries have impaired the client's ability to access the workplace and perform normal work requirements. The TAC can only pay for the reasonable cost of vehicles or modifications to vehicles that are required solely for return to work purposes (not for recreation purposes).  The obligations of employers and building owners under the Equal Opportunity Act (1995), Occupational Health and Safety Act (1985) and the Discrimination Act (1992) (Cth) will be taken into account when assessing the TAC's liability for workplace modifications.

Who can provide vocational rehabilitation services?

Vocational rehabilitation services can be provided by:

What information does the TAC take into consideration when considering a request to pay for vocational rehabilitation services?

The TAC considers the following information when considering a request to pay for vocational rehabilitation services:

  • Pre-accident employment history
  • Transport accident injuries and projected course of recovery
  • Current employment status
  • Current non-TAC benefits received (Centrelink, workcover, etc.)
  • For school leavers (post secondary and post tertiary) pre and post mva studies completed, work history and transition to work plan
  • Employer obligations for workplace accessibility and employee equipment
  • Cessation of income benefits under Section 74 (2)(b) of the Transport Accident Act 1986
  • Details of any Common Law settlement that included a settlement for pecuniary loss calculated on the basis that the client's injuries will prevent them from gaining any future employment.

Will the TAC consider paying for travel to and from a client's work place as part of a TAC funded Return to Work Program?

Payment of travel to and from a client's workplace when participating in a TAC funded Return to Work (RTW) Program is considered under the TAC's Travel and Accommodation Expenses policy.

What is the procedure for reimbursement of approved RTW program travel expenses? What receipts must be provided?

To claim the RTW Program travel expenses including use of a private vehicle, taxi or public transport (e.g. train, tram or bus, car parking and CityLink expenses), the following information is required:

  • written correspondence from the client regarding the distance in kilometres from home to and from work and, if applicable:
    • car parking receipts
    • CityLink Day Pass or monthly statement whichever is applicable. The TAC will not reimburse any costs associated with the purchase of a CityLink e-TAG
  • wherever possible any available Myki statements, train, tram, or bus tickets if the client travelled by public transport
  • taxi receipts if the client travelled by taxi
  • a request from a medical practitioner stating that alternate transport is being used to travel to work because of the transport accident injury and the period of time the transport will be used, e.g. it is required for the 9 weeks RTW program.

The Travel Expense Declaration form should be used to claim travel to/from work while participating in a formal Return to Work program. 

In relation to vocational rehabilitation services what will the TAC not fund?

In relation to vocational rehabilitation services the TAC will not fund:

  • services for a person other than the injured client
  • services for a condition that existed before a transport accident or that is not a direct result of a transport accident
  • services that are of no clear benefit to a client
  • capital expenditure such as the costs of establishing or running a business
  • equipment that employers need to provide to all employees to meet OHS requirements
  • an Employer Incentive Package for a return to work program in a client's own business
  • modifications to or purchase of a vehicle for a purpose other than for return to work
  • services received by the injured person outside the Commonwealth of Australia
  • services provided more than 2 years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within 3 years of the transport accident. Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.

In relation to vocational rehabilitation services the TAC cannot fund Victorian WorkCover Authority insurance for clients who are:

  • self employed and returning to work in their own business
  • employed by the Commonwealth
  • volunteers
  • undertaking a return to work program with an employer who is a self insurer
  • undertaking a return to work program with an employer that has workers compensation with an interstate scheme.   

View Vocational Services providers

Vocational Services providers

Summary:

The TAC's vocational services panel members are experts in helping people get back to work and will focus on getting the best outcomes for you. You can choose any provider from the list below. More information is available in the TAC Vocational Providers booklet and at each provider's website.

List of vocational services providers

AcumenAcumen logo

Provider statement

It’s all about you. At Acumen we recognise that your recovery should encompass everything that you want to achieve or regain in your life.

http://generationhealth.com.au/acumen-health-management/

http://generationhealth.com.au/locations/

Advanced Personal Management (APM)Advanced Personal Management logo

Provider statement

At APM we know how challenging and emotional it can be to recover from a motor vehicle accident.

http://apm.net.au/

http://apm.net.au/find-an-apm-location/our-locations/

Altius Rehabilitation ServicesAltius logo

Provider statement

Altius Rehabilitation Services is an industry leading provider of vocational rehabilitation.

http://www.rehabservices.com.au/

http://www.rehabservices.com.au/service-locations/

IPARIPAR logo

Provider statement

Since partnering with the TAC in 2011, IPAR has helped more than 2,400 people to recover from a transport accident and return to health.

https://ipar.com.au/

https://ipar.com.au/locations/

ProcareProcare logo

Provider statement

Procare is a leading provider of wellness, recovery and return to work services. We're here to help.

http://procaregroup.com.au/injury-management.html

Rehab ManagementRehab Management logo

Provider statement

Rehab Management is an award-winning, nationally accredited vocational rehabilitation provider.

http://www.rehabmanagement.com.au/

http://www.rehabmanagement.com.au/rehab-management-locations

WorkFocus AustraliaWorkFocus logo

Provider statement

WorkFocus Australia coaches you through your recovery to meet your health, work, well-being and life goals.

http://www.workfocus.com/

http://www.workfocus.com/contact/locations.aspx

View Returning to work

Returning to work

Summary:

This booklet explains how TAC clients can work positively with their employer, health professionals and the TAC to coordinate a safe and smooth return to work. It outlines the TAC services and benefits, such as workplace assessments and modifications, that are available to assist return to work. There's also a useful planner tool and answers to frequently asked questions about return to work programs.

View Travel to work declaration form

Travel to work declaration form

Summary:

This form is for claiming expenses related to travel (by private car, public transport and/or taxi) to work. (Claims for travel expenses to attend medical treatment and/or rehabilitation need to be made using a separate form titled Travel Expenses: Declaration).

Are your bank details up to date?
Keep your bank account details up to date to receive your payment or reimbursement from the TAC as soon as possible. You can update your details by completing the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Authority form for TAC clients or by calling us on 1300 654 329.

View Return to work: plan form

Return to work: plan form

Summary:

This form sets out the return to work plan for TAC clients to ensure the process is safe, coordinated and smooth. The plan details the worksite assessment, goals, projected hours and duties for the program's initial phase. The document needs to be completed by the therapist in consultation with the client and employer, then submitted to the TAC at last five days before the program commences.