Just like a professional sports person, your patient requires the support of a team of people. A patient's rehabilitation team needs to work together and communicate openly in order to effect a successful return to work.
The TAC claims manager helps TAC clients to receive the treatment, support and return to work services they need to achieve their injury recovery goals. They also ensure healthcare providers, including GPs, are paid the reasonable costs of necessary treatment and services of TAC clients in accordance with the TAC's scheduled fees.
A claims manager plays an active role in providing advice and support to you and your patient in planning a safe return to work.
If your patient requires additional support to return to work, the TAC may initiate a return to work program. This could involve an assessment of the workplace to determine whether your patient has any special needs for equipment or workplace modifications.
If your patient is unable to return to their pre-accident employment because of their accident injuries, or if their job is no longer available, the TAC can refer your patient to a vocational rehabilitation services provider to explore other work options.
At times the TAC may be required to request information about your patient's injuries and treatment in order to properly assess claims for compensation and to ensure that the client's treatment and support services are meeting their recovery needs.
An employer plays an important role in planning a person's return to work.
An employer can support a timely return to work by offering your patient alternative duties or reduced hours whilst they recover from their transport accident injuries.
An employer may discuss a return work plan directly with your patient or with the TAC. In some cases, and where consent is given, an employer may also liaise directly with you or your patient's other treating health practitioners, to plan their return to work
There is no requirement for employers to keep a transport accident injured person's job open for them or to provide alternative duties or reduced hours under the Transport Accident Act 1986. However, the TAC may offer employer incentives as part of a return to work program. These include:
- Paying WorkSafe Injury Insurance for the period of the return to work program.
- Offering wage subsidies to compensate the employer financially, while the injured person returns to normal hours and duties
- Paying for modifications to or purchasing equipment for the workplace to help with return to work.
Where your patient does not have a job to return to due to their transport accident injuries, the TAC can arrange support to assist in the identification of suitable employment options and secure new employment.
Allied health providers play a crucial role in managing the treatment of a TAC client. A TAC client will rely on their GP to develop a treatment plan which may include referrals to a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, psychologist or occupational therapist.
For more information, view the relevant service on the Medical Services page.
Network providers are allied health providers with skills and experience in treating TAC clients with the aim to provide quality healthcare and successful return to work outcomes.
Network Occupational Therapy (OT)
Network Pain Management Programs
Vocational Rehabilitation Provider
Vocational rehabilitation providers have specific skills and experience in helping people return to work following an injury. They must be approved by the TAC to provide services, but operate independently. Services may vary depending on the TAC client's capacity for work and individual circumstances, but generally these providers will:
- engage with the various parties to reach a common understanding of return to work goals
- provide recommendations and strategies to overcome identified barriers to returning to work
- suggest changes to the workplace to help the injured person transition back to work
- help the injured person gain skills in other areas of work where needed.
You can make recommendations to your patient's TAC claim manager where you think they may require additional support in returning to work. The TAC may then refer your patient for vocational rehabilitation services.
A vocational rehabilitation provider will often seek your medical expertise in helping your patient return to work. You can help by identifying what you believe are the barriers to return to work and offer your opinion on issues or concerns you have about your patient's recovery.
Goals related to returning to work are important to optimise a person's health outcomes. These goals may be set in collaboration with the client, healthcare professional, employer or anyone supporting the client's recovery.
Goals may include increasing physical activity, hours at work, changing duties at work, or attending team meetings or work functions. When returning to work is a long-term goal, GPs may also consider supporting a client to participate in other activities outside of work to build their capacity in the short term. These activities could include increasing household duties or scheduling more activities in the day.
In some cases there may be barriers to return to work. In these circumstances treatment is clinically justified when it promotes independence, improves function and participation, or demonstrably prevents the person from significantly deteriorating from their current level of function. If there are other barriers to return to work, the TAC claim manager may be able to provide advice on other interventions available to overcome these.