Workers Compensation FAQs
I've hurt my back at work, what do I do now?
If you have any kind of accident at work the first thing you should do is let your Supervisor know. They can guide you about submitting an incident report and lodging a workers compensation claim.
Should I see my own doctor or just see the physiotherapist at work?
You should definitely see your own doctor. Your employer may have your best interests at heart but a lot of the time they are more concerned with ensuring you take as little time off work as possible. While convenient, a Physiotherapist paid by your employer is different to an impartial medical professional. Your own General Practitioner who knows you is a much better person to decide whether you need further treatment or not. They can assess what the problem is and investigate things properly before coming up with a course of action. Sometimes physiotherapy may not be the best course of action depending on what the problem actually is.
How do I make a claim?
To make a workers compensation claim you need to find out who your employer uses as their workers compensation insurer. Your will then need to provide them with certain information regarding your injury including the details of the doctor you have seen regarding the injury. Your employer should be able to guide you.
For more information see the SIRA website.
When do I need to see a surgeon?
Your General Practitioner should be able to guide you as to when it is necessary to see a surgeon. Usually your General Practitioner will do tests and exhaust all of the conservative modalities of treatment like physical therapy prior to referring you to a surgeon. Surgery is usually the last option.
Who is allowed into my work related injury surgical consultation?
A consultation with a surgeon should be between the patient and the surgeon. Patients often bring a support person like their spouse or a relative with them to an appointment. Your employer or a representative from the insurance company should not attend these appointments. Dr Moloney does not allow any third parties into his consultations. He likes his patients to feel that it is a safe environment where they can tell the truth and not be worried about the insurance company using what they say against them. Also, he doesn't want anything to be misinterpreted. Any communication between Dr Moloney and the insurance company is done in writing.
Can my insurance company tell me which doctor to go to?
No. The doctor you choose to see is entirely up to you. If your insurance compny try and tell you which doctor to see you can report them to SIRA as this is not allowed.
What happens with workers compensation patients when surgery has been recommended?
Unfortunately we can't just book you in for your surgery and get it all done immediately. We need to write to the insurance company and request the surgery providing costs and details. The insurance company will then need to assess the request and will often send you for an independent medical examination (IME). Usually they will provide you with three different doctors names and you are allowed to choose which one you want to see. You will go and see the doctor who should examine you and ask you lots of questions and discuss your injury and then write the report for your insurance company. The insurance company will then make their decision based on the opinion of the doctor you have seen.
My treatment has been declined, can I do anything about it?
Yes. If your treatment is declined you can dispute the decision and take it to the Workers Compensation Commission. The best thing to do in this case is to get yourself a lawyer who can guide you with this. If is a long process but decisions can be overturned by disputing the decision through the Workers Compensation Commission.
My claim has finished can I still see Dr Moloney?
When a workers compensation claim has been finalised it is up to you if you would like to continue seeing Dr Moloney. The costs will no longer be covered by the workers compensation insurance company so you would need to pay for your own consultations and treatment if any were required.