We understand that you may be going through a difficult time or may be frustrated by the claims process, however to make sure that we can progress your referral as soon as we can, it is important that you attend and co-operate with the Medical Panel examination.
Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that will help you understand what you need to do before your appointment.
We'll make an appointment for you as soon as we can, with the most suitable Medical Panel. However, our medical doctors don’t work here on a full-time basis and waiting times will depend on the type of injury, the type of questions the Panel needs to address and the availability of doctors.
It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks from the time we receive your referral, but it could be closer to 8 to 12 weeks for more complicated cases or if the doctors needed aren’t available.
Once we receive a referral, we send acknowledgment letters to all parties. We’ll then contact you directly to find a suitable appointment time. The waiting time for an appointment depends on the type of injury and the availability of the most appropriate panel members.
Once an appointment time has been set, appointment letters are sent approximately four weeks before the appointment with details of:
- the Panel Members’ names and specialties
- the date, time and location of the appointment
We allocate 75 minutes for most Medical Panel appointments.
Depending on the complexity of your injury and the questions for the Panel, some appointments may be only 30 minutes or could be as long as 90 minutes (or may be shorter or longer).
Most people attend only one appointment. However, you may need to come to a second appointment, depending on your situation, the Panel Member's questions, and the availability of doctors (different doctors from the same Panel may need to see you at different times).
Most of the appointments take place at our Melbourne (CBD) office:
Level 6 (North Tower)
485 La Trobe Street
Sometimes appointments will need to take place offsite if they require special equipment, such as hearing loss exams, eye exams and lung function exams. Your appointment letter will tell you where each of your appointments is being held and if there are any specific instructions you need to follow.
You will not need to pay anything for your appointment.
For WorkCover cases the cost is paid by the WorkSafe Agent or self-insured employer.
For Wrongs Act claims the cost is paid by the respondent (the person or company who the claim is against).
Yes, you can get help arranging travel to your Medical Panel appointment.
For a WorkCover claim you should contact your WorkCover Agent or self-insured employer.
For non-WorkCover claims (Wrongs Act), you should contact your representative.
Depending on the circumstances, we can reschedule the appointment or put the matter on hold for you. Please note that if your appointment needs to be rescheduled, it will cause a delay in resolving your case. For WorkCover claims, if you fail to attend on multiple occasions it may lead to suspension of your weekly payments, medical treatment or medication expenses, etc.
If you're running very late, the Medical Panel appointment may need to be cancelled and rescheduled to another date and time. This is to ensure the Medical Panel has enough time to spend on your assessment.
Sometimes the Medical Panel may be running late. This can happen because of a medical emergency or the complexity of some appointments. If you’re able to wait, the Panel will see you as soon as they can. If not, please let our reception staff know and another appointment will be arranged for you.
The Panel will usually allow a friend or family member to come into the appointment with you to provide support, but they can't speak on your behalf or interpret on your behalf. Legal representatives, WorkCover insurers, union representatives, employers, or any other official party to the dispute cannot attend a Medical Panel appointment with you or on your behalf.
Please note: Appointments with a psychiatrist are usually held in private because they'll need to ask personal and private questions.
For all appointments, it's the Panel's decision whether another person can come in with you.
Yes. In these cases you're entitled to have another person present at your appointment to represent you.
If you have a copy of the following information relating to your injury, you should bring it with you to the appointment:
- X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, nerve conduction studies and the reports that go with them
- Results of any other tests (e.g. blood tests, urine tests or any other tests)
- A list of medications
Yes, if you want to provide the Medical Panel with additional information you can. This may be medical reports from a hospital, doctor or allied health professional, a summary of information in your own words, etc. This can be sent by mail, email or fax. This information doesn't have to be provided on the day of the appointment, but could be sent to our office before or after your appointment. However, once the Medical Panel has formed its opinion, no additional information will be considered.
Please note: Any information you provide to the Medical Panel will be provided to the other parties involved. If you've been sent to the Medical Panel by the Magistrates' Court or County Court, any information you want to give to the Panel needs to be approved by the magistrate or judge before it's given to the Medical Panel, and is best provided to the Panel through your representatives.
Reviewed 14 January 2021