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Medical Panels and Workers' Compensation Claims

Workers' compensation

If you’ve made a workers’ compensation claim, you may be required to attend a consultation with members of a medical panel. Learn more about medical panels and what happens if you disagree with their assessment of your injuries.

What is a medical panel?

Each Australian workers’ compensation scheme appoints panels of independent medical and allied health experts. The medical panel members for your injury will be selected from the appointed list, based on your medical issue. Members of the medical panel won’t be your treating doctor/s, and they don’t work for the workers’ compensation scheme. In some cases, medical panels will have different titles under the various workers’ compensation schemes, for example medical assessment tribunal. 

Depending on your injury, you could be referred for assessment by panel members, such as: 

  • Audiologist (for an industrial deafness claim) 

  • Ear, nose and throat specialist 

  • General surgeon 

  • Infectious diseases specialist 

  • Neurologist (for a spinal injury or a bulging disc injury

  • Occupational physician 

  • Ophthalmologist 

  • Orthopedic surgeon 

  • Pain specialist 

  • Psychiatrist (for a psychological injury) 

  • Rehabilitation physician 

  • Respiratory physician (for a toxic exposure, silica or dust disease injury) 

What is the medical panel's role?

The medical panel’s role is usually to provide a medical opinion on a specific question about your injury, not to give general advice about your situation or provide treatment. Depending on your state or territory, the medical panel’s role might include: 

  • Providing medical guidance for complex injuries 

  • Providing clarity or additional information if there’s been a disagreement or uncertainty about your injury. This might be if your regular compensation payments are stopped, but your treating doctor believes you’re not ready to return to work 

  • Providing an independent medical examination if your recovery isn’t progressing as expected 

  • Assess you for a lump sum compensation claim, such as permanent impairment 

  • To provide legally binding expert medical assessments of work-related injuries 

What happens in a medical panel appointment?

Depending on your state or territory, you may see two or three doctors during your appointment. The appointment is likely to last for at least an hour. During this time, you can tell the doctors about your injuries, and take any medical reports, test results or scans with you. All medical documentation or results must be provided to both the panel and insurer ten days prior to your appointment.  

You can take someone with you for support, but that person is usually not to answer questions for you.

Any information you give to the medical panel can be shared with the workers’ compensation insurer involved in your claim.

What’s beyond the scope of a medical panel?

A medical panel is only to provide an opinion on a specific question or questions that are asked of it. This can vary between Australian workers’ compensation schemes.

Medical panel outcomes

A medical panel functions like a tribunal. It must come to a decision within a specified time, and its opinion is binding.

What happens after a medical panel will depend on whether you agree with their opinion. If you disagree with a medical panel’s decision, you have a specified period to file an appeal. The time limit varies between states and territories and it’s generally  difficult to extend the time limit to file an appeal. In some states, such as Queensland, there are very limited circumstances in which an appeal can be made.

Check if you have a claim with our simple, free online tool.

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What we will ask: 

  • Details about the accident and injuries that have happened to you or your loved one 

  • Basic personal information that is relevant and necessary for your claim

What happens next:  

  • Either book a no obligation appointment with a compensation law expert right away or,    

  • Speak with our team about your options

How Shine can help with your workers' compensation claim

We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion in entitlements and compensation through our expert services.  

95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court. 

We offer access to affordable legal advice including on a No Win, No Fee* basis and an obligation free initial consultation so you can understand your rights and know where you stand.  

*Conditions apply  

We are ready to take action to get you access to compensation, protect your future and right wrong.  Find out more today:

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