Workcover Assessment of Degree of Permanent Impairment
Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (GEPI).
For workers injured from 15 October 2013 onwards, their injuries will be assessed for a Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI) using the new Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (GEPI). For psychiatric injuries, DPI assessment must be conducted by the Medical Assessment Tribunal (MAT).
Disagreeing with the original assessment by a doctor
For physical injuries, if the worker disagrees with the original assessment by a doctor, they can seek a review of this assessment, but the avenue of review depends on whether your injury falls within the period between 15 October 2013 to 30 January 2015, or not. If it falls within that period, your options for review of the DPI assessment are to either request referral to the MAT, or, the more preferable option of asking the workers' compensation insurer to consider a medical review by a different doctor.
The medical review by a new doctor is a new step in the assessment process and only applies to those claims falling within the previously mentioned period, as these claims are still subject to the 6% DPI threshold (a 6% or more DPI must be achieved in order for a worker to be able to sue for Common Law damages for their injury).
In the case where your injury occurred outside this period, if you are not happy with your DPI assessment, you can seek to have your work injuries reviewed by the MAT. You cannot ask for them to be reassessed by another doctor. Each new DPI assessment will be issued to the worker in the form of a Notice of Assessment (NOA). The new DPI assessment replaces any previous assessment.
The worker must respond to the NOA within 20 business days if they do not agree with the DPI assessment. If the NOA is not returned within 20 business days, it is taken that the worker has agreed with the DPI assessment. Outlined below is our protocol for arranging assessments of DPI and responding to requests for a new assessment.
What is sent to the doctor and/or MAT
WorkCover will send appropriate material from the worker’s claim file to the doctor and/or MAT to enable assessment of the DPI. The claim file will include:
- Initial application form, or computer generated form if the application was made over the phone;
- All medical and rehabilitation reports and records relevant to the injury;
- The first medical certificate, latest medical certificate and any other medical certificates where the diagnosis or capacity has changed.
Of course, if The Personal Injury Lawyers are handling your case, they will ensure that all information necessary to achieve the best possible outcome on your reassessment is provided to the reassessing doctor and the MAT should it progress to that stage.
Choosing a GEPI trained doctor
If a worker disagrees with the initial assessment of DPI, they have the option to nominate a GEPI trained doctor to conduct a fresh assessment of DPI. A list of GEPI trained doctors is available on the Department of Justice and Attorney General website. WorkCover will only agree to refer a worker for an assessment of DPI if the doctor:
- Is GEPI trained;
- Is from the relevant specialty based on the worker’s injuries; and
- Has availability to conduct the assessment and provide their report within 2 months of the worker making the request.
Process for responding to DPI for physical injuries
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