What is a "Medical Assessment Tribunal"?
Medical Assessment Tribunals are run by the Workers’ Compensation Regulator and are an independent panel of doctors who make decisions about an injured worker’s work-related injury.
An insurer will usually refer an injured worker to a Medical Assessment Tribunal when:
there are differing medical opinions about the injury;
the claim has been accepted but it’s unclear if there is an ongoing incapacity; or
the degree of permanent impairment from the injury needs to be assessed.
Medical Assessment Tribunals consist of a panel of three or five specialist doctors and there are two different types of medical assessment tribunal panels:
general medical assessment tribunal injuries; and
specialty medical assessment tribunal injuries
Doctors on the panel are independent to the insurer and every effort is made to ensure a doctor who has been involved in the treatment or other assessment of the injured worker is not on the panel.
An injured worker can have a support person or advocate attend the tribunal with them to assist the injured worker explain specific details of their work duties relevant to their work-related injury. For example, explaining the frequency of specific movements when performing certain tasks, approximate weights involved, demonstrating the specific repetitive movements, etc.
There is no legal argument to present to the panel at a Medical Assessment Tribunal; however, having an advocate or support person attend the Tribunal with an injured worker can assist them to put forward specific information relevant to the injury.
If an injured worker wishes to engage a lawyer to attend the tribunal with them, the injured worker will be responsible for the associated cost.
For more information about Medical Assessment Tribunals visit the WorkSafe website.