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Medical assessment tribunal

Medical assessment tribunals make independent expert medical decisions about work-related injury or impairment. This video explains the medical assessment tribunal process for workers.

Download a copy of this film (MP4/ZIP, 107MB)

Welcome to the Medical Assessment Tribunal, an independent panel of experts that makes medical decisions about workers' compensation claims in Queensland.

If you've been injured at work, your insurer might refer you to the tribunal to assess the cause of the injury, ongoing incapacity for work, permanent impairment from a mental injury, or reassess permanent impairment from a physical injury.

The Medical Assessment Tribunal is independent. That means it makes decisions based on the evidence presented and a medical assessment of you on the day of your hearing without taking sides.

Workers' Compensation Regulatory Services sits within the Office of Industrial Relations. We coordinate the tribunal and can help you from referral to decision. You'll instantly receive an email from us when a referral is made by your insurer. Preparing for the hearing is important.

It helps you to understand why you are attending, the information required, and what to expect on the day. Your insurer's referral includes all the relevant information and documents from your claim file.

It's sent to you, and you can share any extra information you have. This is your chance to tell your story and have your voice heard. We will contact you when we are ready to book the hearing and explain what to expect.

Ask if you need support such as an interpreter and ask about medical experts you've seen to ensure they're not on the panel. If you need to make travel arrangements, talk to your insurer as they will arrange this.

It's important to bring a list of your current medications to the hearing, and if you have a physical injury, please also bring all relevant x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. If you have an eye, ear, nose, or throat injury, you may need an appointment before your hearing to do important tests

You can bring a support person to the hearing for moral support, but they can't speak on your behalf or sit in on your physical examination. Some people choose to bring a legal or union representative, but keep in mind that their costs aren’t covered and you must pay them directly. Keep in mind that there are no facilities for children, so please plan for alternative care.

We'll ask you before your appointment to confirm who will attend. Most hearings are held in person, but a virtual hearing is possible depending on the injury, it's complexity and reason for referral.

A virtual hearing needs a quiet location and an ability to connect using Microsoft Teams. We help you by testing the call and your technology the week before your hearing. When you arrive for the hearing, you'll be greeted by a tribunal officer who will guide you through the steps and put you at ease.

It helps to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. Even if you're attending via MS teams, you can expect the appointment to take about one hour. A panel of three or five doctors with medical experience and skills in assessing your injury or impairment will review the evidence presented.

Ask questions to better understand your injury and its impact, and listen carefully to understand your experience. The hearing is less formal than a court hearing, but it's important to be respectful and courteous.

It's recommended you dress in smart casual clothing, and if attending via MS teams have some water and anything else which helps you to feel comfortable. The tribunal may choose to examine a physical injury.

Wearing clothes that make examination easier helps, or a medical gown can be made available. A tribunal officer can give you support and assistance during this examination. The tribunal follows set rules for permanent impairment assessments and your injury must be stable.

If the tribunal decides your injury isn't stable, then they may recommend further treatment or talk to your doctor. All tribunals are audio recorded, and if you don't consent to this, please let us know. You can request a copy of this recording free of charge, but you're not permitted to record the hearing yourself in any way.

After the hearing, the tribunal will make a decision and give you written reasons. This will be sent to you within 10 days of your hearing.

On rare occasions, a decision is delayed if more information or medical imaging is needed. We'll keep you informed if this is the case. The decision is also sent to your insurer who must manage your claim using this new information. The tribunal decisions are final and binding.

This means that options to dispute a tribunal decision are limited. You can ask your insurer to consider new medical evidence up until 12 months after your hearing, or you can make an application for judicial review to the Supreme Court.

Getting independent legal advice is encouraged attending the Medical Assessment Tribunal can be an empowering experience and you don't have to go through it alone. There are free support services available to help you through the process.

Talk to your insurer or contact workers' compensation regulatory services for further information. You can also speak to a legal representative or a support organization such as the Worker's Psychological Support Service, or the workers' Compensation Information and advisory service.

These services can provide support and guidance on the worker's compensation process and connect you with the community services you need. Further information about medical assessment, tribunals can be found on our website.

Run time: 6 minutes 21 seconds.