Our focus on Rehab
If you’ve been injured at work, rehabilitation could be a good fit for you.
Returning to work restores more than your income; it can also restore your sense of purpose. We have access to one of the largest and most experienced team of rehabilitation professionals in Australia. They’re here to support you in your recovery, and a number of PSSap members can attest to the benefit they received by knowing someone was there to help them.
“There is strong evidence that re-employment leads to improved self-esteem, improved general and mental health, and reduced psychological distress and minor psychiatric morbidity.”
Waddell, G, and Burton, A.K. (2006) Is work good for your health and well being? London: TSO
As part of your income protection, the Insurer may cover the cost of rehabilitation programs designed to help you return to some form of work. Services available include:
- Workplace assessments to identify solutions (and equipment) to support your return to work plan.
- Career guidance to explore alternative work options when you are unable to return to your role.
- Holistic work readiness programs (including fitness and coaching) to assist in ensuring you’re confident and ready to return to the workforce once recovered.
- Improving your skills and capabilities so that your return to work is sustainable over the long term.
The rehabilitation team works in collaboration with you, your employer and any other approved rehabilitation program provider in search of the best outcome for you.
While the offering and timing of rehabilitation services will vary from person to person depending on your medical situation, workplace arrangements and personal circumstances, you are most welcome to contact us at any time to discuss your circumstances and whether a rehabilitation program might be right for you.
Dean had been considering ditching his income protection insurance. Then he was hit with a mystery illness that took years to treat. He stopped work, and would’ve faced financial ruin if it weren’t for his insurance.
Through a rehabilitation program, Dean was able to regain his strength, his purpose and his dignity. Rehab wasn’t easy, but Dean says he cannot recommend it highly enough.
How Rehab and lifePLUS cover work together
lifePLUS cover integrates the temporary and permanent disability benefits which seek to provide support for members while they recover from their injury or sickness, and also provides the necessary time to make a clear determination on a persons’ ability to ever work again.
lifePLUS cover income protection benefits provide access to a number of rehabilitation services when you claim, and supports you through your injury or illness to ensure you can get back to being you.
Sometimes however, it isn't always possible to completely recover and determining a person’s ability to ever work again is a serious matter. It can take some time for the full extent of a person’s condition to become clear. For this reason, we have qualifying periods in place so we can make the fairest and most accurate assessment possible. The default TPD qualifying period is 24 months, allowing members to make the most of our rehab services before making a decision on whether they are totally and permanently disabled, although depending on the injury or sickness and the resulting part of the TPD definition that applies, the qualifying period may be 6 months or not apply at all.
Maximising return to work opportunities ...
To maximise the success of our rehabilitation and early intervention programs, it is important to engage early on in the injury or sickness. There is no need to wait for the expiry of your income protection waiting period to engage with us – in fact you should chat to us about the claim process and your options as soon as you're aware that you might be off work for an extended period.
Our insurance products can run in conjunction with a Comcare process – we work collaboratively with Comcare and can complement this process with a broader range of rehabilitation options and financial support if the Comcare claim is declined or delayed. Rehab can support any return to work programme in place.
... and ensuring the efficient processing of your claim
The earlier that we are aware of a potential injury or illness, the earlier we can begin to work with you to progress your claim and assess if rehabilitatin can assist you, whether that be income protection or Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD). Where return to work and rehabilitation is not successful or a viable option, we can begin the process of assessment to ensure that your claim is dealt with as sensitively and efficiently as possible. Superannuation claims can run alongside workplace claims and early notification of a claim can increase the successfulness of any rehabilitation programme and can also help reduce other flow on impacts like relieving the pressure of having to meet financial obligations (such as paying rent).
The importance of early notification – Recently a PSSap member contacted us in a distressed state regarding the time it took to assess her claim. The member was about to be evicted for failure to pay her rent and the financial worry was impacting her medical recovery.
While we had only recently received the claim, the member had been off work for about 6 months and was relying on her Comcare claim to be approved so she could meet her financial obligations. It was only when this claim was declined by Comcare that an income protection claim was lodged. Unfortunately, the delay in us being notified of a claim has limited the opportunity for rehabilitation and placed undue stress on the member.
Happily, this story ends well – we were able to work with our insurer to ensure that there was no rental eviction and thankfully the right outcome was achieved. However, much of the stress caused throughout the process could have been alleviated through opening channels of communication right at the beginning of the claims process.