An injured worker does not have an automatic right to retraining. It must form part of a return to work plan or injury management plan and be approved by the insurer and the injured worker.
SIRA offers sponsorship to injured workers to retrain if this will enhance their opportunities to return to work. Any course can be approved but there are some conditions attached.
Injured workers must be in recept of or eligible for weekly payments
Injured workers will not be considered for SIRA funded retraining, equipment or workplace modification when:
- They have accepted any form of damages settlement including a commutation under the WC Act, or a work injury damages settlement
- They have received notification from their insurer that their weekly payments are to cease. If retraining is to be used as a strategy to assist the work return to work following a work capacity decision the retraining is to be completed prior to cessation of payments.
Assistance to start a small business or any form of self-employment will not be approved.
Who can make an application?
Applications for retraining generally come from the rehabilitation coordinator or from the return to work coordinator but there is nothing preventing injured workers from making an application themselves for retraining,
A provider/return to work coordinator must apply for funding by submitting a Vocational program together with:
- An injury management plan and/or return to work plan that integrates the return to work strategy
- A report addressing the relevant principles (this may be within a vocational assessment or workplace assessment report completed by a suitably qualified professional), confirming the intervention and associated costs are reasonably necessary
- The nominated treating doctor’s agreement with the return to work goal and that the proposed retraining, equipment and/or workplace modifications are appropriate to address the worker’s functional capacity and restrictions.
Retraining not only provides injured workers with the capacity to expand the suitable duties they can perform at their work place but can also open doors to other jobs more suitable to someone who is having to adapt to an acquired disability.
Education or Training Assistance
There is a total of $8,000 available to eligible injured workers to assist with retraining to improve their work prospects. To qualify for this assistance the injured worker:
Must be classified as a worker with high or highest needs (a total body impairment of over 20%)
Have been receiving income replacements for over one and a half years
Ensure the education or training program is consistent with the injury management plan.
Demonstrate the program will assist them to return to work
The training program must be delivered by a registered training organization or higher education provider.
To apply for this the injured worker needs to complete the training application form and give this to their insurer. The insurer has 21 days to accept or deny the request.