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ICA joins project to streamline work disability system

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has joined a public/private sector project to better align the various parts of Australia’s work disability system and deliver better outcomes for people with health conditions.

The collaborative partnership to improve work participation was established by Comcare and launched at the ICA annual forum last week.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan says Australia has a complex and fragmented approach to helping people with illness and injury to participate in the workforce and obtain meaningful employment.

The partnership aims to simplify the experience for people who may be dealing with multiple state and commonwealth schemes and service providers administered by public and private organisations.

The work disability system includes workers’ compensation, motor accident compensation, life insurance, veterans’ compensation disability support and superannuation.

Comcare CEO Jennifer Taylor says the sectors generally operate with little reference to each other despite overlap.

“Many people making group life insurance claims, for example, pass through workers’ compensation or compulsory third-party systems on the way.

“There is a growing realisation that what happens in one system impacts others, and the costs often just shift between the systems.”

The partnership also includes insurer EML, the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Department of Social Services.