Getting back to work after an injury

If you're receiving weekly compensation, we can help you recover from an injury and get you back to work as soon as possible. 

If you're not receiving weekly compensation, you need to visit your doctor to get a medical certificate that says why you can't work and for how long.

On this page

    If you're ready to get back to work

    Your recovery team will talk to you about your options and help you decide if you’re ready to go back to work. It could be for the same job, or doing a different job with the same employer.

    Gradually returning to work

    If you’re not ready to return to work full-time, we can talk to your employer about other options until you’re fit. This could be:

    • reducing your hours
    • changing the type of work you can do.

    ACC7850 Return to work - fit for selected work

    Your rehabilitation plan

    If your injury is longer-term and likely to affect you for more than 13 weeks, we can help you develop your own rehabilitation plan. Your recovery team will work with you, your doctor and your employer. Your plan will include:

    • how we'll help get you back to work
    • what support you'll need at work
    • when your rehabilitation plan begins
    • when your rehabilitation is expected to be complete.

    You can also bring a support person who can help in planning your rehabilitation.

    How long we can support you

    We can support you until you're fit for work and ready for a job that suits your training and experience. This could be short term support or for a longer-term injury.

    You'll need to show us a medical certificate to confirm you can't work. Usually, you'll need to provide one every 13 weeks, or sooner depending on your situation. 

    If you're not ready to return to work

    If you've finished your rehabilitation and your doctor thinks you're ready for work but you disagree, your recovery team can organise another assessment of your situation.

    If your assessment confirms you're fit for work and you disagree with this decision, find out what your next steps are and how to get a review.

    Sort out a problem with your claim

    What support you need to work

    When you’re ready to go back to work, your recovery team or doctor will organise someone outside of ACC to do a workplace assessment. They'll look at what you’ll need to get the job done and to keep you safe. This could be:

    Getting to and from work

    We can organise transport and cover costs to get you to and from work. This could be using a taxi instead of taking the bus, or having a friend drive you.

    Setting up your work station

    We can sort out new or modified equipment and technology for you at work. This could be specialised chairs, voice recognition programmes or altered benchtops.

    Checking-in on your recovery progress

    Your recovery team will check-in regularly with you and your doctor to see how your recovery is going. We can update your rehabilitation plan to gradually increase your hours or tasks at work as you feel able.

    Weekly compensation for your income

    If you're only returning to work part-time, we'll adjust your weekly compensation payments to reflect this. As your hours and earnings increase, how much we pay will then decrease.

    If you can’t go back to the same job

    If you can’t return to your old job because of your injury, we’ll help you to prepare for finding a new one that fits your situation. We can help by:

    Assessing your skills and work options

    We can look at your situation and assess what types of work would suit your skills, education and experience. We'll also assess if you're medically fit to do these jobs. This will help us support you in reaching your goals.

    Getting you back into the job market

    We can help you:

    • re-enter the job market by finding the same type of job but with a new employer
    • help you look for and re-train in a different role that we identified as part of your assessment
    • put together a programme to regain your ability to work and build your confidence through work experience.

    Contact us

    If you have any problems or want to know more about how we can help, talk to your recovery team or contact our claims team:

    Phone 0800 101 996 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5pm)

    Last published: 22 July 2020