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13.2.1 Assessing capacity for work

Last amended 
13 September 2016

Determining a person cannot work for more than 10 hours per week for an indefinite period must be supported by evidence from the person's treating doctor and a rehabilitation service provider. A rehabilitation service provider assesses the person's capacity for paid employment (in the context of the labour market and their medical restrictions) and provides an opinion on whether rehabilitation will likely increase this capacity. This evidence is crucial to making a decision. A decision cannot be based on medical certification alone.

A rehabilitation assessment should be used to assist a delegate to make a decision under Section 199, but is not a requirement in itself of Section 199. Section 45 may be used as a guide for delegates in undertaking a rehabilitation assessment in relation to SRDP eligibility but is not binding and Section 50 regarding the consequences of failure to undergo an examination should not be applied (and the person shouldn’t be suspended if they refuse). A rehabilitation assessment in order to determine whether a person meets the criteria under Section 199 should include a review of the person's medical restrictions based on existing medical evidence and liaison with the person's treating doctor/s. An assessment may not necessarily include an examination.

If there is already sufficient evidence to make a decision on whether rehabilitation is likely to increase a person’s capacity for work then a rehabilitation assessment specifically for SRDP is not required (for example there may be an earlier rehabilitation assessment that contains information on the person’s work capacity).  Alternatively, there may be enough existing information that a rehabilitation service provider can review and liaise with the person’s treating medical specialists and then make an informed opinion on whether rehabilitation is likely to increase the person’s capacity without actually undertaking an examination.