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28.2 S57(2) suspensions (medical exam)
In contrast, where a client has been suspended for compensation under S5 — 7(2), i.e. for failure without reasonable excuse to attend a medical examination required by the Delegate, the suspension relates only to that claim to which the proposed medical examination related. The client may continue to receive benefits under other accepted claims, or to progress investigations for other injuries, unrelated to the suspended claim.
Suspension of compensation will generally not occur purely at the liability stage unless liability is being review in conjunction with eligibility for certain compensation. However, s57 also allows for the suspension of the claim even where no compensation is being paid. So, where a client has failed to attend a medical examination purely for liability purposes the delegate may suspend the continuation of that investigation until the client complies.
However, this course of action is a last resort which is not recommended if there are alternatives. Firstly, the client should be given a warning and an opportunity to provide a reasonable excuse for their non-attendance. The delegate may wish to provide an opportunity for the client to attend another appointment, or if it appears that the client is being obstructive to the investigation process, suspend the investigation of the claim and request that the client make their own arrangements for another appointment should they wish the claim to proceed. Note that if a claim is suspended, the 'time taken to process' for that claim is also suspended until the client attends the medical appointment.
Even if a client has failed to attend a medical examination it is generally best practice to continue the investigation until they do attend. Other investigations, such as requesting ADF records, can continue in the meantime, so the delegate can expedite the claim efficiently once the medical report is received.