The Victorian Government has committed to conducting an enquiry into the outcomes for injured workers with long-term injuries, with a focus on transition points in the system faced by injured workers and employers. In 2015, WorkSafe Victoria (WorkSafe) commissioned a study through ISCRR to fulfil this commitment. The purpose of the VIWOS study was to: • examine the long-term health, social and economic outcomes for workers who do not return to work after a long-term compensable injury. • identify key transition points in the compensation system that can effect recovery. • examine the rates of non-return to work for injured workers who have been off work for a period of at least six months and at key milestone points in the compensation process. • identify factors (e.g. demographic, work, health, medical management, social) that influence recovery and return to work. The original project scope was in three phases, with Phase 1 undertaking a qualitative study through a series of in-depth interviews with injured workers, healthcare providers, employers and insurers to understand factors influencing the development of prolonged claims and consequences for workers who become long-term injured. Phase 2 undertook an analysis of claims data to identify modifiable and non-modifiable factors associated with longer-term claims. The aim of the Phase 3 project was to understand the outcomes for long-term injured workers who were no longer eligible for ongoing wage replacement and had not returned to safe work. This report summarises the findings from the Phase 3 of the Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study (VIWOS).

Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study (VIWOS) Phases 1-3 Summary Report Research Summary

The Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study (VIWOS) was initiated by WorkSafe in 2016. The key focus of the research was on understanding the recovery journey both prior to and beyond 130 weeks of income replacement, which is when a worker will cease receiving income compensation unless they can prove permanent incapacity. This report summarises the findings from the three phases of VIWOS (ISCRR Projects 146 and 184).

Authors: Leembruggen, M; Pejic, D

Keywords: VIWOS; Victorian Injured Workers Outcome Study; Return To Work

Date published: October 2018

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Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study 1 Summary Research Summary

This research summary provides an overview of the Victorian Injured Workers Outcomes Study (VIWOS) Study 1

Keywords: viwos; The Victorian Injured Workers Outcomes Study; return to work; rtw; injured worker

Date published: April 2019

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Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study Study 1 – A qualitative enquiry into outcomes for injured workers in Victoria who have longer term claims Research Report

This study formed the first stage of a mixed-methods research program which investigated outcomes for Victorian workers who are injured and have complex longer term workers’ compensation claims. The study aimed to identify what factors influence the development of prolonged workers’ compensation claims, and the subsequent consequences for injured workers who have longer term claims (LTIWs). It also aimed to identify key events or practices within the compensation process that may be modified to reduce claim duration and/or improve recovery and return to work outcomes for LTIWs. A further aim was to understand the experiences of LTIWs after claim cessation, including if and when they transfer to other income support systems and social welfare services.

Authors: Kilgour, E; Kosny, A

Date published: April 2018

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VICTORIAN INJURED WORKER OUTCOMES STUDY 2 PREDICTORS AND OUTCOMES OF LONGER TERM CLAIMS SUMMARY Research Summary

This study examined standard workers’ compensation claims with a first incapacity date between January 2007 and December 2012, where wage replacement had been received. Demographic, injury, payment and treatment data were extracted from the Victorian Compensation Research Database (CRD), held by the Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR). Claims data were removed from the sample if the injured worker returned to work within the first 52 weeks of the claim, or if the claim was terminated for non-return to work factors (such as failed return to work and fraudulence). A total of 80,322 claims were included in this analysis.

Authors: Cocker, F; Smith, P; Sim, M; Kelsall, H

Date published: June 2018

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Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study Study 2 - Quantitative analysis of the Compensation Research Database (CRD): Predictors and outcomes of longer term claims Research Report

This study was part of a larger mixed-methods program of research aimed at providing information to help reduce claim duration and improve recovery and return to work (RTW) outcomes for injured workers (IWs) in Victoria. The objectives of this study were to identify factors associated with claims becoming long-term, defined as 52 or more weeks of wage replacement (WR), and to examine future outcomes for these long-term claims over the ensuing 18 months (i.e. post-52 weeks to 130 weeks).

Authors: Cocker, F; Smith, P; Sim, M; Kelsall, H

Date published: May 2018

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Survey of long-term injured workers Research Report

The Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study (VIWOS) Research Program was initiated by WorkSafe in 2016. The key focus of the research is on understanding the recovery journey both prior to and beyond 130 weeks of income replacement, which is when a worker will cease receiving income compensation unless they can prove permanent incapacity (referred to as “the 130 week test”).

Authors: Twin, J; Jones, K; Forgan, L; McMillan, J

Date published: November 2018

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