A permanent impairment assessment by the Medical Assessment Tribunal – Psychiatric (MAT) is intended to determine:
- What psychological injury you have sustained;
- Whether your psychological injury is indeed stable and stationary (or whether you need more treatment); and
- The nature and extent of any permanent psychological impairment you now have.
How to prepare for an MAT appointment?
Do not take any medication before the appointment, as you want the tribunal to assess how your psychological injury is impacting on you without medication. Let them know, if asked, how often you normally take the medication but that you haven’t taken it that day.
Give some thought as to the questions that you might be asked and prepare for those questions. Take notes with you if necessary.
Focus on the impact that the injury has had upon you and your life, rather than any poor treatment that you might have received from your employer or WorkCover.
The doctors may ask you about what caused your psychological condition, the impact those events had on you, the symptoms you have experienced, the treatment you have had, the medication you have taken and the impact on your home life, social life and work life.
In particular, they will be looking at how you have been impacted in the following areas:
- Self-care and personal hygiene;
- Social and recreational activities;
- Social functioning (relationships);
- Concentration, persistence and pace; and
They are guided by the following tables in that regard:
They will also want to know whether you have ever had any similar or other pre-existing psychological issues.
Keep in mind that they will have already reviewed your medical records to get some background on this.
So what happens during the assessment
The MAT will have reviewed any medical records and reports already sent to them prior to you seeing them.
They will then observe you and will ask you lots of questions about how you have been affected.
They may also request that you undertake blood tests to see if there is evidence of you taking the medication you are claiming to take and/or to see if there is anything else that might be contributing to your depressive state (eg marijuana abuse can lead to depression).
The MAT will then provide their report to WorkCover, which might take a week or two.
Keep a record of your travel costs (kms) and parking expenses, as you may be able to be reimbursed for these by WorkCover Queensland.
Notice of Assessment
If the Medical Assessment Tribunal determines that your psychological injury is stable and stationary, they will assess the degree of permanent impairment that you are suffering (if any) and provide a report to WorkCover setting that out.
WorkCover will then issue a Notice of Assessment stating the degree of permanent impairment that has been assessed and, if you have more than a 0% degree of impairment, then they will include a lump sum offer for that permanent impairment in the Notice of Assessment.
Please DO NOT accept any lump sum offer from WorkCover without first seeking legal advice, as this will (in most cases) prevent you from being able to pursue a common law claim.
We would recommend that you simply forward that Notice of Assessment to your legal representative so that he or she can provide you with their advice and recommendations on how to proceed.