Entry into Comcare’s offices is restricted due to the COVID-19 situation. Find out how you can contact us during this time.

Use space to open navigation items
Learn more about good work
Get the latest national work health and safety news and evidence.

Request access to information

For: Claimants Employers and managers Service providers Advocates Information seekers

You can ask us for information we hold about you, including documents on your compensation claim file. You can also formally request access to documents we hold, under freedom of information.


Request a copy of a document on your claim file

You can ask for a copy of a document related to your claim without putting in a special request. For example, we can provide a copy of:

  • the claim form and documents you submitted to us
  • a letter we sent you, or
  • your payment history.

Call us on 1300 366 979 or contact your claims manager directly.

Obtain claim file documents – section 59 request

We can provide access to information relating to the determination of your claim, under section 59 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

What documents Comcare can provide under section 59

In practice, a section 59 request means that Comcare can provide you with any document held on your compensation claim file, with limited exceptions. An example of an exception is a document covered by legal professional privilege.

Documents that are not held on your claim file are not considered to relate to the determination of your claim for the purposes of a section 59 request.

If you would like to request documents that are not held on your claim file, you may be able to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Who can access documents

You, your employer or your rehabilitation authority are allowed to access information relating to the determination of your claim, under section 59 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

How to obtain documents

To obtain documents under section 59 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988:

Be specific about the documents you want as this helps us manage your request.

Requests for documents should be made in writing. This ensures there can be no misunderstanding or disagreement:

  • over the terms of the request
  • that the person requesting the documents is authorised to do so by:

    - the claimant to whom the documents relate, or
    - the claimant’s authorised representative.

To protect a person’s privacy, we require identification in the form of:

  • the claimant’s claim number or signature, and
  • another form of identification which positively identifies the claimant as being who they claim to be.

We aim to action requests made under section 59 as soon as practicable.

Freedom of information request

You can formally request access to documents we hold under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, with limited exceptions.

Charges may apply for processing documents that do not contain your personal information.

How to make a freedom of information request

Requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 must:

  • be in writing
  • state that the request is an application for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • provide enough information about the documents to assist us to identify them
  • provide an address for reply.

If you ask for documents about another person, we may need evidence that the person has authorised you to act on their behalf.

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 also allows you to request that your personal information be annotated or amended if it is:

  • incorrect
  • incomplete
  • out of date
  • misleading.

Submit your request:

Fees and charges

There is no application fee for a freedom of information request.

There are no processing charges for requests to access documents containing only personal information about you.

However, processing charges may apply to requests for other information. See Table 1 for the most common charges.

Table 1: Processing charges that apply for freedom of information requests for other information.
ActivityCharge
Search and retrieval - time we spend searching for or retrieving a document$15 an hour
Decision making - time we spend deciding to grant or refuse a request. This includes examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletionsFirst 5 hours: No charge
Extra hours: $20 an hour
Transcript - preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar method$4.40 each page of transcript
Photocopy10 cents a page
Inspection - supervision by a Comcare officer of your inspection of documents.  This includes hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our offices$6.25 each half hour or part thereof
Delivery - posting or delivering a copy of a document at your requestCost of postage or delivery

If there is a charge, we give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation.

Where we estimate the charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20. Where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25 per cent deposit before we process your request.

You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for reasons including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. You should explain your reasons and may need to provide evidence.

Freedom of information request disclosure log

See our Freedom of information disclosure log for a list of information we have released in the last 12 months in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Relationship between freedom of information and section 59 requests

A person may make a request under section 59 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

The main differences between section 59 and the Freedom of Information Act are that:

  • there is no requirement under freedom of information for the person requesting the information to have a personal interest in the matter
  • requesting documents and providing them under freedom of information is a more formal process.

If you make a request for documents relating to your claim, and do not specify which legislation you are making the request under, we will usually action the request under the terms of section 59.

If you make a request under section 59 and a request under the Freedom of Information Act, then the parts of the request which relate to section 59 are actioned under that section and the remainder is referred to the relevant Comcare freedom of information officer. We will inform you of this procedure and our actions.

Information Publication Scheme

As an Australian Government agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, Comcare must publish a range of information on our website as part of our Information Publication Scheme.

This includes information on:

  • our structure
  • our duties
  • appointments
  • annual reports
  • our consultation arrangements
  • information we routinely release following freedom of information requests
  • information we routinely provide to Parliament.

For more information, see Information Publication Scheme.

Page last reviewed: 08 November 2019
Get updates from us
Subscribe
Working during the Coronavirus pandemic. Subscribe to eNews to get advice from the national work health and safety authority.

Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 09 Aug 2020

https://www.comcare.gov.au/about/contact/access-to-information