Occupational Therapists for Medico-Legal Matters

Occupational Therapists are crucial in medico-legal settings, aiding legal teams and insurance agencies (just to name a couple) with their expert insights on the functional abilities and rehabilitation needs of individuals. Discover how they can illuminate your case below.

Make Enquiry

What is an Occupational Therapist?

Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals focusing on enabling individuals to live more fully and independently despite physical, cognitive, or social limitations. They assess and provide strategies for improving daily living skills, work performance, and overall quality of life.

An Occupational Therapist (OT) is a healthcare professional who helps individuals overcome challenges in performing everyday activities. They work with people of all ages who may have physical, cognitive, or emotional difficulties. Occupational therapists assess a person’s abilities and develop interventions to enhance their skills and independence in activities such as self-care, work, and leisure. In the context of medico-legal services, an OT may be involved in evaluating how an injury or illness affects an individual’s occupational functioning and providing expert opinions on the impact for legal or insurance purposes.

What Conditions Do Occupational Therapists Address?

Occupational therapists (OTs) can address a wide range of conditions across different age groups. Some common areas of focus include physical impairments or disabilities, neurological disorders, mental health, paediatric conditions, workplace injuries, chronic conditions and rehabilitation. They play a significant role in rehabilitation, helping individuals develop or regain skills needed for day-to-day living and work.

How Do Occupational Therapists Work with Red Health?

Occupational Therapists within the Red Health Referral Network are dedicated to provide expert opinions on how specific conditions impact an individual’s ability to perform occupational tasks, and activities of daily living along with social and recreational activities.

Please note that while Red Health provides medico-legal reports from Occupational Therapists, we do not facilitate appointments for treatment purposes.

What Subspecialties Do Occupational Therapists Have?

Occupational therapists can specialise in various sub-fields to address specific client needs. Some common sub-specialties within occupational therapy include:

  • Paediatric Occupational Therapy
  • Geriatric Occupational Therapy
  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Hand Therapy
  • Mental Health
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Driver Rehabilitation

What Matters and Conditions Can Occupational Therapists Assess?


Our clients utilise Occupational Therapists from the Red Health Referral Network in providing opinion in claims relating to Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA), Compulsory Third-Party Insurance (CTP), Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), Workers’ Compensation (WC) and Public Liability (PL). Their opinions capture the impact that injury and illness can have on an individual through specialised functional testing which is specific to their specialty. There reports are often rely on and referred to medical specialists to support medical opinion on recommended treatment, rehabilitation and compensation related damages.


Occupational therapists are trained to assess a broad range of medical conditions that may impact a person’s ability to engage in daily activities. These conditions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Orthopaedic conditions
  • Neurological conditions
  • Mental health conditions
  • Developmental disorders
  • Chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain
  • Hand and upper extremity conditions
  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Traumatic injuries

Can I consult an Occupational Therapist via Red Health for treatment?

No, Red Health’s focus is on connecting clients with Occupational Therapists for medico-legal opinions. For treatment needs, please consult your primary healthcare provider.

How does an Occupational Therapist’s opinion in a medico-legal case differ from other medical professionals?

While occupational therapy shares some common ground with other healthcare professions, such as physical therapy, its distinctive focus on daily activities and holistic, client-centered approaches sets it apart along with the specialised functional testing they administer to determine levels of capacity.

In the context of medico-legal services, occupational therapists may provide expert opinions on how specific medical conditions impact an individual’s occupational functioning, supporting legal and insurance evaluations.

How does an Occupational Therapist differ to an Occupational and Environmental Physician?

Occupational Therapists and Occupational and Environmental Physicians are distinct healthcare professionals with different roles, training, and areas of expertise.

OTs are allied health professionals who hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational therapy. They undergo specialised training to assess and address the impact of physical, cognitive, or emotional challenges on a person’s ability to engage in daily activities. They focus on providing holistic and client-centered interventions to help individuals develop, regain, or adapt skills necessary for daily activities. They address a broad range of physical, mental, and developmental conditions. They have direct, hands-on interactions with clients, providing individualised assessments and interventions to help clients achieve their functional goals.

OEPs are medical doctors who have completed additional training in occupational and environmental medicine.  They specialise in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of work-related illnesses and injuries. They assess the impact of occupational and environmental factors on health, provide medical advice for workplace accommodations, and may be involved in occupational health and safety. OEPs may interact with individual workers, but their focus often includes broader aspects of occupational health management, such as policy development, workplace risk assessment, and advising employers.

How long does a medico-legal consultation with an Occupational Therapist usually take?

The length of consultations can vary, but they typically last between 60 minutes and 2 hour, depending on the case’s complexity and the information required.

Is the opinion of an Occupational Therapist in medico-legal matters considered conclusive?

An Occupational Therapist’s opinion in medico-legal matters is highly valued, especially regarding an individual’s functional capacity and restrictions. This is due to the specialised physical testing that they administer which accurately records an individuals functional ability and restrictions. They also utilise questionnaires which are completed with the individual to further understand the impacts of injury and illness. 

Education, Certification, and Training for Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists offering medico-legal opinions should have extensive experience and knowledge in their field. In addition, they need to understand the legal expectations for expert witnesses and may undertake additional training to enhance their courtroom communication skills.

Common Occupational Therapist acronyms explained:


Occupational Therapist


Master of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapist, Registered


Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant


Occupational Therapy Australia


World Federation of Occupational Therapists


Allied Health Professions Australia


Continuing Professional Development (relevant for ongoing education and certification)



Ask a question,
Get Advice, or Book Now