When making a workers compensation claim, it is very important you understand your rights in regards to weekly benefits and how they change over the course of the claim.
Immediately after an accident, an injured worker with no capacity is entitled to receive 95% of their pre-injury average weekly earnings. This can continue for the first 13 weeks following the accident. Following this initial 13-week period, if that person still has no capacity to return to work, they are entitled to receive 80% of their pre-injury earnings.
iIf you do have the capacity to return to work in a reduced capacity (no less than 15 hours per week) during the second period (14 weeks and onward), you are entitled to receive 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings less their actual earning.
For an injured worker with less working capacity (who has returned to work for less than 15 hours per week (or who has not returned to work) during the second period of 14-130 weeks is entitled to receive 80% of their pre-injury average weekly earnings less the amount the injured worker is deemed to be able to earn in suitable employment.
Following the first 130 weeks after an injured workers accident, their right to weekly compensation ceases. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. These include:
- An injured worker who is assessed by the insurer as having no work capacity and is likely to continue having no work capacity is entitled to ongoing payments.
- An injured worker who is assessed by the insurer as having current work capacity is entitled to ongoing payment if the injured worker applies to the insurer 52 weeks before the end of the second entitlement period and the injured worker has returned to work for not less than 15 hours per week and is receiving weekly earnings of at least $155.00 per week, and is assessed by the insurer as being permanently incapable of undertaking additional employment or increasing earnings.
An injured worker has no entitlement to weekly compensation after aggregated period of 260 weeks whether it be consecutively or not. This does not apply to an inured worker if the injury results in a permanent impairment of more than 20%.
For workers with more than 20% permanent impairment, entitlement to weekly compensation may continue after 260 weeks.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at work and believe someone else was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. To arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 to speak to one of our compensation experts. Alternatively, you can make an online enquiry.
Written by Faye Salameh.