Under the Workers Compensation Act NSW 1987, an injured worker is entitled to weekly compensation for periods of total and partial incapacity.

For the first 13 weeks, a worker is entitled to 95% of pre-injury average weekly earnings (“PIAWE”).

A workers PIAWE is calculated by averaging out their ordinary earnings, and any overtime and/or shift allowance in the 52 weeks before their accident.

From week 14 to 130 weeks, a worker is entitled to 80% of their PIAWE if he/she continues to have no capacity to work or is working less than 15 hours per week. In the event that a worker is being certified fit to do more than 15 hours per week, and returns to work performing the certified amount, they are entitled to receive 95% of their PIAWE. In most instances, a workers employer will pay their employee for the hours they are performing, and the insurer will make a top up payment for the hours the worker cannot perform as a result of their workplace injury/condition.

A worker will be entitled to continuing payments from 131 weeks onwards if they have no current work capacity, which is likely to continue indefinitely. A worker in these circumstances will continue to be entitled to 80% of their PIAWE.

A worker with capacity to perform work who is working no less than 15 hours a week and is in receipt of at least $155.00 per week, must apply to the insurer after 78 weeks for a continuation of weekly payments beyond 130 weeks. The workers compensation insurer will continue making payments for weekly compensation if the insurer assesses and agrees that the worker is unlikely to be capable of working additional hours.

From 53 weeks onwards, a workers PIAWE may decrease if they are receiving overtime, shift allowance, incentive payments or bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, piece rates or commission, as a worker is only entitled to their base rate from this period onwards.

A workers entitlement to weekly compensation will cease after 260 weeks, unless they are assessed as having a whole person impairment in excess of 20%.

If a worker has been assessed at 31% WPI or above, they are deemed to be a worker with the highest needs and are entitled to receive no less than $788.32 per week, irrespective of their PIAWE, if they are receiving less.

A worker is not paid any superannuation benefits for weekly payments made by the workers compensation insurer.

If you or somebody you know has suffered an injury during the course of employment, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively make an online enquiry.

Written by Samantha De Freitas.

Samantha De Freitas is a paralegal in Anna Tavianatos’s Practice Group. Samantha works on a variety of different compensation matters, including workers compensation claims, work injury damages claims, public liability claims and motor vehicle accident claims.

Disclaimer: The content contained in this publication does not constitute legal advice. If you wish to take action based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek legal advice.