NSW WC: Summary of weekly benefits (wage payments)

NSW Workers Compensation: Summary of weekly benefits (wage payments)

Your entitlement to weekly benefits will depend on your capacity to work. Your GP (Nominated Treating Doctor) is required to complete and issue you with a Certificate of Capacity every 28 days. Your capacity to work will fall into one of these three categories. Your GP will certify you as: 

      1. Have no current work capacity (unfit to work);  

      2. Have some work capacity for suitable employment; or  

      3. Fit for pre-injury duties. 

Please see below for a breakdown of your potential entitlements to weekly payments, pursuant to Div 2 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (“1987 Act”):-  

The first 13 weeks of weekly benefits (‘the first entitlement period’) – Section 36 of the 1987 Act

1. 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE), capped at a maximum of $2,318.10 gross per week*, minus: 

      a) The value of any deductible amount if you have no capacity for work, or 

      b) Your current weekly earnings if you are undertaking employment.  

*Note: If 95% of PIAWE exceeds the maximum weekly compensation amount ($2,318.10 gross per week) then the maximum weekly compensation amount is used as the basis for the calculation. 

The calculation of your PIAWE is done differently depending on how long you have been receiving weekly benefits. For the first 52 weeks, the PIAWE is basically the average of your weekly earnings for the first 12-month period prior to your injury, including regularly paid overtime, bonuses, shift allowances or penalties. After the first 52 weeks, PIAWE excludes overtime, shift allowances, bonuses and penalties.  

Week 14 to week 130 (‘the second entitlement period’) – Section 37 of the 1987 Act

1. If you have no current work, you are entitled to weekly benefits at a rate of 80% of PIAWE or the maximum of $2,318.10 gross per week (whichever is lesser).  

2. If you have some current work capacity, and 

      a) You have returned to work for at least 15 hours per week you are entitled to 95% of PIAWE less your actual        earnings or what you are able to earn in suitable employment; 

      b) If you have returned to work for less than 15 hours per week, or have not returned to work, you are entitled to 80% of PIAWE less your actual earnings or what you could earn in suitable employment. 

Week 130 to week 260 (‘the third entitlement period’) – Section 38 of the 1987 Act

After 130 weeks, your weekly benefits will cease unless one of the following conditions is met: 

1. You are assessed by the insurer as having no current work capacity and are likely to continue to have no work capacity indefinitely. The rate at which you will be paid is 80% of PIAWE or the maximum weekly compensation amount (whichever is lesser).   

2. You have some current work capacity, and: 

      a) You apply to the insurer by approved form between weeks 78 and 130 for continuation of weekly benefits; and 

      b) You have returned to work for at least 15 hours per week and earn at least $173 gross per week; and 

      c) You are assessed by the insurer as being, and likely to continue to be, incapable of undertaking additional employment that would increase your current earnings. 

The rate at which compensation will be determined is 80% of PIAWE less the greater of your current weekly earnings or the amount you are able to earn in suitable employment. If you have some current work capacity, then this is a two step hurdle and you must satisfy both steps to be entitled to ongoing payments in this period.  

After 260 weeks – Section 39 of the 1987 Act

After 260 weeks – Section 39 of the 1987 Act  aAfter you have received benefits for a total of 260 weeks, your weekly benefits will cease unless you have an injury which results in permanent impairment greater than 20%.  

If your level of permanent impairment is 20% or greater, your weekly benefits will be calculated as follows: 

      1. If you have no current work capacity and are likely to continue to have no work capacity indefinitely, you will receive benefits at the rate of 80% of PIAWE or the maximum weekly compensation amount (whichever is lesser), less your current weekly earnings or amount you are assessed to be able to earn in suitable employment with consideration of your capacity to work. 

The workers compensation scheme is a complex scheme so if you believe you are entitled to weekly benefits or are unsure, we can provide you with some advice and help guide you through the entire process so that you are fairly compensated. 

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