WorkCover Weekly Payments July 2014

WorkCover pays weekly payments until an injured worker can return to pre-injury work, subject to certain time limits. The payments are the highest during the first 13 weeks.

Weekly payments are usually based on the average of the worker's ordinary earnings during the relevant period. These are referred to as pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE).

The relevant period for the purposes of a worker's PIAWE is usually 52 weeks before the injury. If you have been with your employer for less than 52 weeks, the relevant period is the period of employment. Periods of unpaid leave and weeks not worked are excluded from the calculation of PIAWE.

PIAWE can include items such as:

  • your base rate of pay
  • overtime and shift allowances for the first 52 weeks of weekly payments
  • casual loading (if you are casually employed)
  • piece rates (tally or production bonus)
  • commissions
  • the monetary value of certain ‘non-pecuniary benefits’ – use of a motor vehicle, residential accommodation, education fees and health insurance
  • the value of any salary sacrifice

Impact of a worker's capacity for work on weekly payments

Weekly payments are also influenced by your current work capacity. This establishes whether you can return to suitable employment, even if it is not the job that you were doing before the injury or disease.

Weekly payments will be impacted depending on whether you have a current work capacity (you can do some work) or if you work at all.

The table below sets out these entitlements for injuries that started after April 2010:

No current work capacity

Number of weeks Payments
First 13 weeks 95% of PIAWE to a maximum of $2,130 a week
14 weeks to 130 weeks 80% of PIAWE, to a maximum of $2,130 a week
After 130 weeks

80% of PIAWE to a maximum $2,130 a week, if you still cannot do any theoretical work and this is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

Payments may continue until retirement age unless there is a change in the worker's capacity

Some current work capacity

Number of weeks Payments
First 13 weeks

If you have returned to work - 95% of your PIAWE to a maximum $2,130 a week, less what you are currently earning a week

If you have not yet returned to work - 95% of your PIAWE, to a maximum $2,130 a week

14 weeks to 130 weeks

If you have returned to work - 80% of your PIAWE, to a maximum of $2,130 a week, less 80% of what you are currently earning a week

If you have not returned to work - 80% of your PIAWE, to a maximum of $2,130 a week

After 130 weeks

Weekly payments cut out unless you have no capacity to do any theoretical work because of your work related injury/illness and are likely to not to improve

If you have returned to work and are working at least 15 hours a week and earning $184 or more a week; and are likely to remain physically or mentally incapable of working beyond this level, in any job.

The maximum payment is indexed on the first of July every year but your weekly payments are indexed 12 months after the date of injury.

Gwynnyth Evans
Health & Safety/WorkCover/Organiser