Calculating the Amount of Workers’ Compensation Weekly Benefits
By Gavin Mills07 Feb 2014
Many of our clients ask us how the amount of their weekly workers’ compensation payment will be calculated after an injury at work.
Many of our clients worry that because they’ve only been earning good money for a short period of time, or that they haven’t been in full time employment for a long period of time prior to the date of their injury, that WorkCover will average out their weekly benefits to reduce the amount of a person’s weekly payment.
This is not how it works.
The truth is that WorkCover are required to pay the net (after tax income tax) weekly earnings of an injured worker from employment during the 12 months prior to the injury that is continuous or intermittent.
This means that if someone is injured on their first day of work, their workers’ compensation weekly benefits will be calculated according to their wages earned for that day. But unfortunately that doesn’t mean that WorkCover will pay weekly benefits dollar for dollar of that persons earnings.
WorkCover are required to pay weekly compensation benefits at a rate of 85% of a person’s net weekly earnings for the first 6 months following an injury, 75% for the following 3 months followed by 70% for the next 3 months.
After one year, payments can drop back to 65% of a person’s pre-accident net weekly earnings.
WorkCover deduct income tax from payments of weekly compensation. WorkCover cannot make other deductions for workers such as compulsory employer superannuation. Some industrial agreements require an employer to continue paying superannuation while an injured worker is off on workers’ compensation but in our experience those types of industrial agreements are few and far between.
Payment of weekly benefits only stops when a person goes back to work, they receive an offer of lump sum compensation, they’ve been receiving workers’ compensation for 5 years or the amount of total workers’ compensation reaches the maximum amount payable.
At GC Law, we’re experts in workers’ compensation claims.
At GC Law, we’re here to help.
If you need legal advice contact GC Law on 1300 302 318 or visit our Free Case Review page, we'll review all the details of your case and potential claim first, to determine if you have a good chance of success in claiming a compensation payout.