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Worker's Compensation Entitlements
Weekly Payments for time off work
There are three situations where you can receive weekly payments from the insurer:
Totally unfit for work
When you are totally unfit for work you are entitled to receive weekly payments of compensation at 95% of your normal basic award rate for the first 13 weeks. From 13 weeks you are entitled to 80% of your normal basic award, up to 130 weeks ( 1 1/2 years ). If you remain totally unfit, after this time, you are entitled to 80% for a maximum of 5 years. After 5 years, if you have a whole person impairment greater than 20% you will remain on 80%, indefinitely. Your injury must be considered serious. All ongoing payments are subject to the Insurer assessing your work capacity.
It is important you ensure the insurer is paying you correctly as they can, on occasion, pay the incorrect rate or calculate your rate on the wrong basis. This may be particularly so if you are a part time worker, casual or not on an award rate.
The insurer is required to make payments very shortly after the claim is made, so if that has not occurred you should contact ISN immediately and we can help you with those payments.
Fit For Suitable Duties
If you are fit for some form of employment then you are entitled to receive 95% of your average weekly earnings less any current earnings e.g. If you are doing 15 hours per week, and were previously doing 36, then your wage will be "topped up" by Workers Compensation payments to a total of 95 % of your wage including any overtime and/or allowances.
Average earnings are assessed as : Your pre injury earnings including any overtime or allowances.
If you have a current work capacity ( any hours, e.g. 2hours x 3 days per week ) then you are entitled to 80% of your average weekly earnings less, any current earnings or capacity to earn.
If you are on suitable or light duties then you should contact ISN as it is important that you receive your correct entitlements.
If you are deemed able to return to work on light duties, for 15 hours or more, and your employer cannot / or does not ,provide them, you will be required to seek other employment.
You have obligations to be looking for work while fit for suitable duties and so it is important you keep a record of what work you are looking for.
You should contact ISN for information regarding your obligations under the law and what benefits you may be entitled to.
Unable To Return To Any Type Of Employment
Your whole person impairment needs to be assessed as above 20% for you to be considered in this category. This will also be subject to a Work Capacity Assessment.
The rate that you receive is indexed usually every six months. You can review the present rate on the workcover website www.workcover.nsw.gov.au
It is important to ensure you are being paid correctly, so you should contact your Solicitor if you have one, or contact ISN who can provide you with information that may assist you.