WorkCover weekly payment terminations and reinstatement

WorkCover weekly payment terminations and reinstatement

This article was updated on 23 April 2024.

If you have an accepted WorkCover claim and have no capacity for your pre-injury duties, you are entitled to weekly payments of lost income for up to 130 weeks.

However, many injured workers find that after this time their payments are terminated. If the matter is revisited, at Conciliation or the Magistrates' Court, the injured worker may be offered and have accepted a limited amount of weekly payments.

Has this happened to you? Do you know what to do if your condition deteriorates? Are you able to have your weekly payments reinstated?

Why are WorkCover payments terminated after 130 weeks?

The reason for termination of WorkCover income support is because if you have not returned to work after 130 weeks and wish to continue claiming weekly payments you must satisfy a strict test. This test requires you to prove you have no current work capacity and that this is likely to continue indefinitely. This means no capacity for any employment for which you are suited.

If you reach 130 weeks of payments on or after 31 March 2024, you will also be required to meet an additional hurdle of being assessed as having a whole person impairment (WPI) of greater than 20 per cent. You cannot combine physical and psychological impairments to meet this WPI threshold, and it is only the impairment caused by the accepted work injury that will be taken into account.

To learn more about the amendments to the WorkCover legislation introduced on 31 March 2024, please read Changes to WorkCover laws by the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Modernisation Act 2023.

Case Study - Derks v CSR Virdian

In August 2019, Magistrate Wright found Mr Derks, who had settled his entitlement to weekly payments in 2005 at the County Court, was able to claim for weekly payments again.

This was despite his settlement being approximately 14 years ago and being described as a full and final settlement of his claim to weekly payments.

His Honour found the 2005 settlement represented an agreement in relation to Mr Derk's capacity to work up to the date of the 'consent orders', being 2005, but not thereafter.

Magistrate Wright ruled that Mr Derk was therefore able to claim for weekly payments again, as long as he could demonstrate he had suffered a deterioration or change of circumstances.

What does this mean for workers?

Injured workers should be aware that a full and final settlement of their entitlement to weekly payments does not necessarily mean they are prevented from ever requesting further payments, but workers will also need to be mindful of the additional threshold test that is required for workers who had not reached the 130 week mark of weekly payments prior to 31 March 2024.

If your condition has deteriorated further, or there has been a change in your circumstances, call us for free legal advice directly from a lawyer on (03) 9321 9988.

What are my WorkCover entitlements?

If you have an accepted WorkCover claim and have no capacity for your pre-injury duties, you are entitled to weekly payments of lost income for up to 130 weeks. However, many injured workers find that after this time their payments are terminated.

Why are WorkCover payments terminated?

If the reason for termination of WorkCover income support is because you have not returned to work after 130 weeks and wish to continue claiming weekly payments you must satisfy a strict test. This test requires you to prove you have no current work capacity and that this is likely to continue indefinitely.

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