Published: 06 November 2020
Author: Leondina Raneri

How do WorkCover top up payments work?

If you are injured and your WorkCover claim is accepted, you are generally entitled to receive weekly payments for a maximum of 130 weeks.

In order to receive weekly payment you must provide your employer with a Certificate of Capacity from your doctor.

First Entitlement Period – 13 Weeks

For the first 13 weeks of incapacity you are entitled to receive 95 per cent of your Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) up to a maximum payment of $2,460 per week.

Second Entitlement Period – Week 14 to Week 130

From week 14 to week 130 of incapacity you are entitled to receive 80 per cent of your PIAWE up to a maximum of $2,460.

After 52 weeks your weekly payments will be further reduced if your PIAWE included shift allowances, other allowances or overtime payments.

Weekly Payments after 130 Weeks

After 130 weeks payments will only continue if you are considered to be unfit to perform any suitable work and if incapacity is likely to continue indefinitely.

Alternatively, you may be entitled to receive top up payments where you have returned to work. By working at least 15 hours per week earning at least $205 per week, your work related injury or illness means it is unlikely you will be able to work any more than this in the future. In this scenario you are entitled to claim top up payments at the rate of 80 per cent of your earnings.

You can work more than 15 hours per week, but you must be working at your full capacity. If the insurer or Medical Panel believes you have capacity beyond that which you are exercising, your request for top up payments will be denied.

It is therefore important that injured workers whose payments are terminated after 130 weeks contact a lawyer to obtain advice.

The sobering statistics

A Victorian worker recently died after falling under a reversing truck while working at a Yarraville transport depot. It is believed the 65-year-old was directing a co-worker to reverse a truck and trailer into a shed when he stumbled and fell into the path of the trailer.

This recent death brings the workplace fatality toll to 60 for 2020, which is four more fatalities than at the same time last year.

Meanwhile, WorkSafe is encouraging businesses to put safety first as they reopen post lockdown. Employers are being warned to put health and safety first, including COVID-19 safety.

WorkSafe reports that since the pandemic started WorkSafe inspectors have made more than 15,000 workplace visits and enquiries to ensure COVID-19 compliance and issued more than 460 notices for COVID-19 related health and safety failures.

Common issues have been workers not working from home where possible, inadequate personal protective equipment, failing to enforce social distancing, poor hygiene controls, lack of health screening and not having procedures for when an employee tests positive.

Legal advice in navigating WorkCover is advised and the first meeting with a Stringer Clark lawyer is free. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to make a WorkCover claim, please contact us on 1800 641 743 or enquiries@stringerclark.com.au.

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