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Calculating 260 weeks of entitlement

What does aggregate mean?

When calculating an aggregate period of 260 weeks of weekly compensation, this could either be consecutive or non-consecutive weeks.

What is an entitlement week?

Any week in which a payment of weekly compensation has been made or is payable (including part of a day, or a full day), is counted as one week of entitlement.

When does an entitlement week start?

A ‘weekly payment of entitlement’ commences on the day of the worker’s first incapacity (total or partial) from a work related injury that results in a weekly payment of greater than $nil. A week is counted over the following seven-day period.

What constitutes a week will vary for each worker; there is no set period (i.e. Sunday to Saturday).

Example: a worker has no current work capacity as a result of an injury, and receives weekly payments of compensation commencing from Wednesday. The worker’s week will therefore commence from Wednesday, to the following Tuesday.

When does the 260 entitlement week count?

Under workers compensation legislation, the weekly payment count start date depends on when the worker was injured and made a claim.

For a claim made prior to 1 October 2012 (referred to as an ‘existing claim’) the 260 week count commences 1 January 2013.

For claims made on or after 1 October 2012 the 260 week count commences on the workers first day of incapacity.

How will a worker be informed of the total number of weeks paid?

The insurer will continue to communicate with the worker regarding their entitlements to weekly payments.

Communications should clearly inform the worker how the insurer has counted the entitlement weeks so that it can be easily understood by the worker. The information provided should include:

  • a summary of all payments made
  • how many entitlement weeks have been paid, or are payable
  • when a workers weekly payments are expected to cease.

Where there are queries or disagreement as to the number of entitlement weeks paid (or payable), these should be discussed directly with the insurer as soon as possible.

It is important that all matters are fully resolved well in advance of 260 weeks, when entitlement to weekly payments ceases.

Centrelink

Centrelink assess each application based on individual circumstances, and the worker is encouraged to do their own research by visiting the website or contacting the Centrelink call centre on 13 24 68.

Note: before Centrelink are able to process an application, both the worker and insurer must agree on the number of entitlement weeks paid (or payable).

Exempt categories of workers

The information provided in this fact sheet does not apply to:

  • exempt categories of workers (police officers, paramedics or fire fighters)
  • coal miners

volunteers prescribed by the Workers Compensation (Bush Fire, Emergency and Rescue Services) Act 1987, or other voluntary work or unpaid employment.

Legislation

This information is based on the Workers Compensation Act 1987.