Payments when unable to work

If you have no capacity for work as the result of a work related injury you may be entitled to receive weekly payments.

Payments for the first 13 weeks

For the first 13 weeks where you have no work capacity, your weekly payment is based on whichever is less:

Payments for 14 to 130 weeks

From 14 to 130 weeks of weekly payments, where you continue to have no work capacity, your weekly payment is based on whichever is less:

Payments for 131 to 260 weeks

Between 131 to 260 weeks, your weekly payments will cease unless you are assessed as having no current work capacity, and this is likely to continue indefinitely.

If this is the case, your weekly payment is based on whichever is less:

Payments after 260 weeks (five years)

Weekly payments will cease after five years unless your level of permanent impairment is greater than 20 per cent.

Payments for exempt workers and volunteer bush fire fighters or emergency and rescue services volunteers

Different payment arrangements apply to police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, volunteer bush fire fighters, emergency rescue services volunteers.

First 26 weeks of incapacity

In general, an exempt worker is entitled to weekly benefits based on their 'current weekly wage rate', before the injury.

The current weekly wage rate is calculated:

  • for workers paid under an award, industrial or enterprise agreement as 100 per cent of the rate of remuneration for one week of work (excluding overtime, shift work, payments for special expenses and penalty rates), or
  • for workers not employed under an award, industrial or enterprise agreement as 80 per cent of average weekly earnings (including regular overtime and allowances)

After 26 weeks

In general, after the first 26 weeks of incapacity, the weekly benefit paid to exempt workers is a fixed rate, known as the 'statutory rate'.

Or 90 per cent of the worker's average weekly earnings, whichever is lesser.

The statutory rate indexed twice each year in April and October. The statutory rate for a single worker from 1 April 2017 to 30 September 2017 is $490.40. The statutory rate applicable to earlier periods is detailed in our workers compensation benefits guide.

Payments when suitable work is not available

You may receive weekly payments if you have capacity for suitable work, but no suitable work is provided by your pre injury employer.

Section 38 payments for exempt claimants-partial capacity

A weekly payment may be paid if you have some capacity to work, but not full capacity to return to your pre-injury work. This payment may be made if your pre injury employer does not provide you with suitable work.

To be eligible for a section 38 benefit you must be:

  • partially incapacitated for work and not suitably employed, and
  • undertaking taking reasonable steps to obtain suitable employment including job seeking and / or undergoing rehabilitation or training

Further information

Pre-injury weekly earnings

Pre-injury average weekly earnings are calculated by your insurer based on information provided by you or your employer and reflect how much you were earning prior to your injury.

During the first 52 weeks of weekly payments, the calculation of pre-injury average weekly earnings includes ordinary earnings plus overtime and shift allowance payments.

After 52 weeks of receiving weekly payments the calculation of pre-injury average weekly earnings will not include overtime and shift allowance payments.

Maximum weekly compensation amount

The maximum weekly compensation amount is capped and indexed in April and October. The maximum amount from 1 April to 30 September 2017 is $2084.90 per week.


A worker is entitled to receive weekly payments for up to 12 months after reaching retiring age. Read our retirement payments page for more information

Disputes and complaints

Sometimes there can be disputes about compensation.  If there’s a dispute, there’s help available. Our workers compensation disputes section has more information on how we can help.

If you are dissatisfied at any stage with the management of your injury, you can contact the Workers Compensation Independent Review Officer (WIRO) at or call them on 13 94 76.