How much salary will I receive through workers compensation?

Published 13 Dec 2017

Work-related injuries and illnesses cost the country's economy nearly $62 billion a year, according to Safe Work Australia figures.

Unfortunately for employees, they bear more than three-quarters of this total due to lost earnings, but workers compensation is designed to offset the burden and provide a financial safety net to absent staff.

How much you receive in workers compensation depends on various factors, including your salary, the amount of time you are away from the workplace, specific state regulations and any relevant deductions.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) provides extensive information on workers compensation eligibility, but here is a quick guide to the payments to which you should be entitled in NSW.

The first 13 weeks

Workers compensation typically pays out the most in the first few months of your sickness or injury. You should therefore receive, depending on whichever figure is lower, either:

  • 95 per cent of your pre-injury average weekly earnings; or
  • The maximum weekly compensation amount.

Whichever one you are paid will be subject to deductibles, and weekly maximums are capped and indexed in April and October each year. Until April 2018, the limit is $2,101.70.

Weeks 14 to 130

If you are still unable to work after the first 13 weeks, your payments may reduce slightly, depending on your salary. Between weeks 14 and 130, you will earn whichever is less of:

  • 80 per cent of your pre-injury weekly earnings average; or
  • The maximum weekly compensation ($2,101.70).

Again, either payment may incur deductibles that reduce the amount you receive.

Weeks 131 to 260

Once you have been off work for approximately two-and-a-half years, your payments will cease unless a formal assessment shows you have no work capacity for the foreseeable future.

If you are unable to work indefinitely, you will receive the same options for payment as provided between weeks 14 and 130.

What should I do after 260 weeks?

Workers compensation ceases after five years unless you are diagnosed with a permanent injury or illness that is ruled to be greater than 20 per cent of a whole person impairment (WPI). 

However, you may still be entitled to medical treatment for two years if you have a WPI of between 0 and 10 per cent. This entitlement can last for up to five years with a WPI of between 10 and 20 per cent.

Would you like to know more about workers compensation payments in NSW? Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers if you feel you are entitled to make a claim.