*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in South Australia.
If you are injured at work in South Australia, you are entitled to pursue a claim pursuant to the Return to Work Act 2014 (SA).
You can receive various types of compensation including weekly payments of income maintenance if you are unable to work as a result of your injury.
You are entitled to a maximum of two years of income maintenance payments while you are unable to work because of your injury. In the first year, you are entitled to weekly payments at 100% of your average weekly earnings rate, and in the second year, you are entitled to weekly payments at 80% of your weekly earnings rate.
If you regain capacity to work, and are earning equal to or more than your average weekly earnings before the 2 year period ends, your income maintenance payments will cease.
You are entitled to seek payment of reasonable medical expenses incurred as a result of your work injury for the entire time you receive income maintenance payments, and for one year after the payments cease.
What if your injury is not resolved?
In South Australia, you are entitled to seek assessment for any permanent impairment you have suffered as a consequence of your work injury. You will nominate an accredited assessor who will assess your injury and determine the percentage of permanent impairment you have suffered. Depending on the assessment of your injury, you may be entitled to lump sum compensation.
If you meet the threshold of impairment, there are two types of payments available for injuries which occurred after 1 July 2015;
- A lump sum payment for non-economic loss; and
- A lump sum payment for economic loss.
Both lump sum payments are calculated based on the date of your injury and the percentage of permanent impairment calculated by the assessor. However, the economic loss payment also takes into account your age at the date of your injury and the average hours you worked per week prior to your injury.
What if you still have no capacity to work?
For some workers, your injuries may be so significant that you are considered to be a seriously injured worker. In this circumstance, your injuries must be assessed at either 30 or 35% depending on the date of your assessment.
If you are a seriously injured worker, you are entitled to weekly payments of income maintenance at 80% of your average weekly earnings rate, for any incapacity to work until you reach retirement age. You are also entitled to reasonable medical expenses incurred as a result of your work injury, for the rest of your life.
Recently, the Return to Work (Scheme Sustainability) Amendment Bill 2022 (SA) was passed through the South Australian Parliament. This will change the threshold that you must be assessed to be a seriously injured worker, among other things. It will come into effect on 1 January 2023.
Get in touch with us
Each State has different legislation that deals with workers compensation. Turner Freeman Lawyers can also assist if you have suffered an injury in Western Australia, Queensland or New South Wales. Please contact our friendly team if you need some advice.