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If your work related injury or condition is causing you a permanent impairment you are entitled to make a claim for lump sum compensation.

Return to Work Act

Section 58 of the Return to Work Act 2014 provides for a monetary entitlement for non economic loss where a worker suffers at least a 5% whole person impairment (“WPI”) arising from their work injury or condition.

A few key points about section 58 entitlements:

    1. WPI is assessed by a specialist accredited with Return to Work SA. The injury or condition must have stabilised (i.e. reached maximum medical improvement) before permanent impairment can be assessed.
    2. A worker (or their legal representative) can request to have a permanent impairment assessment, or the worker’s case manager can initiate the process.
    3. Section 58 compensation is payable for the percentage WPI of 5% or greater. The amount of compensation is fixed at each percentage of WPI at and above 5% as provided in the Schedule of Sums. For example, compensation for a 5% WPI for an injury occurring on 1 January 2017, is fixed at $12,336.00.
    4. An extract of the Schedule of Sums is provided below for percentage of WPI between 5 and 10%:
WPI degree 01/07/2015 to 31/12/2015 1/1/2016 1/1/2017
5 $12,051 $12,188 $12,336
6 $13,766 $13,922 $14,091
7 $15,513 $15,689 $15,880
8 $17,351 $17,548 $17,761
9 $19,281 $19,500 $19,737
10 $21,209 $21,450 $21,710
  1. Impairment from the same injury or cause is combined when assessing WPI.
  2. Impairment for unrelated injuries or causes will be disregarded in assessing a worker’s WPI.
  3. The consequences of surgery (e.g. scarring) which give rise to a permanent impairment can, in some circumstances, be combined with impairment from the original injury.
  4. Only one assessment of permanent impairment is allowed for injuries that arise from the same trauma.
  5. A worker suffering at least a 30% WPI is a “seriously injured” worker and has specific statutory entitlements, including the entitlement to sue a negligent employer for damages.
  6. No entitlement is available to section 58 compensation for psychiatric injury or consequential harm.

It is intended that the assessment of permanent impairment be ‘once and for all’. It is therefore important that a worker seek advice before proceeding with an assessment of permanent impairment to ensure that all injuries or conditions will be considered.

Where a worker was injured after 1 July 2015, and suffer at least a 5% WPI there is a separate entitlement to lump sum compensation for  economic loss, except for claims for hearing loss and psychiatric injury which are specifically excluded. Economic loss is calculated with reference to a worker’s percentage of WPI, age and number of hours worked.

Turner Freeman can act for you in relation to any aspect of your workers compensation claim, including a claim for lump sum compensation. Contact us on 8213 1000 to arrange an initial free, no obligation discussion with one of our personal injury lawyers.

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