13 15 15Call
No win, no fee.
WINNER Personal Injury Law Firm of the Year
Australia's Largest Specialist Personal Injury Firm

Australia's Largest Specialist Personal Injury Firm^

WINNER Personal Injury Law Firm of the Year

NSW Police Compensation Payout Guide.

Police vehicle representing police workers compensation claims.

As a police officer, you regularly face a range of physical hazards from vehicle accidents to assaults. And if you’re like many officers, the stress and trauma of your work can spill over into your personal life. This often leads to psychological injuries like anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Police workers compensation claims are increasing, and over 70% of officers making claims have reported that the process was a poor experience, finding it unsupportive, stressful, and even having a significant negative impact on their recovery*. Police claims can’t be treated like normal claims; they’re unique and they require the support of a specialist workers compensation lawyer with strong experience in police claims.

In this guide to NSW police compensation payouts, we’ve compiled all the information you need to learn:

  • How police claims are different from general workers compensation claims
  • Tips on how to make sure you claim everything you’re entitled to, including lump sum payouts
  • How to get help the right help with your claim to make sure you don’t miss out

*”Experiences of police and emergency services employees with workers compensation claims for mental health issues”

Quick Links:

What can police officers claim for?

Compensation for police officers injured on duty can be different from standard workers compensation claims. On top of medical and rehabilitation costs, there’s also the option for lump sum payments based on factors like how much your injury will affect you in the long term, and whether your employer was at fault.

Here’s a summary of how police workers compensation entitlements differ from a standard claim:

Standard workers comp claims Police workers comp claims
Weekly payments up to 95% of lost earnings for the first 13 weeksWeekly payments up to 100% of lost earnings for the first 26 weeks

Medical expenses

Medical expenses related to the injury for life

Permanent impairment payout (after 15% physical WPI*)

Permanent impairment payout (After 1% physical WPI*)

Work Injury Damages payoutWork Injury Damages payout

Pain and Suffering payout
Superannuation police pension upon retirement or medical discharge
Can access up to 80% of your salary for 52 weeks while retraining or job hunting
*WPI = ‘Whole person impairment’ – this is a scale used to measure the severity of your physical or psychological injuries.

Call 13 15 15 or chat to us now for free advice

Chat now

Find out how much you can claim.

Get started

Police workers compensation claims.

As an injured police officer you may be able to claim:

These are all explained in more detail below.

Workers compensation benefits – lost earnings.

Police workers compensation functions differently from other professions. For example, you may be entitled to 100% of your pre-injury wages for the first 26 weeks, as opposed to the 95% cap in most other industries. This is because police officers are considered ‘exempt workers’ like paramedics and firefighters, so you’re entitled to more compensation than most other professions.  

After the nine-month mark from your injury, if you still have no capacity to work then you can claim approximately 75% of your pre-injury earnings for up to seven years, or until you turn 60. If you’re unable to return to police duties, you can claim up to 80% of your salary for up to 52 weeks while you actively search for another job or complete training with an approved provider^.

If you’ve been injured on duty then it’s likely you can also claim one or more of the lump sums described below.

^NSW Government, Understanding Finances

Workers compensation benefits – medical and treatment expenses.

Police officers are entitled to have any work-related injury costs covered for the rest of their lives. This can include surgery, rehabilitation, specialist treatments, domestic assistance, home or vehicle modification and mobility or assistance aids. If you’re injured on duty, your employer must notify their insurer, who will then start paying your income loss and treatment expenses if they approve the claim.

It’s common knowledge that insurers often deny claims. But having the right lawyer on your side will make it much easier to navigate the disputes process. At Law Partners, we have a strong record with overturning insurers’ decisions, and a 99% success rate with our cases. You don’t have to simply accept what an insurer offers you; if they’re refusing to pay for medical treatment that they deem unnecessary, it isn’t the end of the road. We can deal with the insurer on your behalf and give you the best chance of getting all your relevant costs covered.

Work injury damages (WID) lump sum payout.

You can claim a WID lump sum if your employer has been negligent in some way that either caused or contributed to your injury, resulting in a WPI assessment of 15% or greater.

Negligence can mean failing to provide appropriate safety gear or continuing to allow an officer to respond to a type of incident that has caused them distress in the past. This type of lump sum must be claimed at the end of any other benefits.

What you may not realise is that negligence can result in mental injuries. As a police officer, the pressure of your work can mount, and a lack of appropriate support services for dealing with trauma can lead to serious psychological injuries. If your employer’s lack of support directly caused your mental injuries, this is classified as negligence.

Whole person impairment (WPI) lump sum payout.

For a WPI claim in most industries, you need to prove you have 15% or greater impairment, but for police officers, you only need to demonstrate 1% physical impairment to qualify for a payment. The higher your impairment, the more compensation you’ll be entitled to. The threshold is still 15% for psychological injuries. Receiving a WPI payout doesn’t stop you from continuing to receive weekly benefits for as long as you’re entitled to them.

Pain and Suffering lump sum payout.

A pain and suffering case is run and settled at the same time as a WPI claim. If you’ve experienced 10% or more WPI, you can claim this payment as financial compensation for difficulties you’ve faced because of an injury on duty.

If you’re unsure about what kind of lump sum payments may be available to you, or how to start with a claim, call 13 15 15 to speak to one of our police workers compensation lawyers for free advice about your specific situation.

Police motor vehicle accident claims.

If you’re injured in a vehicle accident on duty, as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian you can make a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claim against the insurer of the at-fault driver. This can result in a lump sum additional to a WPI and Pain and Suffering claim and is separate to the regular workers compensation income and treatment payments.

For more information about making a CTP claim, see our article about car accident compensation claims – your guide.

John's story

I was forced to watch her die

Former policeman John, opens up about the day that changed the course of his life and his brave journey to overcome the mental demons that have haunted him ever since …

Medical discharge.

More than half of those who left the police force in 2021 were medically discharged*, meaning they were no longer deemed fit to work in their profession. If you’re medically discharged, you may be entitled to income protection, worth up to 75% of your pre-injury salary (your base salary, excluding overtime, plus 17% loading for non-commissioned officers) for up to seven years with on-duty claims, or two years with off-duty claims, or until you turn 60**. 

If you’ve been medically discharged due to an injury on duty, it’s critical to seek appropriate medical treatment to help you heal. We can help you access doctors, rehabilitation options, and navigate the process with your employer. It’s especially important that you’re aware of your rights. For assistance with the medical discharge process, send us an email, message, or give us a call and we’ll support you every step of the way.

*Sydney Morning Herald, Injured NSW Police costs more than doubled in three years to $381million

**NSW Police Force, medical retirement frequently asked questions and answers

Call 13 15 15 or chat to us now for free advice

Chat now

Find out how much you can claim.

Get started

Can I claim for psychological injuries as a police officer?

Yes, you can. One in five police officers is at risk of developing PTSD. Psychological injuries are just as serious as physical injuries but are often not discussed or reported. They’re slightly more complex because you have to prove that work was the main cause of your injury if it’s solely psychological. The exception is if a psychological injury has developed as a secondary injury contributed to by a physical injury. For example, if you’re forced to take time off because your leg was broken in a workplace accident which then impacts your self-esteem and general life and leads to depression and anxiety.  

John, Ross, and Tony are working to change the culture of silence. They were all forced to step away from the job they loved due to PTSD. While they each speak of excellent relationships with colleagues, the overall culture made it impossible for them to seek the help they needed.

Heartbreaking police PTSD stories

Approximately 1 in every 5 Australian police officers are at risk of suffering from PTSD with suicidal thoughts one of the major symptoms.

Superannuation-based claims.

TPD claims.

Many superannuation funds include insurance to cover you if you’re unable to return to work, either in your occupation, or any occupation. This is called a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claim, and most Australians aren’t even aware that they’re eligible.

This insurance payout is available if you’re unable to return to work for any reason, be it an injury sustained on the job, or a terminal illness outside of anyone’s control. Either way, you’re protected financially during your life; however family members can’t claim TPD in the case of death. TPD claims require a rigorous and thorough process that can be jeopardised by a single mistake. For the best chance of a successful TPD claim, you can get help from  one of our specialist TPD lawyers today.

Superannuation (pension).

Police officers are protected in retirement by a police pension. When you retire, you can access either a lump sum payment, an indexed fortnightly pension, or a combination of both. The maximum pension entitlement is available to those who have served for over 30 years and is 72.75% of your annual salary at the time of retirement, or a maximum lump sum of 7.95 times your salary. If you’re hurt on duty and medically discharged then you’ll receive a benefit of 72.75% of your salary, no matter how long you’ve served.

Income protection (IP) claims.

Income protection operates instead of your normal salary while you’re receiving workers compensation payments, which will be reduced after 26 weeks. The income protection payments will be 75% of your base salary (which does not include overtime), plus 17% loading for a non-commissioned officer, or 75% of the award salary for a commissioned officer. While you’re receiving income protection you’re also able to take extended, additional, or annual leave to supplement the benefit, though you’ll be unable to take sick leave during that period. You can still accrue leave while you receive income protection.

Police officer deaths on duty.

In the devastating event of an officer’s death on duty, there are safeguards in place to assist those left behind. The Police Blue Ribbon Insurance Scheme works under the Crown Employees (Police Officers Death and Disability) Award 2005 and provides a lump sum payment if an officer dies either on or off duty or is totally and permanently disabled (TPD).

NSW Police Legacy exists to support dependents and the wider family of officers, and there are state-specific and national organisations dedicated to the same cause. They provide support services, benefits, programs, and advocacy, as well as an established community to rally around those who have lost a family member in the line of duty.***

*** NSW Police Legacy

Chantille Khoury is a Principal at Law Partners. She specialises in motor accident injury, public liability and workers compensation.

Chantille Khoury


Chantille is a multi-award-winning, preeminent workers compensation specialist with over 20 years’ experience. Having ranked top 6 nationwide in the highest category of the Doyle’s Guide, Chantille is now providing feedback on policy changes for the Personal Injury Commission and IRO.

Related articles.

Do I have a case?

Our senior lawyers will assess your case for free.