Workers Compensation Payout Guide NSW.
If you’ve been injured at work in NSW, you probably know you’re entitled to workers compensation to cover your lost wages and treatment expenses. But you may not know that in NSW around $900 million is paid out in additional lump sum payouts to workers compensation recipients every year.*
Many of our workers compensation clients are already receiving weekly benefits when they come to us for help, but we often uncover additional amounts and lump sums they’re entitled to. If your workers comp claim is simply ‘processed’, there’s a risk you’ll miss out on entitlements, and lump sum payouts can be substantial.
This workers compensation payout guide explains everything you need to know about payouts and settlements in NSW, and how to make sure you receive absolutely everything you’re entitled to.
*According to SIRA Open Data, October 2023
- Workers Compensation Payouts – What you need to know
- Workers Compensation Weekly Benefits in NSW
- Workers Compensation Lump Sum Payouts in NSW
What you need to know about workers compensation payouts.
The first thing to understand is that after you’re injured, even if your workers compensation claim is approved, you won’t automatically receive everything you’re entitled to. We’ve helped thousands of people claim additional amounts, and here are the most common reasons why we find people are missing out:
The insurer may reject part of your claim, such as surgery.
However, insurer decisions can be challenged, and we can often get them overturned.
Your weekly payments may be cut off before you’ve fully recovered.
This is a situation we come across a lot, but with the right evidence, we can often get payments reinstated.
You may be told your level of impairment doesn’t qualify for a permanent impairment claim.
We have hundreds of clients whose whole person impairment (WPI) assessment was revised after we presented additional evidence, which meant they could claim this lump sum.
You may be entitled to a work injury damages lump sum you haven’t claimed yet.
This lump sum is available to workers who are injured as a result of negligence, and we’ve helped thousands of clients claim this additional amount they didn’t know they were entitled to.
Read on to learn more about whether you qualify for additional workers compensation payments or lump sums, and how to get help claiming them.
What is a workers compensation payout?
The first step in getting your full workers compensation entitlements is to understand all the weekly payments, medical expenses, and lump sum payouts you may be eligible to claim:
|Workers Compensation Payments NSW||Description|
|Weekly payments||These are payments to compensate you for lost income while you’re off work.|
|Medical expenses||Payment of your medical, hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation (including home help) and travel expenses.|
|Permanent Impairment payout||A lump sum compensation payout to cover a permanent impairment as a result of a work-related injury or illness.|
|Work Injury Damages payout||Also known as a common law claim, this is a lump sum payout for damages if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.|
As you can see, there are two different lump sum amounts you may be entitled to claim on top of your weekly benefits and medical expenses.
How much will I get paid weekly on workers compensation?
The maximum weekly compensation amount is capped and indexed in April and October each year. The maximum amount from 1 October 2023 to 31 March 2024 is $2,423.60.
The following table summarises the weekly workers compensation payments in NSW you may be eligible to claim for injuries that have occurred after 21 October 2019:
|Weeks 0-13||Up to 95% of pre-accident earnings|
|Weeks 14-130 (no work capacity)||Up to 80% of pre-accident earnings|
|Weeks 14-130 (some work capacity*)||Up to 80% of pre-accident earnings (payments increase to 95% if working 15 hours per week and earning at least $202 per week)|
|Weeks 131-260 (no work capacity)||Up to 80% if you have no work capacity|
|Weeks 131-260 (some work capacity*)||Weekly benefits stop for most, some exceptions apply|
|After 5 years||Weekly payments only available to people with WPI** >20%|
*Able to return to suitable employment but not pre-injury employment
**WPI is whole person impairment – a scale used to measure the extent of your injuries
How long can you claim workers compensation benefits?
You can generally claim workers compensation for up to 5 years. However, if your permanent impairment is greater than 20% and you have been assessed as being unable to work indefinitely, then this five-year limit no longer applies.
Generally, your weekly workers compensation payments in NSW will continue until:
- You’re able to return to work
- You reach a work injury damages settlement
- You’ve been receiving payments for five years (unless your permanent impairment is greater than 20% and you have been assessed as being unable to work)
- You reach the maximum total weekly compensation limit
- You reach retirement age plus one year
Can you get workers compensation for life in NSW?
If you’re assessed as having a degree of permanent impairment of 20% or less, your weekly workers compensation payments in NSW will be limited to five years.
Workers with greater than 20% permanent impairment may be entitled to weekly payments beyond this five-year cap, and are entitled to medical treatment, service, or assistance for life.
What is the maximum payout for workers compensation in NSW?
The maximum entitlement to weekly benefits and lump sum payouts is summarised below:
Maximum total weekly benefits.
In terms of weekly payments, for most people the maximum is $2,423.60 x 5 years – or a total of $630,136.* However, if your permanent impairment is greater than 20% this limit doesn’t apply.
In addition to these weekly payments, you may be entitled to payment for your medical, hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation, and travel expenses.
*As of November 2023
Maximum lump sum payout.
If you make a successful lump sum claim for damages, your lump sum will be paid on top of your weekly benefits. You may also be entitled to a lump sum for permanent impairment. The permanent impairment payout must be made prior to any damages settlement.
The maximum permanent impairment lump sum (as of October 2023) is $713,660.
Workers compensation lump sum settlements in NSW are determined by way of negotiation with the insurer, so it’s strongly advised that you engage a specialist workers compensation lawyer to act on your behalf.
Lump sum payment for workers compensation in NSW – are you eligible?
There are two ways you can get a workers compensation lump sum payment:
|Permanent impairment payout||A lump sum compensation payout to cover a permanent impairment as a result of a work-related injury or illness.|
|Work injury damages payout||Also known as a common law claim, this is a lump sum payout for damages if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.|
Do all workers compensation cases end in a lump sum settlement?
No. Workers compensation payments in NSW are primarily intended to cover lost wages and medical expenses to help people transition back to work. However, your case may end in a settlement in the following circumstances:
- You negotiate with the workers compensation insurer to settle your claim with a lump sum payout. A settlement defines when weekly payments and medical expenses stop.
- You make a successful work injury damages claim and you’re awarded a lump sum payout. A work injury damages payout is a full and final settlement of all your rights and entitlements under the Workers Compensation Act.
How much will I get for my workers compensation lump sum payment?
Workers compensation lump sum payments can be substantial. In the 12 months to December 2022, around $900 million was paid to injured workers in NSW in common law payments and permanent impairment lump sums*. Lump sum payouts for permanent impairment range from $22,480 up to a maximum of $713,660**, and if you’re entitled to a common law damages settlement, it’s paid on top of this amount. So for more serious injuries that were caused by employer negligence, payout amounts can be substantial.
If you’re negotiating a workers compensation payout with an insurer, it’s important that you get independent legal advice on your options.
At Law Partners, we have some of Australia’s leading specialist workers compensation lawyers, and we can negotiate your settlement on your behalf. We win over 99% of our cases, and we pride ourselves on our track record of getting more compensation for our clients.
*According to SIRA Open Data, August 2023
**As of October 2023
If I get a lump sum settlement from workers comp can I return to work?
Yes, you can go back to work when you’re able to do so. Even if you’ve received a permanent impairment payout, if you recover from your injuries and you’re able to return to work, your workers compensation settlement doesn’t prevent you from working and shouldn’t impact how you’re treated at work.
For more information, refer to our Complete Guide to Workers Compensation in NSW.
What is a common law claim / work injury damages payout?
A work injury damages (common law) claim is for a lump sum workers compensation payout you can claim if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.
In NSW, most work injury damages payouts are based on past and future loss of earning capacity. Once you’ve claimed work injury damages, you have no further entitlement to workers compensation benefits (including weekly payments, and medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses) associated with that injury. Also, the weekly payments that have already been paid to you may have to be repaid out of the settlement amount.
Can I claim a work injury damages lump sum payout?
A lot of our workers compensation clients come to us wanting to know if they can make a work injury damages claim. This lump sum isn’t paid to you automatically – you have to apply for it.
You can claim work injury damages if:
- Your work injury was the result of employer negligence
- You have at least 15% permanent impairment and this assessment has been accepted by the insurer or determined by the Workers Compensation Commission
- You have received all statutory lump sum payouts for permanent impairment that you’re entitled to – this must take place before a work injury damages claim can be settled
Can you get a workers compensation pain and suffering payout?
No, in NSW you can’t claim workers compensation (WorkCover) pain and suffering payouts, however, you can claim for permanent impairment, which is essentially a lump sum payment to compensate you for the overall effect your work injury has had on your life. This lump sum payout is in addition to any weekly payments, medical and related expenses that you may have received.
You must have 11% or more permanent impairment for a physical injury or 15% or more for a primary psychological injury to be entitled to receive a permanent impairment payout.
It’s highly recommended that you seek specialist legal advice before lodging a permanent impairment claim. You can get free legal advice by calling 13 15 15.
How do I claim a work injury damages lump sum?
To claim for work injury damages in NSW, you’ll need the following information:
- Details of your injury and impairments
- When the injury happened
- Details of any previous injury or condition that may have caused the impairments
- Details of any compensation you’ve received for the previous injuries or conditions
- Details of previous employment that may have caused the injury
- Details of how your employer breached their duty of care towards you
- The amount you’re claiming as damages and supporting documentation
- A report from a permanent impairment assessor must be included in your claim
To make a successful work injury damages claim, you need to provide strong evidence that you were injured because your employer breached their duty of care to you. We have an excellent track record of success in these claims, and you can get free legal advice from one of our no win no fee lawyers by calling 13 15 15.
Will I have to go to court to get work injury damages?
If you don’t agree with an insurer’s offer of settlement, you may consider starting mediation or court proceedings. Court proceedings for work injury damages must begin within three years of the injury date unless you have the court’s approval.
Our workers compensation specialists have been 100% successful in getting court approval to proceed after three years post-injury. So if you’re concerned about being too late to claim work injury damages, call us on 13 15 15 and we’ll let you know what your options are.
Before you can start mediation or court proceedings for work injury damages, you must serve a pre-filing statement giving the details of the claim, and the evidence you’ll be using to support your claim on your employer or the insurer. In most cases, the claim must be referred for mediation in the Workers Compensation Commission before starting court proceedings.
The Workers Compensation Commission will attempt to mediate and reach a settlement through discussion with all parties.
An accredited specialist in personal injury law, backed by over 15 years’ experience in assisting injured Australians receive everything they’re entitled to with their workers compensation claim.
Do I have a case?
Our senior lawyers will assess your case for free.