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Workers compensation payout guide.

Worker Suffers An Injury At Work And Is Worried He Could Be Terminated.

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 might also be entitled to lump sum payouts for permanent impairment and damages, and these payouts can be significant.

This guide explains everything you need to know about workers compensation payouts in NSW, how to know if you’re entitled to any lump sums, and how to get free legal help to claim your maximum payout.

What workers compensation payouts are available?

It’s important to understand that if you’re injured at work in NSW, your full entitlements won’t just be paid to you automatically. But you can take steps to make sure you get your maximum payout.

The first step is to understand what you can claim. The following table outlines the weekly benefits, medical expenses and lump sum payouts that are available:

Workers Compensation Payments NSWDescription
Weekly paymentsThese are payments to compensate you for lost income while you’re off work.
Medical expensesPayment of your medical, hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation (including home help) and travel expenses.
Permanent Impairment payoutA lump sum compensation payout to cover a permanent impairment as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
Work Injury Damages payoutAlso known as a common law claim, this is a lump sum payout for damages if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.

What weekly benefits can I claim on workers compensation?

This table summarises the weekly workers compensation payments you may be eligible to claim for injuries that have occurred after 21 October, 2019:

Entitlement PeriodEntitlement
Weeks 0-13Up 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 $200 per week)
Weeks 131-260 (no work capacity)Up to 80% if no work capacity is likely to continue indefinitely
Weeks 131-260 (some work capacity*)Weekly benefits stop for most, some exceptions apply
After 5 yearsWeekly 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

The maximum weekly compensation amount is capped and indexed in April and October each year.

The maximum amount from 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022 is $2,318.10.


What’s the maximum payout for workers compensation in NSW?

In terms of weekly payments, for most people the maximum is $2318.10 x 5 years – or a total of $602,706. 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 of your medical, hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation, and travel expenses.

What about lump sum payouts?

There are two ways you can get workers compensation lump sum payouts:

Permanent impairment payoutA lump sum compensation payout to cover a permanent impairment as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
Work injury damages payoutAlso known as a common law claim, this is a lump sum payout for damages if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.

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. Your permanent impairment payout must be made prior to any damages settlement.

How much will I get for my workers compensation payout?

Workers compensation lump sum settlements in NSW are determined by way of negotiation with the insurer, and they can be substantial. For example, lump sum payouts for permanent impairment range from $22,480 up to a maximum of $631,370.

In the 2020-21 financial year a total of over $629 million was paid to injured workers in NSW in common law payments and permanent impairment lump sums.*

If you’re negotiating a workers compensation payout with an insurer, it’s important that you get independent legal advice on your options and consider having a specialist workers compensation lawyer negotiate the settlement on your behalf – it’s very likely you’ll get a much better result with a lawyer on your side.

*According to SIRA Open Data, April 2022.


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What’s a common law/work injury damages claim?

This is 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?

You can claim work injury damages if:

How do I claim work injury damages?

To claim for work injury damages in NSW, you’ll need the following information:

A report from a permanent impairment assessor must be included in your claim.

It’s important that you seek specialist legal advice before beginning work injury damages claim. At Law Partners, we don’t just process claims. We’ll build a personal relationship with you and your family, take time to understand your side of the story, and look beyond your obvious injuries to claim everything you’re entitled to. This can make a big difference to the amount of compensation you receive.


How can I get free legal help with my workers compensation claim?

Our specialist workers compensation lawyers will provide you with free advice, and if you decide to proceed with your claim we’ll apply to IRO (the Independent Review Office) for funding to cover our fees so that there’s no cost to you.

If we find that you’re entitled to permanent impairment or work injury damages lump sum payments, we’ll work on a no win no fee, no disbursements basis, so you’ll only need to pay us if we win, and you receive your lump sum compensation. We win over 99% of our cases, so you can be confident you’re in safe hands with Law Partners.


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