Weekly payments and current work capacity

On this page
  1. Weekly payment entitlements for injured workers
  2. The impact of worker's capacity on weekly payments
  3. Entitlements when you reach retirement age

Weekly payments

If you're injured at work and need medical treatment or time off work, you may be eligible for compensation if you've correctly followed the claims process.

WorkSafe pays weekly payments until you can return to pre-injury work. There are statutory time limits – for example your payments are highest during the first 13 weeks. Most injured workers return to work well before this time.

Weekly payments are usually based on the average of the your ordinary earnings from the last 52 weeks. These are referred to as pre-injury average weekly earnings or PIAWE.

If you've been with your current employer for less than 52 weeks, your pre-injury average weekly earnings are calculated based on the time you have been employed there. Periods of unpaid leave and weeks when you didn't work are not included in the calculation.

Pre-injury average weekly earnings can include:

  • your base rate of pay
  • overtime and shift allowances for the first 52 weeks of weekly payments
  • piece rates
  • commissions
  • the value of some non-financial benefits eg use of a motor vehicle, residential accommodation, education fees and health insurance
  • the value of any part of your salary that you salary sacrifice.

Some entitlements like annual leave or long service leave may also impact your weekly payments. 

Impact of a worker's capacity for work on weekly payments

Weekly payments are also influenced by your current work capacity. This will say whether you can return to suitable employment, even if it's not the exact job you were doing before the injury.

Weekly payments will be impacted by whether you have capacity to do some work or if you can't work at all.

No current work capacity
Number of weeks Payments

First 13 weeks

95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2220* a week).

14 weeks to 130 weeks

80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2220* a week).

After 130 weeks**

80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2220* a week), if you still can't work and this isn't likely to change.

Payments may continue until retirement age unless there is a change in your capacity.

Some current work capacity
Number of weeks Payments

First 13 weeks

If you have returned to work – 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2220* a week), minus what you're currently earning by working.

If you have not yet returned to work – 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2220* a week).

14 weeks to 130 weeks

If you have returned to work – 80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2220* a week), minus 80% of what you're currently earning by working.

If you have not returned to work – 80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2150* a week).

After 130 weeks

Weekly payments can continue if:

  1. you have returned to work and are working at least 15 hours a week and earning $192** or more a week; and
  2. because of your injury, you're likely to remain physically or mentally incapable of working beyond this level, in any job.

80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, to a maximum of twice the Victorian average weekly earnings (currently $2220* a week), minus 80% of what you're currently earning by working.

Retirement Age

The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act) has been amended to align the definition of "retirement age" to the new eligibility age for the aged pension.

Changes to the eligibility for the aged pension

These changes take effect on 1 July 2017.

Date of birth between New retirement age
1 July 1952 to 31 Dec 1953 65 years + 6 months
1 Jan 1954 to 30 June 1955 66 years
1 July 1955 to 31 Dec 1956 66 years + 6 months
From 1 January 1957 onwards 67 years
Effect of the changes
Effect on weekly payments Effect on superannuation payments

You may be eligible (subject to other eligibility requirements) to receive weekly payments until retirement age.

You may be eligible (subject to other eligibility requirements) to receive superannuation contributions on your weekly payments until retirement age.

For information about aged pension payment rates and eligibility please refer to the Australian Government Department of Human Services.

* The maximum applies to those claims made on or after 5 April 2010. The figure is correct at 1 July 2017 - indexed annually.

** Correct as at 1 July 2017 - indexed annually.

In exceptional circumstances, WorkSafe may deduct an amount that the worker would have been capable of earning if they had returned to work.

For calculation of weekly payments for a claim received before 5 April 2010, contact your WorkSafe agent or the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

If you'd like free confidential financial counselling you can contact MoneyHelp on 1800 007 007 or visit www.moneyhelp.org.au.

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