Workers Compensation payments and COVID-19 lockdown – are they being calculated correctly?

Headshot of Libby Campbell - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthIf you are injured at work and require workers compensation, one of the entitlements available to you is weekly payments for the period you are incapacitated to work. Weekly payments are calculated based on your Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) and are the average of your gross earnings from any employment performed for 52 weeks immediately before the date of injury. Therefore if you work in two jobs, immediately before your injury, earnings from both employers are included in your PIAWE.

Recently, as a result of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns that have been required, the question is then raised if you were not receiving income for the total 52 week period immediately prior to your injury, will your average earnings still be calculated over a 52 week period?

The NSW government introduced the Workers Compensation Amendment (COVID-19 Weekly Payment Compensation) Regulation 2020 and specifically Schedule 1, Clause 8EA allows for an adjustment to occur in the earning period if there was a change to the injured worker’s employment arrangements as a direct result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Specifically the change had to occur between the periods of 23 March 2020 to 27 September 2020, and therefore those affected weeks would not be included in the PIAWE calculation.

This was a welcomed amendment for injured workers, otherwise if you were required to have the PIAWE calculated over the 52 week period you would potentially receive a substantially less PIAWE rate and therefore your weekly payments would be paid at a lesser rate from the commencement of your claim.

If your PIAWE calculation covered the period between 23 March 2020 to 27 September 2020 and your earnings were materially affected due to COVID-19, please contact our office, because it may be the case that your PIAWE is incorrect and therefore your weekly payments are potentially less than what they should be. We have two IRO approved solicitors that can assist with reviewing your PIAWE so please get in contact with our office because Helping You is Our Business.

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