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Calculating Weekly WorkCover Payments


Income replacement or “weekly payments” changes over time according to how long you have been receiving payments. 

These weekly payments are always made as a percentage of your Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (“PIAWE”). Weekly payments are capped at a maximum amount.

The significance of overtime, shift allowances and penalty rates and the like in working out your PIAWE is complicated, and changes over time. Seek advice if you are unclear about this.


The rate at which compensation is paid varies in the following way, depending on whether you are totally or partly incapacitated for work, and how long you have been receiving payments.

Total incapacity means you cannot work at all.

Partial incapacity means you cannot do all of your pre-injury work, but you can do some work.

First 13 weeks

  • For total incapacity – 95% of your PIAWE
  • For partial incapacity – If you are performing some work, your actual earnings will be topped up by WorkCover payments to 95% of PIAWE.

Between Weeks 14 and-130 weeks

  • For total incapacity – 80% of PIAWE.
  • For partial incapacity – If you are performing some work, your actual earnings will be topped up by WorkCover payments to 80% of PIAWE

Are overtime and shift allowance included in PIAWE?

In the first 52 weeks, overtime and shift allowances are included in your PIAWE. After 52 weeks, these are excluded from PIAWE, which can mean a drop in payments at that time for some workers.

What happens after 130 weeks on WorkCover

After 130 weeks of incapacity, a decision is made by the insurer as to whether you have a current work capacity. Your weekly payments only continue if:
  1. You have no current work capacity, and that is likely to continue indefinitely. You will continue to receive 80% of PIAWE;
  1. You are working at least 15 hours a week, earning a minimum amount and are working to your full capacity. You will receive the difference between 80% of your earnings and 80% of your PIAWE. However, you must make a separate application to WorkCover for such payments.

Make-up Pay

Some awards provide for your employer to top-up or “make-up” your WorkCover payments for a period, often the first 26 weeks. This is an obligation of your employer, not the WorkCover insurer.
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