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Workcover Lump Sum Permanent Impairment Payment Amounts – 2023-24

When you’ve had a workplace injury, the statutory benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) includes funding for medical treatment and weekly compensation. However, the benefits do not last forever. They are only paid until a medical opinion is provided to the insurer (usually Workcover Queensland) that suggests your symptoms are not likely to improve with any further medical treatment. This is commonly known as your injuries becoming ‘stable and stationary’.

When you are considered to be ‘stable and stationary’ (or after 5 years from the date of injury) the weekly workers’ compensation benefit payments will cease, along with any funding for ongoing medical treatment and your Workcover claim will be closed.

If your injury is permanent, for Workcover to close your claim, they must first refer you for a final independent medical examination to assess your degree of permanent impairment (DPI). If Workcover have not referred you for an assessment of permanent impairment, it is very important that you ask for the assessment or you may miss out on a lump sum payment or right to claim common law damages all together.

Once you’ve attended the assessment, Workcover Queensland will issue you with a Notice of Assessment for each of your injuries, listing your assessed DPI for each injury in the form of a percentage score.

A lump sum offer of compensation will be included in the Notice of Assessment, based on the assessed DPI. This is known as a ‘statutory offer’.

This page helps calculate and convert DPI scores for permanent impairment to the equivalent lump sum statutory offer.

Injuries with a DPI score of less than 30%

For injuries with a DPI of less than 30% (excluding latent onset injuries such as pneumoconiosis), the lump sum compensation for a worker’s DPI is calculated by multiplying the ‘maximum statutory compensation amount’ by the worker’s DPI.

At Section 140 of the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, the ‘maximum statutory compensation’ payable for an injury or multiple injuries sustained in a single event, is defined as being 216.15 times the Queensland full-time adult’s Ordinary Time Earnings as declared by the Australian Statistician (“QOTE“).

From 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024, the declared QOTE is $1,760.70 and 216.15 times this amount sets the maximum statutory compensation payable at $380,575.31.

This means, for every 1% of DPI, an injured worker is entitled to $3,805.75.

QOTE is updated every financial year and is expected to rise on 1 July 2024.

Considering an injured worker is entitled to $3,805.75 in lump sum compensation for every 1% of their assessed degree of permanent impairment, the following table of lump sum compensation applies in most instances of work-related injuries in Queensland:

DPI Score Lump Sum
Compensation
Additional Rights
0% NIL

The higher the % score, the more entitlements you gain. Even at 0% DPI, an injured worker gains the entitlement to:

  • make a common law claim for increased damages instead of accepting the lump sum offer and/or be reassessed.

If you’ve been awarded 0% DPI, we recommend reading our blog as to why a 0% DPI score might not matter.

1% $3,806

As above – but the injured worker must:

  • decide whether to accept the lump sum offer or make a common law claim for increased damages. You cannot do both unless your DPI score is 20% or higher.
2% $7,612
3% $11,417
4% $15,223
5% $19,029
6% $22,835
7% $26,640
8% $30,446
9% $34,252
10% $38,058
11% $41,863
12% $45,669
13% $49,475
14% $53,281
15% $57,086

As above, but at 15% or greater DPI, an injured worker gains the right to also:

  • receive an additional sum for gratuitous care (excl psychiatric injuries). This amount is typically minor, between $3,000 – $10,000 for a DPI of 15%, but higher for more serious injuries.
16% $60,892
17% $64,698
18% $68,504
19% $72,309
20% $76,115

As above, but at 20% or greater DPI, an injured worker also gains entitlement to:

  • accept the lump sum offer of compensation and make a common law claim in addition; and
  • recover some legal costs in pursuit of a common law claim. Legal cost recovery is minor, usually around $7,000 – $10,000.
21% $79,921
22% $83,727
23% $87,532
24% $91,338
25% $95,144
26% $98,950
27% $102,755
28% $106,561
29% $110,367

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Injuries with a DPI score of 30% or higher

If your DPI score is 30% or higher, Schedule 3 of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 requires that a separate graduated scale be used to provide the injured worker with an additional lump sum on top of the calculation outlined above.

Therefore, the calculation based on DPI is more complex, as follows:

DPI Score Lump Sum Compensation Note
30% $128,523 Lump sum includes $114,173, plus additional $14,350 calculated at 8.15 x QOTE
31% $140,462 Lump sum includes $117,978, plus additional $22,484 calculated at 12.77 x QOTE
32% $152,403 Lump sum includes $121,784, plus additional $30,619 calculated at 17.39 x QOTE
33% $164,343 Lump sum includes $125,590, plus additional $38,753 calculated at 22.01 x QOTE
34% $176,283 Lump sum includes $129,396, plus additional $46,887 calculated at 26.63 x QOTE
35% $188,240 Lump sum includes $133,201, plus additional $55,039 calculated at 31.26 x QOTE
36% $200,181 Lump sum includes $137,007, plus additional $63,174 calculated at 35.88 x QOTE
37% $212,121 Lump sum includes $140,813, plus additional $71,308 calculated at 40.5 x QOTE
38% $224,062 Lump sum includes $144,619, plus additional $79,443 calculated at 45.12 x QOTE
39% $236,019 Lump sum includes $148,424, plus additional $87,595 calculated at 49.75 x QOTE
40% $247,959 Lump sum includes $152,230, plus additional $95,729 calculated at 54.37 x QOTE
41% $259,900 Lump sum includes $156,036, plus additional $103,864 calculated at 58.99 x QOTE
42% $271,840 Lump sum includes $159,842, plus additional $111,998 calculated at 63.61 x QOTE
43% $283,780 Lump sum includes $163,647, plus additional $120,133 calculated at 68.23 x QOTE
44% $295,738 Lump sum includes $167,453, plus additional $128,285 calculated at 72.86 x QOTE
45% $307,678 Lump sum includes $171,259, plus additional $136,419 calculated at 77.48 x QOTE
46% $319,618 Lump sum includes $175,065, plus additional $144,553 calculated at 82.1 x QOTE
47% $331,576 Lump sum includes $178,870, plus additional $152,706 calculated at 86.73 x QOTE
48% $343,516 Lump sum includes $182,676, plus additional $160,840 calculated at 91.35 x QOTE
49% $355,456 Lump sum includes $186,482, plus additional $168,974 calculated at 95.97 x QOTE
50% $367,397 Lump sum includes $190,288, plus additional $177,109 calculated at 100.59 x QOTE
51% $379,336 Lump sum includes $194,093, plus additional $185,243 calculated at 105.21 x QOTE
52% $391,277 Lump sum includes $197,899, plus additional $193,378 calculated at 109.83 x QOTE
53% $403,235 Lump sum includes $201,705, plus additional $201,530 calculated at 114.46 x QOTE
54% $415,175 Lump sum includes $205,511, plus additional $209,664 calculated at 119.08 x QOTE
55% $427,115 Lump sum includes $209,316, plus additional $217,799 calculated at 123.7 x QOTE
56% $439,055 Lump sum includes $213,122, plus additional $225,933 calculated at 128.32 x QOTE
57% $451,013 Lump sum includes $216,928, plus additional $234,085 calculated at 132.95 x QOTE
58% $462,953 Lump sum includes $220,734, plus additional $242,219 calculated at 137.57 x QOTE
59% $474,893 Lump sum includes $224,539, plus additional $250,354 calculated at 142.19 x QOTE
60% $486,851 Lump sum includes $228,345, plus additional $258,506 calculated at 146.82 x QOTE
61% $498,791 Lump sum includes $232,151, plus additional $266,640 calculated at 151.44 x QOTE
62% $510,732 Lump sum includes $235,957, plus additional $274,775 calculated at 156.06 x QOTE
63% $522,671 Lump sum includes $239,762, plus additional $282,909 calculated at 160.68 x QOTE
64% $534,629 Lump sum includes $243,568, plus additional $291,061 calculated at 165.31 x QOTE
65% $546,570 Lump sum includes $247,374, plus additional $299,196 calculated at 169.93 x QOTE
66% $558,510 Lump sum includes $251,180, plus additional $307,330 calculated at 174.55 x QOTE
67% $570,450 Lump sum includes $254,985, plus additional $315,465 calculated at 179.17 x QOTE
68% $582,408 Lump sum includes $258,791, plus additional $323,617 calculated at 183.8 x QOTE
69% $594,348 Lump sum includes $262,597, plus additional $331,751 calculated at 188.42 x QOTE
70% $606,289 Lump sum includes $266,403, plus additional $339,886 calculated at 193.04 x QOTE
71% $618,228 Lump sum includes $270,208, plus additional $348,020 calculated at 197.66 x QOTE
72% $630,168 Lump sum includes $274,014, plus additional $356,154 calculated at 202.28 x QOTE
73% $642,126 Lump sum includes $277,820, plus additional $364,306 calculated at 206.91 x QOTE
74% $654,067 Lump sum includes $281,626, plus additional $372,441 calculated at 211.53 x QOTE
75% to 100% $666,006 Lump sum includes $285,431, plus additional $380,575 calculated at 216.15 x QOTE

Should you accept the lump sum offer?

The Queensland workers’ compensation scheme is reasonable in that it offers a base level of protection for those unfortunate enough to suffer an injury at work. But as a whole, Roche Legal’s view is that the lump sum compensation amounts are inadequate to fairly compensate an injured worker, particularly when taking a long-term view.

If there is an ability to make (and win) a common law claim instead of, or in addition to any lump sum offer made to you by Workcover, we strongly recommend doing so because the damages awarded are almost always more substantial than the statutory lump sum offer, even after legal costs and expenses.

A common law claim allows you to sue your employer for damages, including pain and suffering, loss of income including future earnings, and medical expenses. A common law claim can be more complicated and time-consuming than accepting a lump sum offer from Workcover, and it may require you to hire a lawyer and (sometimes) go to court. It’s important to consider the potential costs and risks of pursuing a common law claim, as well as the likelihood of success.

If you’ve been injured at work, we recommend phoning one of the solicitors at Roche Legal for a free initial consultation, or completing our free case review form online.

This commentary is published by Roche Legal for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific advice. The content relates to Queensland law only and is subject to change over time. You should seek legal advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any decision.