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Lump sum payments

A work-related injury or disease may result in a temporary or permanent impairment resulting in:

  • loss of efficient use of part of the body, or
  • loss of part of the body.

A permanent impairment is one that remains stable and stationary after a period of time and is not likely to improve with further treatment. If a worker has a permanent impairment as a result of their work-related injury, they may be entitled to lump-sum compensation.

A worker may ask to be assessed for permanent impairment or WorkCover Queensland (or a self-insurer) may decide to have the worker assessed. The percentage of permanent impairment is used to calculate offers of lump-sum compensation.

Does a worker need a solicitor?

No, a worker is not required to have a solicitor to apply for permanent impairment assessment, as the decision of percentage is a medical decision made by an independent doctor.

Who determines how much money a worker is entitled to?

The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 lists the maximum amount of compensation payable per injury and percentage impairment.

Can a worker get the decision reviewed?

If a worker does not agree with the assessment percentage for a physical injury, they can advise the insurer within 20 business days after receiving the assessment notice and request to either be assessed by a different independent doctor, or be referred to the relevant medical assessment tribunal.

If a worker requests to be assessed for degree of permanent impairment by another independent doctor, the insurer must decide whether to have the worker assessed again within 10 business days after receiving the request.

If after receiving the second assessment, the worker disagrees with the assessment, they can request a further and final assessment by the relevant medical assessment tribunal. The tribunal’s decision is final.

If a worker has been assessed with a degree of permanent impairment of less than 20%, the worker must make an irrevocable decision between accepting the offer of lump sum compensation, rejecting the offer (and seeking common law damages) or deferring the offer.

An offer is automatically deferred after 20 business days if no decision has been made. The offer can be accepted or rejected at a later date.

Workers with a degree of permanent impairment of 20% or more are entitled to accept the offer of lump sum compensation and seek common law damages. Find out more about common law claims.

Last updated
14 June 2019

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