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Weekly compensation for lost wages

A worker injured at work may need to work fewer hours or take time off work as a result of their injury. Their doctor will include this information on the work capacity certificate and, if a worker has an accepted claim, they may be entitled to weekly compensation for lost wages during the time they can't work.

WorkCover will calculate the amount of weekly compensation a worker receives based on the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and pay directly into a worker’s bank account by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

The level of compensation a worker receives depends on:

  • the length of time certified as unfit for work
  • the injury date
  • the length of claim
  • whether there is an industrial instrument in place, such as an award or workplace agreement
  • normal weekly earnings (NWE)
  • Queensland full time adults ordinary time earnings (QOTE).

To keep a worker on track and reduce the impact of their injury, WorkCover will pay in line with an employer where possible. Wages will be paid in arrears and processed after the working period. For any questions in relation to scheduling payments, the Customer Advisor can be contacted.

If an employer is licensed as a self-insurer, some processes may differ from WorkCover, therefore if a worker requires clarification the relevant workers’ compensation claims department can be contacted.

Wage payments

Wage payments are the weekly earnings of a worker from employment during the 12 months prior to the injury, continuous or intermittent.

You can calculate and submit wages payments in online services.

Queensland full time adult’s ordinary time earnings (QOTE)

QOTE is the seasonally adjusted amount of Queensland full-time adult's ordinary time earnings as declared by the Australian Statistician. The current rate of QOTE is published in the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (QOTE) Notice (see the Queensland Legislation website ).

View Weekly compensation tables

For injuries after 1 Jan 2008

Length of claim

Industrial instrument

No industrial instrument

Up to 26 weeks

The greater of:

85% NWE or amount under the industrial instrument

The greater of:

85% NWE or 80% QOTE

26-39 weeks

The greater of:

75% NWE or 70% QOTE

The greater of:

75% NWE or 70% QOTE

39-52 weeks

52-104 weeks

104 weeks onwards

If worker is unfit for work after two years, compensation will depend on degree of impairment.

For injuries between 2 Nov 2005 – 31 Dec 2007

Length of claim

Industrial instrument

No industrial instrument

Up to 26 weeks

The greater of:

85% NWE or amount under the industrial instrument

The greater of:

85%NWE or 80% QOTE

26-39 weeks

The greater of:

75% NWE or 70% QOTE

39-52 weeks

52-104 weeks

The greater of:

65% NWE or 60% QOTE

104 weeks onwards

If worker is unfit for work after two years, compensation will depend on degree of impairment.

For injuries between 1 Jan 2005 – 1 Nov 2005

Length of claim

Industrial instrument

No industrial instrument

Up to 26 weeks

The greater of:

85% NWE or amount under the industrial instrument

The greater of:

85% NWE or 70% QOTE

26-39 weeks

The greater of:

75% NWE or 70% QOTE

The greater of:

75% NWE or 65% QOTE

39-52 weeks

The greater of:

65% NWE or 60% QOTE

52-104 weeks

104 weeks onwards

If worker is unfit for work after two years, compensation will depend on degree of impairment.

For injuries prior to 1 Jan 2005

Length of claim

Industrial instrument

No industrial instrument

Up to 26 weeks

The greater of:

85% NWE or amount under the industrial instrument

The greater of:

85% NWE or 70% QOTE

26-39 weeks

The greater of:

65% NWE or 60% QOTE

39-52 weeks

52-104 weeks

104 weeks onwards

If worker is unfit for work after two years, compensation will depend on degree of impairment.

Deductions from weekly compensation

WorkCover will only deduct tax from weekly compensation. WorkCover cannot make deductions on behalf of a worker such as superannuation. Some industrial instruments require an employer to continue paying superannuation while a worker is receiving workers' compensation benefits.

When will weekly compensation payments stop?

A workers’ entitlement to weekly compensation stops when the first of the following happens:

  • they return to work and are no longer injured
  • they receive a lump-sum offer
  • they have been receiving weekly payments for five years
  • their total weekly compensation reaches the maximum amount payable.

Read more about what to do if a claim is ceased.

Last updated
14 June 2019

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