How will my workers’ compensation weekly benefits be calculated?

If you’ve been injured at work and you’re entitled to workers’ compensation, we want to reassure you about how your weekly benefits will be calculated.

A lot of clients who come to us are worried because they’ve only been earning good money for a short time or they weren’t in full-time employment for a long period before their injury and they’re concerned that WorkCover will average out their weekly benefits and thus reduce the amount they receive.

This is not how it works.

If you’re an injured worker, WorkCover is required to pay your net (after tax) normal weekly earnings based on your employment during the 12 months prior to your injury. That employment can be continuous or intermittent. This means that if you were injured on your first day of work, your workers’ compensation weekly benefits will be calculated according to your wages earned for that day.

But this doesn’t mean WorkCover will pay weekly benefits dollar-for dollar for your earnings.

WorkCover is required to pay weekly compensation benefits at a rate of:

  • 85 % of your net weekly earnings for the first six months following an injury
  • 75 % for the following three months
  • 70 % for the next three months.

After one year, payments can drop back to 65 % of your pre-accident net weekly earnings.

WorkCover deducts income tax from payments of weekly compensation. WorkCover cannot make other deductions, such as compulsory employer superannuation. Some industrial agreements require an employer to continue paying superannuation while an injured worker is off on workers’ compensation, but in GC Law’s experience, those types of industrial agreements are rare.

Payment of weekly benefits only stops when:

  • you go back to work
  • you receive an offer of lump sum compensation
  • you’ve been receiving workers’ compensation for five years or
  • the amount of total workers’ compensation reaches the maximum amount payable.

At GC Law, we’re experts in workers’ compensation claims. If you want some quick advice to know where you stand, call us on 1300 302 318 or email us at for a free no-obligation initial consultation.

If you’d like to read more about workers’ compensation payments, go to WorkCover Queensland.

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