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In most cases, a worker that is certified as incapacitated for work is entitled to receive weekly payments under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Tas) (‘the Act’) until whichever of the following two dates is sooner:

a.       the expiry of the applicable period in section 69B (1) of the Act, which is a minimum of nine years from the date of initial incapacity; or

b.       by virtue of section 87 of the Act, the date upon which the worker attains the pension age as set by the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth).

The entitlement to weekly compensation ceases at pension age because the Act assumes that a worker would have retired at that time regardless of their work-related injury. Exceptions to this include where a worker is injured less than two years before attaining the pension age and where a worker applies for, and the Tribunal makes, an order extending the entitlement on the basis that the worker intended and was permitted to continue their employment beyond the pension age.

Since 1 January 2018, section 87 as amended has contained an irregularity — a worker’s entitlement to weekly payments no longer ceases at a set time where a work-related injury occurs after the worker attains the pension age.

In those circumstances, where appropriate, the onus is on the employer to bring about the end of a worker’s entitlement to receive weekly compensation. Options to do so include filing a referral under sections 69(8) or 88 of the Act where the worker had retirement plans in place prior to their injury or filing a general referral under section 42 of the Act.

If you have any questions about this article or wish to make an enquiry, please contact our insurance litigation team.