Do I get paid normally on WorkCover?


Do I get paid normally on WorkCover graphic

If you lodge a WorkCover claim in Victoria and it gets accepted, in some instances you’ll be entitled to be paid income replacement benefits.

These are sometimes referred to as weekly payments of compensation.

You are entitled to these payments If you suffer an injury, Illness or condition that is related to your employment.

And if this injury illness or condition is in some way impacting your ability to work.

Whether that means your ability to work is partially impacted and you have some capacity to perform work – whether that be on modified duties or reduced hours.

Or if you are completely incapacitated for work.

However, whilst you are entitled to be paid compensation that takes into account your lost earnings, in most instances will not be paid normally.

By this I mean you will not be paid dollar for dollar what you are missing out on – taking into account your pre injury earnings.

Will I be paid the same amount as pre injury?

It works like this.

On WorkCover, you are entitled to be paid at the rate of 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings for the first 13 weeks.

You can read this article for a further explanation as to what pre-injury average weekly earnings isand how it is calculated, and you can visit this page to calculate your own pre-injury average weekly earnings.

After 13 weeks, you’re entitled to be paid at 80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings. You’re entitled to be paid up until 130 weeks.

You can be paid in addition to 130 weeks if you have no work capacity and this is likely to continue into the future.

To explore the 130 week WorkCover payment issue further, you can read this page.

In some cases, people are entitled to be paid top up payments after 130 weeks if they have some work capacity and they can’t increase their work hours and earnings.

So, in most cases you’ll see that there is a shortfall between what you where previously earning and what you will get paid while on WorkCover by way of income replacement benefits.

Here’s an example:

Sam was working Before he suffered an injury earning $1000 gross per week, week in week out.

As a consequence of the injury he was not able to work for many months. He lodged a WorkCover claim which was accepted.

This entitled him to the payment of weekly payments for the time that he was not able to work.

For the first 13 weeks of his incapacity, he was paid $950 per week.

Thereafter, he was paid $800 per week.

Can the payment shortfall be made up?

Unfortunately, there is not a lot that can be done to make up the shortfall.

For this reason, it’s very important that your PIAWE gets calculated correctly to ensure that you are getting paid as close to the pre-injury earnings figure as possible.

You are also entitled to the payment of shift allowance and overtime for a period of 52 weeks, as well as superannuation.

In addition, your employment entitlements – annual leave and long service leave should accrue whilst you are on WorkCover.

You can read more about your employment entitlements and WorkCover here.

In some cases, usually in the event where a person is employed by a larger employer and that person is covered by an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) or similar, there might be a provision for accident make up pay or top up pay in there.

So using the example above, if Sam was covered by an EBA that provided for the payment of make up pay or top up pay, he could be entitled to be paid up to the $1000 per week that he was earning prior to the injury.

Typically, accident make up pay or top up pay under an EBA is capped for a period of time. So an EBA might say for example that a person is entitled to top up pay for a maximum of 40 weeks.

If you are unable to work and you’re on WorkCover and you are under an EBA and you have not been paid top up pay, it would be a good idea to look through the EBA and see whether there is a provision in there for it. Or engage an expert to assist you.

Will I be paid at the same frequency as my wage?

You will be paid, generally speaking, at the same frequency as your wage.

So if you were paid on a weekly basis on a Thursday, then usually this is when you will be paid your WorkCover payments.

However, this isn’t always the case.

Usually the insurer pays your weekly payments to your employer who then forwards it to you, some employers will process WorkCover payments on a different day to normal wages.


You will not be paid normally when you are on WorkCover. In most instances, there will be a shortfall between what you’re earning before the injury and what you were eating after the injury.

In some instances, you may be entitled to top up pay for a certain period of time if you are covered by an EBA or similar instrument.

You will usually be paid at the same intervals as you’re learning and getting paid before the injury.

Please keep in mind that the information contained on this page should not be considered legal advice and no content on this site should replace the need to obtain advice tailored to the specific facts of your case. The facts of a case can significantly alter the advice that can provided. This site only provides general advice. Read more here.

To contact Michael or Peter call 1800 746 442 or email [email protected].

Written by the Work Injury Site team