At what age does WorkCover stop?
Most WorkCover entitlements are not tied to age. That is, they don’t stop because you hit a certain age.
There is however, one WorkCover entitlement that is tied to age.
WorkCover weekly payments will in some instances stop once a person has reached retirement age. Retirement age is currently considered to be 67 years of age.
In some instances however, weekly payments are able to continue beyond retirement age. For the most part, it depends upon when a person suffered their injury.
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Most WorkCover entitlements are not tied to age of a worker
There is only one benefit that is directly affected by your age, and that is weekly payments.
Medical and like expenses cannot be terminated based on your age.
You can claim an impairment benefit or bring a common law claim at any time, regardless of age (though there are other time limits involved).
People often think that the entirety of their WorkCover benefits will stop once they hit retirement age, or some other age.
It is in fact only WorkCover weekly payments that are affected by someone’s age.
How that works can be complex.
In general, the test to claim medical and like expenses is whether the claimed treatment is related to your work injuries and is reasonable.
As people age the connection between someone’s work injury and their current presentation may become more difficult to prove.
For example someone who is now 80 years old and injured their back when they were 50 may have some difficulty establishing an ongoing connection between the work injury and any back problems they may have at age 80.
However there is no age related test for medical expenses.
When it comes to WorkCover weekly payments however, someone’s age is relevant. Also relevant to the is the date of injury.
Retirement age – retirement age means the age where the worker reaches pension age in accordance with the meaning set out in the Social Security Act 1991 of the Commonwealth.
At the time of writing, for those born on or after 1 January 1957, retirement age for WorkCover purposes is 67 years.
Second entitlement period – this is a period of weekly payments between week 14 and week 130.
So, at what age do WorkCover weekly payments stop?
1. If someone has received 130 weeks or more of weekly payments and hits the current designated retirement age, then their weekly payments will stop at that time. Currently that is 67 years of age.
2. If a worker was injured over 130 weeks before retirement age, but for some reason has not continuously claimed payments and as such has not received 130 weeks of payments at the time of retirement age, they will not be entitled to any payments beyond retirement age.
3. If a worker is injured within 130 weeks of retirement age, they will be able to exceed the retirement age cap on weekly payments up to the full entitlement of 130 weeks.
As an example, if a worker was injured 100 weeks before reaching retirement age, they would be entitled to an additional 30 weeks of weekly payments beyond retirement age, assuming they continue to provide valid certificates of capacity.
4. If someone is injured while working after they have already attained retirement age they will be entitled to up to 130 weeks of weekly payments assuming they continue to provide valid certificates of capacity.
Except for WorkCover weekly payments, WorkCover does not stop at any point solely due to someone’s age. For the most part weekly payments will cease when the worker reaches retirement age, but there are some exceptions to this.