COMPARISON OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS
BENEFITS
BENEFITS
COMMONWEALTH*
VICTORIA
Lump sum payments:
For both Comcare and Seacare:
The statutory scheme changed as of 12/11/97
$127,063.76 for permanent impairment. In
Entitlement depends on date of injury
Impairment /
addition, a maximum of $47,648.94 for non 
Pre 12/11/97 injury: $104,990
non economic loss 
economic loss
In addition, maximum of $56,400 for pain and
suffering
  Maximum
Additional compensation payable as a `Severe
Injury Adjustment' under the Defence Act 1903 to
Post 12/11/97 injury: $337,380 (for impairment
those ADF members severely injured as a
of 80% or more)
consequence of an injury occurring after
07/04/94, to top up the SRC Act 1988 benefit to
$229,024.45 and an additional $57,256.12 for
each dependant child
  Thresholds
No award below 10% assessed impairment
Pre 12/11/97 injury:
(exceptions for fingers, toes, hearing, taste and
Pain and suffering: no award if payment under
smell)
Table of Maims <   $11,270; Hearing Loss   no
award if loss is <   7%
Post 12/11/97 injury:
Physical injuries; 10% whole person impairment
(except amputations)
Psychiatric injuries: 30% whole person
impairment
Hearing Loss: 10% National Acoustic Laboratory
Standard (NAL)
  Method of
Whole person impairment assessed according to
Pre 12/11/97 injury: Old Table of Maims applies
calculating (assessing
approved guides for permanent impairment and
permanent
non economic loss
Post 12/11/97 injury:
impairment)
Permanent impairment assessed under Guide to
Assessed under American Medical Association
the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent
Guides 4th Edition modified to take into account
Impairment (Separate guides available for
of Australian best practice in evaluation of
Comcare and Seacare   but essentially identical)
psychiatric & hearing impairments   used for all
new impairment benefits (2nd Edition continues
to be used for all other purposes)
If total loss injury, payment is not less than old
Table of Maims with allowance for pain and
suffering
Settlement /
The only occasion under the SRC Act where a
The Accident Compensation Act 1985 allows for
Redemption /
lump sum payout can be made is when:
the settlement of weekly benefits in a lump sum.
Commutation
  an employee's weekly incapacity payments are 
It does not include medical and like expenses,
equal to or less than the indexed rate, and
which continue to be paid as required.
  Comcare is satisfied that the degree of the 
Settlements of future weekly benefits are
employee's incapacity is unlikely to change.
allowed when the
The indexed rate as at 1 October 2002 is $79.43
worker:
per week
1. Has no current work capacity indefinitely,  and:
The redemption of the incapacity amount is
  Has been on benefits for 104 weeks or more, 
calculated as per section 30(1) (or 137(1) for
and
former employees) of the SRC Act. It does not
  Is over 55 years old, or
affect any ongoing medical or rehabilitation
2. Is seriously injured and
entitlements under the Act
  Has been on benefits for 104 weeks or more, 
Seacare:
and
Section 44 of the Act requires settlement where:
  Requires the settlement for an income 
  an employee is receiving weekly payments for 
producing project.
an injury resulting in incapacity,
  the amount of those payments is equal to or 
less than $77.04 (subject to indexation), and
  the employer is satisfied that the degree of the 
employee's incapacity is unlikely to change.
* Unless otherwise stated,
If these conditions are satisfied, an employer
information provided
applies to both Comcare
must commute weekly incapacity benefits to a
and Seacare
lump sum calculated by a formula contained in
the Act
Heads of Workers' Compensation Authorities  26
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