WorkCover Lump Sum Offers

Seek legal advice before accepting or rejecting a WorkCover lump sum payout offer.
A damages payout will often be far higher than the lump sum offer.
Your decision to accept or reject the offer is final.

If you have suffered an injury at work, WorkCover will usually try to finalise your claim with a lump sum offer. You have the right to either accept the lump sum offer or reject it and claim damages for your injuries. Your decision to acc ept a lump sum offer is final, and once accepted your claim can never be reopened. Get legal advice before you make any decision. At Richardson & Lyons WorkCover claim advice is free and comes with no strings attached. We will let you know if you have a damages claim, and what your claim is worth.

WorkCover Lump Sum Payment Information

In Queensland, anyone who is hurt at work and suffers a permanent impairment may make a workers’ compensation claim for a one-off WorkCover lump sum payment. If the degree of permanent impairment (DPI) is assessed as more than 0%, you will be offered a work injury compensation payout.  This provides injured workers with benefits when they have suffered an injury during their work, travelling to work, or on a work break, which has left them permanently impaired physically or psychologically.

At Richardson & Lyons, our personal injury lawyers can advise you on whether to accept the WorkCover permanent impairment sum, or to pursue a common law claim for damages. Our ‘no-win, no-fee’ policy means you don’t need to pay for legal services if we don’t win.

Understanding Lump Sum Settlements

WorkCover lump sum payments are available to those who bring a compensation claim for permanent impairment. You can choose to either accept, reject, or defer the lump sum offer, or claim common law damages. It is essential to seek legal advice at this point.

A medical practitioner will assess your degree of permanent impairment (DPI) after your injuries have stabilised. Examples of permanent impairment can include spinal cord injury, amputation, disfigurement, severe mental disorder, or permanent loss of movement.

You will then receive a document known as ‘Notice of Assessment’ from WorkCover Queensland, which will offer you a workers’ compensation lump sum payment to finalise your statutory claim. This is based on a set calculation and generally smaller than a common law claim for damages. If your DPI is 20% or above, you are entitled to accept lump sum compensation as well as pursue common law damages.

If your DPI is less than 20%, you must make an irrevocable choice: accept your WorkCover permanent impairment lump sum and finalise your statutory claim, or claim common law damages in order to recover damages for the work injury, as well as pain and suffering, loss of past and future income, past and future care needs, superannuation benefits, and interest on damages.

Lump Sum Offer Legal Advice

At Richardson & Lyons, our personal injury lawyers in Brisbane understand that WorkCover lump sum payments are a complex process, especially where you are dealing with the consequences of permanent impairment. Our lawyers can assist you in:

  • working with you through all steps of the settlement process,
  • advising you on whether to accept the WorkCover lump sum payment, or to prove negligence of your employer through a common law claim,
  • collecting necessary evidence for calculating the damage benefits,
  • reaching full compensation for ongoing and potential future loss of earnings.

Our ‘no-win, no-fee’ policy means you don’t need to pay for legal services if we don’t win.

Lump Sum Payment FAQs

If you are permanently injured and bring a compensation claim for work injury, you are entitled to WorkCover lump sum payments under WorkCover Queensland. This offer is based on a set statutory calculation of your permanent impairment (DPI), which has led to a permanent loss of function, movement or psychological impairment.

With a lawyer, the WorkCover settlement process typically takes 12 months to resolve. A common law claim for damages may mean a longer settlement process but a more favourable outcome, where full damages are recovered for the work injury and for consequential loss, such as your pre-injury lifestyle and employment.

Each permanent impairment case is unique and must be reviewed separately. However, WorkCover lump sum payments mostly assess injuries as minimal percentage impairments. It is important to seek legal advice on your right to bring a common law claim for full compensation of your injury. For example, Mr Austin sustained a purportedly minor head injury in a work incident (Austin v Parmalat Australia Ltd (2013) QSC 227). Although he was allocated a 0% permanent impairment for his injury in his Notice of Assessment, he received an award of damages at court at over $1.25 million.

Normally, the WorkCover lump sum offer is around $3,400 for each 1% of permanent impairment assessed (e.g. 5% degree of permanent impairment will result in an offer of approximately $17,000). Personal injury lawyers can help you reach a good settlement by preparing evidence required for your damages claim, whether medical records or employment records, and expenses incurred as a result of the work injury.

If you have been assessed with a degree of permanent impairment of less than 20%, you must make an irrevocable decision between accepting the WorkCover lump sum payment, rejecting the offer (and seeking common law damages), or deferring the offer. Personal injury lawyers will assist you through this decision process. Workers with permanent impairment of 20% or more are entitled to both lump sum compensation and common law damages.