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5.8 Interim Permanent Impairment Compensation
Provision to assess interim PI under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) was adapted from the existing legislation and policy under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). Interim assessment was introduced under the SRCA to ensure that the possibility of entitlement to a permanent impairment payment does not impede the rehabilitation process.
Compensation for accepted conditions may be payable in the form of permanent impairment payments where an ongoing impairment is both permanent and stable, and is assessed as reaching a minimum level of impairment points.
Where an impairment is permanent but not yet stable, payment of interim permanent impairment compensation should be considered.
Many conditions will have periods where symptoms may be more or less severe, including fluctuations of symptoms or ‘spikes’ as part of their normal manifestation.This may be especially true of mental health conditions.
For clients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder with a current level of impairment of 10 points or more, but who are not yet stable, an interim compensation payment must be offered based on a level of impairment at a minimum of 10 points.
For PI assessment purposes the following definitions should be considered;
“Permanent” means that the condition is not likely to resolve.
“Stable” simply means it is unlikely to improve to any major degree. This should not be judged on the basis of possible improvement in impairment ratings.