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4.2.7 Use of WPI in Permanent Impairment calculations
The percentage degree of WPI is used by in three calculations:
1.to calculate the amount of compensation for permanent impairment under S24 of the SRCA (1988 Act impairments);
2.if the investigation includes only one 1988 impairment, as the 'A' amount in S27(2), which is an element of the formula for calculation of compensation for non-economic loss under S27 (1988 Act impairments); and
3.where the impairment became permanent under the 1971 Act or the 1930 Act and the claim for NEL was made before 7 December 2000, the WPI amount is used to calculate the client's entitlement to compensation for non-economic loss under S27 of the SRCA. This compensation for NEL is additional to any compensation payable under the Tables of Losses in the previous repealed Acts, and arises as a result of the decision of the Full Federal Court in Schlenert v AOTC (1994). Schlenert does not apply to claims for NEL made on or after 7 December 2000 as a result of new S27(3) inserted by the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2001.
Note: The percentage degree of WPI will also determine whether an injury is able to be considered for the SIA.
Validation of WPI amounts
A percentage degree of WPI entered by a delegate will be subject to the following validation tests in the Calculator:
- if the impairment does not relate to hearing loss, it must be a whole integer not greater than the maximum allowed under the relevant table
- if the impairment relates to a hearing loss it can be a fraction although it cannot be greater than 50.
- Approved Guide Principles of Assessment, Glossary
- Canute v Comcare (2006) HCA 47 : injuries to be assessed separately
- Fellowes v Military Rehabilitation & Compensation Commission  HCA 39: impairment from each injury to be assessed separately and compensated independently
- Robson v MRCC  FCAFC 101: separate injuries and their associated impairments must be assessed separately and in isolation, even if they relate to the same body part, system or function
- Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2001 (No 144/2001), item 21, Part 4, Schedule 2 : Reversal of Schlenert entitlement to NEL
- Schlenert v Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (1994)
49 FCR 139 : Compensation for NEL in respect of 1930 and 1971 impairments