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4.2.7 Use of WPI in Permanent Impairment calculations

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Last amended 
26 May 2017

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 This compensation for NEL is additional to any compensation payable under the Tables of Losses in the previous repealed Acts, and arises as a result of the decision of the Full Federal Court in Schlenert v AOTC (1994).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.

 

References
  • Approved Guide Principles of Assessment, Glossary
  • Canute v Comcare (2006) HCA 47 : injuries to be assessed separately
  • Fellowes v Military Rehabilitation & Compensation Commission [2009] HCA 39: impairment from each injury to be assessed separately and compensated independently
  • Robson v MRCC [2013] 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