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4.3.2 Criteria for making an interim assessment
Section 25 establishes a number of criteria which must be met before an interim payment of compensation may be made:
- the member must be suffering from a permanent impairment as a result of a compensable injury
- the degree of impairment must be equal to or more than 10%
- the member makes a written request for an interim assessment, and
- a final assessment under S24 has not yet been made.
The delegate should also be satisfied that there is no reasonable possibility that the degree of permanent impairment may subsequently decrease below 10% (e.g. as a result of medical treatment or surgery). Where medical treatment may possibly result in an improvement in the client's condition, the degree of impairment assessed for the interim payment should be based on the best possible outcome of the treatment or surgery. When the ultimate outcome of the medical intervention is known, a final assessment under S24 should be made.
Under no circumstances should an interim payment be made on the basis of an expected future deterioration in the degree of impairment.
An interim payment should not be made purely on the assertion that other impairment(s) exist and will be claimed at a later date. If all claimed impairments have been assessed a final determination can be made in accordance with S24. If such an assertion is made then the claimant should be given 28 days in which to lodge evidence of further impairments. Interim payments should not be used as a vehicle for circumventing the 10% threshold for payment of a further PI payment.
Where a final assessment under section 24 is made following an interim assessment, the final amount to be paid is the amount at time of the final determination. Even where WPI for the injury has not increased, final payment will still include any increase as a result of indexation.