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5.2.2 Excepted Impairments - S24(8)
Section 24(8) of the SRCA excepts certain impairments from the requirement in S24(7) that compensation for permanent impairment is not payable unless WPI is 10% or more. The provisions state:
24(7) Subject to Section 25, if:
a)the employee has a permanent impairment other than a hearing loss, and
b)Comcare determines that the degree of permanent impairment is less than 10%,
an amount of compensation is not payable to the employee under this section.
24(8) Subsection (7) does not apply to any one or more of the following:
a)the impairment constituted by the loss, or the loss of the use, of a finger
b)the impairment constituted by the loss, or the loss of the use, of a toe
c)the impairment constituted by the loss of the sense of taste
d)the impairment constituted by the loss of the sense of smell.
The impairments excepted from the 10% requirement in S24(7) are impairments of the fingers, the toes, the sense of taste and the sense of smell. This exclusion from the 10% threshold requirment applies equally to initial assessment and any ongoing reassessment for increase in PI compensation.
Note that S24(7A) provides that hearing loss is also subject to a reduced threshold (2.5% WPI) if the Date of Injury is on or after 1 October 2001 (see JPA 2001/11).
Loss of the senses of taste or smell was added to S24(7) by the Commonwealth Employees' Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Act 1992 (No 264/1992), commencing on 24 December 1992. By S10(2) of the amending Act, the inclusion of loss of taste and smell applies for the purposes of:
a)any determination, made after the commencement of this section, of a claim, whether the claim was made before or after that commencement, or
b)any consideration or review, made after that commencement, of a determination, made before that commencement, of a claim.
The Permanent Impairment Calculator gives effect to this amendment in all cases where the 'Date of Assessment' is 24 December 1992 or later.
Where an earlier Date of Assessment is chosen (e.g. for audit purposes) the senses of taste and of smell do not appear in the list box for selection.
1971 and 1930 Act impairments
The 10% impairment threshold does not apply where the impairment became permanent before 1 December 1988 as a result of the decision of the Full Federal Court in Comcare v Bozicevic (1997).