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7. Maximum Rate Weeks, Hours Used in Calculations and Part Week Calculations
In this chapter
A higher rate of compensation for incapacity is automatically paid during the first 45 weeks of payment. Beyond 45 weeks the rate of compensation is dependent on the number of hours the person is working.
The DRCA and MRCA contain provisions for calculating the rate of payment, depending on whether the person has accumulated less or more than 45 weeks of incapacity payments due to their accepted condition/s. Essentially, a person receives payment at a rate equal to 100% of their NWE/NE (with reductions for earnings and Commonwealth-funded superannuation) for the first 45 weeks of payment (this is called a maximum rate compensation week (DRCA) or maximum rate week (MRCA)).
After 45 weeks in payment an adjustment percentage is applied to the NWE/NE between 75 and 100% depending on the amount of hours the person is in employment. Employment may be paid or part of a work trial via a rehabilitation plan.
Under the DRCA, any period of incapacity for which the person receives compensation contributes to the calculation of their first 45 weeks. This includes periods in service and after discharge.
Under the MRCA, only periods of incapacity for which the person receives compensation after the person has discharged from service contribute to the calculation of 45 weeks. The person must be considered a ‘former’ member (i.e. ceased to be a member) to start calculating the person’s 45 weeks.
The 45 weeks is a cumulative total, and not necessarily derived from a continuous period of incapacity. Periods that are less than a week contribute also to the total period of incapacity.
Under DRCA a person may have an entitlement to 45 maximum rate weeks for each injury, (e.g. where the incapacitating effect of one condition has resolved, and another condition subsequently causes incapacity). Generally, under MRCA a person only ever gets a total of 45 maximum rate weeks, irrespective of which injury causes their incapacity for work. However, in circumstances where a person has discharged from more than one period of ADF service (and becomes a 'former member' again), and the incapacity is due to a different injury, the person may have an entitlement to a further 45 maximum rate weeks period.