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7.7 Person has been incapacitated for a cumulative period exceeding 45 weeks

Last amended 
22 February 2019

Subsection 19(3) of the SRCA and section 131 of the MRCA provides that after 45 weeks of incapacity the compensation entitlement are multiplied by an adjustment percentage. The value of this percentage is dependent on the % of NWH actually worked in that week.

The normal weekly hours for which the person is employed is relevant to the operation of Section 19(3)(b)-(f) of SRCA and section 131(2)(b)-(f) of MRCA. These subsections provide for a higher rate of total earnings (earnings from employment plus compensation) where the person is engaged in actual hours of employment during a week.

The formula for the post-45 week entitlement is:

(adjustment percentage x NWE or NE) – AE

After 45 weeks of incapacity compensation, the entitlement of a person who is not working at all (0% of normal weekly hours) because of the injury, reduces to 75% of the person’s NWE/NE.

The following table gives the adjustment percentage:

Percentage of normal weekly hours (NWH) being worked:

Adjustment percentage:



25% or less


More than 25 % but not more than 50%


More then 50% but not more than 75%


More then 75% but not more than 100%


100% or more


The intent of this is to provide a financial reward, or incentive, for a return to full working hours by a person.

From 1 November 2018 to 30 June 2022, veterans undertaking full-time study as part of an approved DVA rehabilitation program will be treated as if they were working 100 per cent of their normal weekly hours. Incapacity payment for these veterans will be paid at 100 per cent of NE/NWE from the later of 1 November 2018 or the commencement of their full time study under the approved DVA rehabilitation program. Payment will continue at this level until the earlier of 30 June 2022 or the date that the veteran is no longer studying full time as part of their approved DVA rehabilitation plan.

Details of what constitutes full-time study are provided in the Legislative Instruments Military Rehabilitation and Compensation (Full-time Study) Instrument 2018 No. MRCC 77 and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) (Full-time Study) Instrument 2018 No. MRCC 76 and Explanatory Statements which accompany this budget measure.

Where an eligible person is undertaking study, they are considered to be full-time if over the study period (for example, a semester) they are enrolled in at least three-quarters of the normal amount of full-time study that would be expected for the course in that study period.  The normal amount of full-time study for a course over each study period is to be defined by the institution or body conducting the course. This is the study load that a full‑time student would typically undertake in respect of the course.

If a definition of full-time study is not available through the institution or body, then the normal amount of full‑time study is the average amount of full‑time study that a person would have to undertake for the duration of the course, in order to complete it in the minimum amount of time.

Further information on rehabilitation policy is provided in the Rehabilitation Policy Library under Section 16: Step-up to incapacity payments for veterans studying.

Where a person is participating in an approved Apprenticeship, they are considered to be working full-time hours, and there is no requirement to consider it as 'study' in order to base payments on 100% of NE for the duration of the apprenticeship. The person's actual earnings continue to be held as per normal incapacity calculations.