You are here
4.3.5 Interim to Final
Once the impairment for which interim compensation has been paid under s25 becomes both permanent and stable, a final assessment of permanent impairment should be considered under Section 24 of the DRCA.
This requires that the delegate reassess the impairment to establish the updated rate of whole person impairment (WPI). The WPI already paid as an interim permanent impairment amount under section 25 should be deducted from the updated rate of WPI, to find the final WPI rating.
The difference between these two WPI ratings is the final WPI rating and the amount of permanent impairment payable to the client under section 24. Compensation must also be considered under section 27 of the DRCA at this point. Further instructions on how to consider the full section 24 permanent impairment process can be found at Chapter 4.2 and Chapter 5 of this library.
Note that there is no 10% threshold increase required between the interim assessment and the final assessment for final permanent impairment compensation to be paid. For example, if a condition that is payable at 10% as an interim is then assessed under the permanent impairment guide 12 months later as now being permanent and stable at 15% for a final payment, the difference in rates is payable (i.e. including the annual indexation).
At this point a non-economic loss payment under section 27 should also be calculated and paid.
Interim to final where final assessment results in 0% WPI
A final assessment under section 24 requires that an injury results in a permanent impairment before there is a liability to pay compensation. Therefore, there must be an impairment, and it must be both permanent and stable for compensation to be payable. In the unusual circumstance that, after conducting a final assessment, the delegate finds the assessable WPI results in a 0% rating under the relevant table in the PI Guide, or, the impairment is found to have resolved, the claim would not satisfy the criteria for a final assessment under section 24.
Before making this determination, the delegate should provide the client time and opportunity to obtain further medical evidence to support their eligibility for a final assessment under section 24 before making a negative determination.
Where the condition stabilises at 0% WPI, there is no need to recover the interim compensation paid. The s25 interim assessment was determined and paid based on the evidence at the time. However, contemporaneous medical opinion is that the impairment no longer satisfies the criteria for a rating under the PI Guide and therefore no further compensation is payable.
In this example where there is no longer any eligibility for a final payment under section 24, there is also no eligibility for non-economic loss compensation under section 27.