A settlement A lump sum payment that replaces an injured worker's right to ongoing weekly compensation. is a one-off lump sum paid to a worker for loss of earning capacity.
When a settlement is accepted and paid, a worker has no further claim to ongoing compensation for that injury, other than for medical and like expenses. Agents must ensure that the worker has accessed all other entitlements (such as impairment benefit) before a settlement is offered.
To be eligible for a settlement, a worker must satisfy threshold legislated criteria.
Three types of settlement
There are three types of voluntary settlements which are established mainly by reference to the date of injury:
Intensive case review program (ICRP)
Available to workers injured between 12 November 1997 and 19 October 1999.
Available to workers injured between 4pm on 31 August 1985 and 30 November 1992 - no longer applicable.
Available to workers:
- who are over the age of 55, have NCWC No Current Work Capacity, in relation to a worker, means a present inability arising from an injury such that the worker is not able to return to work, either in the worker's pre-injury employment or in suitable employment that is likely to continue indefinitely and have received weekly payments for either:
- 104 weeks or
- 130 weeks if the claim for weekly payments was made after 1 January 2005.
- with a serious injury within the meaning of the legislation and have received weekly payments for at least 104 weeks.
Eligibility criteria apply throughout settlement process
Agents must ensure workers continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the relevant subdivision throughout the settlement process. If a worker is no longer entitled to weekly payments, they will not be eligible for a settlement. If a termination of the worker’s weekly payments on any grounds has occurred, decisions on whether to offer a settlement should be deferred until the completion of any dispute process (including resolution of conciliation and subsequent court action).
The Agent may initiate the settlement process to eligible workers.
A worker may also start the settlement process by approaching their Agent.
The process is voluntary and the worker can withdraw from the process at any time before an offer for settlement is made.
Settlement amount not reduced by payments received
Settlement amounts are calculated using a statutory formula and are fixed by law. Settlement amounts are not reduced by any weekly compensation received during the time it takes to process and pay the settlement.