Workers’ compensation covers all working Australians
Employees are covered for workers’ compensation under all Australian schemes no matter at what age they are injured. The following information describes retirement age provisions in workers’ compensation schemes across Australia:
An employee who is aged 63 and over when injured is entitled to a maximum of 104 weeks of weekly incapacity payments – section 23(1A) of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth).
Commonwealth (Department of Veterans’ Affairs)
A person who is aged 63 and over when injured is entitled to 104 weeks of compensation – section 121 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (Cth).
New South Wales
Section 52 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 No 70 (NSW) provides:In this section:
- retiring age, in relation to a person, means the age at which the person would, subject to satisfying any other qualifying requirements, be eligible to receive an age pension under the Social Security Act 1991 of the Commonwealth.
- If a person:
(a) receives an injury before reaching the retiring age—a weekly payment of compensation is not to be made in respect of any resulting period of incapacity for work occurring after the first anniversary of the date on which that person reaches the retiring age, or
(b) receives an injury on or after reaching the retiring age—a weekly payment of compensation shall not be made in respect of any resulting period of incapacity for work occurring more than 12 months after the first occasion of incapacity for work resulting from the injury.
If a worker in injured within 130 weeks of reaching retirement age (defined as age 65), or after retirement age, they are eligible for weekly payments for up to a maximum of 130 weeks – section 169 of the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) .
Weekly payments cease if the worker qualifies for the age pension under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) or if there is a normal retiring age for workers in employment of the kind from which the worker’s injury arose. However if a worker is injured within 2 years of their retirement age, or after their retirement age, they are eligible for weekly payments for up to 104 weeks from the date of the injury - section 44(1) of the Return to Work Act 2014 (SA).
Weekly incapacity payments cease if a person has accessed 9 years of weekly incapacity payments – section 69B(2) of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (TAS). Further, if the compensable injury occurred before or on the date upon which the worker reached the age of 64 years, the weekly payments cease at 65 years of age (section 87(1)(a)). If the injury occurs after the worker turns 64, weekly incapacity payments cease one year after the worker was injured (s 82(1)(b)). If the terms or conditions may allow a worker to work beyond 65 years of age, they may apply under section 87 to the Tribunal to extend the period of weekly incapacity payments.
Australian Capital Territory
If a worker is injured at age 62 or younger, they are entitled to incapacity payments until they reach 65 - section 39(3)(b) of the Workers Compensation Act 1951 (ACT). If a person is 63 years of age or older at the time of injury, they are entitled to up to 2 years of weekly incapacity payments - section 39(3)(c).
A person injured at 65 or older (rising to age 67 as the qualifying age for the age pension increases) is entitled to 104 weeks of incapacity payments - section 64 of the Return to Work Act (NT).