What is pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE)?
Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) is the weekly average of a worker’s gross earnings over the 52 weeks prior to their date of injury. The determination of PIAWE is used to calculate the amount of weekly payments made to a person for a work-related injury while they are unable to work, as part of their workers compensation claim in NSW.
What is the problem with weekly workers compensation payments after 2012?
Some workers may not have been paid their correct weekly payments as a result of the volume of information required and the complex process to determine Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) for these entitlements.
Employers found it difficult to provide insurers with the required data and information to determine an injured worker's weekly workers compensation payments, and insurers were only able to pay an injured worker's weekly payments based on the information provided to them by employers.
In addition, under the legislation insurers must assess and commence provisional weekly payments within seven days of being notified of an injury. Because of this short timeframe, initial payments were often based on incomplete information.
Why are workers who made a claim on or after 1 October 2012, with a date of injury prior to 21 October 2019, invited to apply for a reassessment?
We want to ensure that workers have been paid correctly.
In 2019, icare identified potential issues in the determination of Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) for some of the people we support through our workers compensation scheme in NSW. That is why we are inviting workers to have their workers compensation payments reassessed, in case they were underpaid and are owed money.
Why was PIAWE introduced as the method used to calculate workers compensation claims in 2012?
The introduction of PIAWE was intended to provide a method of calculation based on what a worker had actually been earning prior to their injury. It includes specified allowances which is intended to result in fairer payments to injured workers by using average gross earnings from the 52-week period prior to the injury.
Are both open and closed claims being reassessed?
Yes, we are reassessing both open and closed claims where injuries were notified on or after 1 October 2012 with a date of injury prior to 21 October 2019.
What if the date my injury was notified was before 1 October 2012?
For claims made prior to 1 October 2012, weekly payments were not calculated using PIAWE and therefore needed to be transitioned to the new method which used PIAWE.
Workers who were still receiving weekly payments as at 1 October 2012 were all deemed to have the same PIAWE called the "transitional rate".
The transitional rate was deemed by the legislation and was not based on the worker’s actual earnings prior to the injury. If your claim was transitioned to the new system and your PIAWE was deemed to be the transitional rate, we are unfortunately unable to reassess your PIAWE as it was based on a deemed rate at the time.
Workers who transitioned to PIAWE who were not on the transitional rate are eligible for a reassessment.
I’m a government worker. When can I have my weekly workers compensation payments reassessed?
If you had a claim where your injury was notified on or after 1 October 2012 and the date of your injury was before 21 October 2019, you are eligible to have your payments reassessed. Please complete the online form to register for a reassessment.
I received a lump sum for my workers compensation. Can I still apply for a reassessment?
This depends on the type of settlement you received. Settlements can include work injury damages, commutations or common law payments. In some instances you will not be eligible, however we encourage you to complete the online form so we can assess your specific circumstances.
How can I find out what information was used for calculating my weekly workers compensation payments?
We encourage you to complete the online form and a claims service provider will be in touch with you to discuss the relevant information that is held on your claim and any gaps in that information.
What information will I need to provide for my assessment?
As each person's circumstances are different, we will let you know what information is needed for your reassessment once you complete the online form.
This may mean providing earnings information for the 52-week period leading up to your injury such as pay slips, your employment contract, PAYG statements, leave records or other information relating to your earnings.
Will I need to get in touch with my employer to obtain relevant earnings information for my reassessment?
Depending on the earnings information needed, you may need to get in touch with your employer for this information, if you feel comfortable to do so. Insurers are dependent on information from employers when determining an injured worker's weekly workers compensation payment. Visit the Payments for your employees page for more information regarding the obligations of your employer.
If your employer is a NSW government agency, we will contact them on your behalf.
What if I disagree with the assessment outcome or have a complaint about the process?
You can contact the Independent Review Office (IRO).
IRO receives and accepts enquiries or complaints about the conduct of an insurer and is ready to take your call about this process. If required, IRO can connect you with an approved lawyer to provider legal advice which may be at no cost to you.
Which claims service providers are involved in the review and who is doing the assessment?
Specialised teams from EML, GIO, QBE and Allianz are responsible for the reassessments and additional quality assurance is undertaken by specialists from icare.
How many workers have been underpaid so far?
To date icare has found that less than 5 per cent of workers with a workplace injury over this seven-year period are likely to have an assessable underpayment in their weekly compensation payments.
If I am owed money when will I receive my payment?
This depends on a number of factors. Your claims service provider will be in touch with the timing of your payment.
What if it turns out I was overpaid?
If, after your reassessment, it is determined you were overpaid you will not be asked or required to repay anything.
However, if you are receiving ongoing weekly entitlements these may be reduced as a result of this new determination. In most cases, three months' notice will be given if there is a change to your future payments.
Outcomes of a reassessment
- Where can I seek mental health support?
- Where can I go for financial support?
I need this information to be translated, where can I go?
The icare website, including this page, is able to be translated into a number of different languages by selecting the “Languages” option from the menu. Alternatively, the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) may also be able to assist.
Our fact sheet has more information on the reassessment process and is also available in multiple languages including: