Commutation payments

Under some circumstances, you can get your workers insurance payments in one lump sum if your employer and insurer agree.

Under some circumstances, you can get your workers insurance payments in one lump sum if your employer and insurer agree.

The official term is a ‘commutation’ which means that you accept a single lump sum to cover all of your agreed entitlements including medical, hospital and rehab payments.

It also replaces any future weekly payments you may be eligible to receive.

When commutations can be paid

Before agreeing to a commutation of payments, you must get legal and financial advice. 

A lump sum isn’t always available as an option and you will have to meet certain conditions:

  • You must have been assessed as having a permanent impairment that is 15 per cent or above
  • Compensation for that impairment has already been paid
  • You are entitled to ongoing weekly benefits, and they have not been stopped or reduced because you haven’t sought suitable employment
  • It’s been over two years since you first started to receive weekly payments, and have been getting benefits regularly or periodically the six months before the commutation
  • You’ve explored all possibilities of managing your injury sufficiently to return to work

Once you, your insurer and employer have agreed, SIRA must certify that the commutation meets the requirements set out in section 87EA of the Workers Compensation Act (1987).

After certification by SIRA, the commutation can be registered with the Workers Compensation Commission and then the lump sum can be paid.