Impairment threshold explained

When any individual makes a claim for Workers’ Compensation they are more than likely going to hear or read the words ‘impairment threshold’. As a dedicated team of legal professionals with decades of experience working within Australian Workers’ Compensation Law, Gordon Legal are the trusted go-to firm for Australian workers attempting to navigate the pit-falls and confusion surrounding Workers’ Compensation law and how it applies to them. To help you understand how the impairment threshold works, or may apply to you or your injuries, we have compiled some basic information here.

If you believe you have a claim for compensation and are confused or daunted by the process, then always seek legal help when you feel that you need it. Compensation claims can often be distressing to individuals and families, particularly when they involve permanent impairment which is likely to affect you and your family for the rest of your life. They can also take time to lodge and become particularly distressing if your claim has been rejected or you have any need to dispute a decision related to your future working life, your treatment options, and your immediate financial circumstances.

We can be contacted on 1800 21 22 23 or log on to our website at for more information. Remember, we’re here to help.

What is the impairment threshold?

The impairment threshold is determined by applying a guide which is designed to calculate the impact a work related injury has had on a worker’s ability to continue working after treatment and rehabilitation. It is measured by medical professionals who, when they assess your injury, take into account the type of injury that you have sustained, and how much of your body or mind has been affected by the injury.

This threshold exists to help accurately assess the ongoing effects of a work related injury beyond the immediate circumstances of a person’s life. It is measured in percentages and your entitlements to compensation such as lump sum payouts are evaluated based on the percentage of permanent impairment that you have suffered as a result of your injury.

For example, seriously injured workers are classified as individuals who have experienced more than 30% whole person impairment. This may be physical, as in the loss of a limb or digits, or it may be psychological.

Depending upon the percentage of impairment you have sustained as a result of your work related injury, you may be eligible to claim a lump sum payment. This percentage may also calculate the length of time you may be eligible for weekly payments or the coverage of your medical and rehabilitation costs.

For example, lump sum payouts associated with permanent impairments are only payable to workers in NSW who have suffered more than 10% permanent physical impairment or 15% permanent psychological impairment.

As Workers’ Compensation law can differ slightly between states and territories across Australia, it is always important to seek professional legal advice in the state or territory which governs your claim for Workers’ Compensation. Our team have specialised in Workers’ Compensation law for decades so we can assist you in understanding how the impairment threshold works and explaining any decisions or expectations you experience as a result of your score on the permanent impairment threshold.

Contact us today on 1800 21 22 23 or log on to our website at for more information on how we can assist you and your claim for compensation relating to work injuries and your compensation rights and entitlements.

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