Tribunal: Member W Frost

This review was about the amount of compensation Comcare was liable to pay to the applicant. The applicant was incapacitated and unable to work as result of an injury she sustained while working for the Australian Federal Police. She was retired from her employment and had received a lump sum benefit under a superannuation scheme as a result of her retirement.

The applicant disputed the calculation of the compensation payable by Comcare. Because the applicant received the compensation in a lump sum under a superannuation scheme, Comcare had to use a specific formula to determine the weekly compensation payments the applicant would receive.[1] The formula took into account the weekly interest on the lump sum, which is determined by reference to the “superannuation amount”.

The primary issue for the AAT was determining the “superannuation amount” and from what date the amount would apply. The “superannuation amount” broadly refers to the portion of the lump sum that can be attributed to employer contributions made under the scheme. If the scheme has not identified a part of the lump sum as attributable to the contributions made by the Commonwealth, the “superannuation amount” is the amount assessed by Comcare.[2] 

The AAT concluded the scheme did not identify the part of the lump sum as attributable to the contributions made by the Commonwealth. The AAT agreed with Comcare’s calculation of the “superannuation amount”.

The AAT found Comcare made an error when determining the date compensation was payable from and varied the decision by changing the date.

The AAT affirmed Comcare’s decision regarding the calculation of the compensation payable to the applicant.

Read the full decision on AustLII.

 

[1] Section 21 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

[2] Section 4 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.