Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992
Commenced: 1 Jul 1992
54. Independence allowance---(1) Subject to this section, every person
who has cover under this Act is entitled to receive an independence
allowance where the person's personal injury has resulted in a degree of
disability of 10 percent or more.
(2) Any entitlement to the independence allowance shall commence not
earlier than 13 weeks after the date on which the personal injury
causing that disability was suffered.
(3) The independence allowance shall be paid by the Corporation
quarterly in advance, and no action shall be taken to recover any
quarterly payment (or part thereof) in respect of any person who dies or
whose disability lessens or ceases during that quarter.
(4) The amount of the independence allowance shall be $40 per week for
persons who have a degree of disability of 100 percent, and shall be at
such lesser graduated rates as are set by regulations made under this
Act in respect of those persons with lesser degrees of disability.
(5) The Corporation shall not pay any independence allowance unless
the assessment of the degree of disability of the person in respect of
whom it is to be paid has been made in accordance with---
(a) Scales prescribed under this Act which may be based on impairment
or disability or a combination of impairment and disability; or
(b) In the absence of the scales referred to in paragraph (a) of this
subsection, the American Medical Association Guides to the
Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (Second Edition)---
and any such allowance shall be payable from the date of the assessment
or the date determined under subsection (2) of this section, whichever
is the later.
(6) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (5) of this section, if the
assessment has not been made within 13 weeks after the date on which the
personal injury causing that disability was suffered, but the
Corporation is satisfied that---
(a) The assessment has not been completed (whether or not it has been
commenced) for reasons beyond the control or responsibility of
the injured person; and
(b) If the assessment had been completed the degree of disability of
the injury would have entitled the person to an independence
the Corporation shall pay an independence allowance as if the injured
person's degree of disability had been assessed at a percentage
estimated by the Corporation.
(7) No independence allowance shall be payable under subsection (6) of
this section for a period exceeding 12 months from the day on which the
personal injury was suffered.
(8) Where an independence allowance is paid to a person under
subsection (6) of this section and that person's degree of disability is
subsequently assessed to be greater than that estimated by the
Corporation, that person shall be entitled to receive the independence
allowance as if that assessment had been made 13 weeks after the date on
which the personal injury was suffered.
(9) The Corporation shall be entitled to recover any amount paid under
subsection (6) of this section if the assessment subsequently
establishes that the degree of disability is less than that estimated by
(10) The assessment of the degree of disability shall be undertaken on
behalf of and at the expense of the Corporation.
(11) Without limiting subsection (12) of this section, the Corporation
shall reassess the degree of disability of each injured person at
intervals not exceeding 5 years.
(12) The Corporation may, on its own motion, or at the request of the
injured person, reassess the degree of disability of that person and
make any appropriate adjustment to the independence allowance payable as
from the commencement of the next quarter, but not more than 1
reassessment may be undertaken in any 12-month period.
(13) In any assessment of disability under this section, any
disability that does not arise from personal injury covered by this Act,
or personal injury by accident covered by the Accident Compensation Act
1972 or the Accident Compensation Act 1982, and in respect of which a
claim has been accepted by the Corporation, shall be disregarded.
(14) Where any person who has received a payment under section 119 of
the Accident Compensation Act 1972 or section 78 of the Accident
Compensation Act 1982 is assessed for the purposes of establishing an
entitlement to an independence allowance, the person's disability
assessed under subsection (5) of this section shall be reduced by the
percentage or percentages of permanent loss or impairment of bodily
function upon which any payment or payments under section 119 of the
Accident Compensation Act 1972 or section 78 of the Accident
Compensation Act 1982 were based.
(15) For the purposes of assessments under this section, regulations
made under this Act may---
(a) Extend or modify the American Medical Association Guides to the
Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (Second Edition) or any
subsequent edition of those guides that may be prescribed for
the purposes of this section:
(b) Prescribe scales other than the American Medical Association
Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (Second
Edition) to be used for the purposes of this section, which may
be later editions of those guides, or other scales.
Cf. 1982, No. 181, ss. 78, 80 (1)