Whole Person Impairment QLD – Compassionate Help for Your Claim

We know that handling personal injury claims after a catastrophic work accident can be overwhelming and stressful. Our dedicated team is ready to walk you through the process of claiming for whole person impairment QLD so you can recover with peace of mind.


The Civil Liability Regulation 2014 defines whole person impairment (WPI) as an estimate (percentage) of how your injury-related permanent impairment has affected your ability to do everyday activities. If you’ve been injured at work, you’re entitled to a worker’s compensation payment, depending on the extent of impairment you have suffered.

What is Whole Person Impairment? 

Whole person impairment (WPI) is an estimated percentage of how much your permanent impairment impacts your daily life. For WPI compensation claims, it’s important to understand that the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 describes permanent impairment as a permanent loss of function after a work-related injury or illness. Moreover, a permanent impairment is stable and stationary, which means any future medical treatment will not help the injury or improve the impairment
WPI is also a system used to assess the level of impairment from permanent damage to calculate an appropriate compensation payout. A qualified medical practitioner will assess the injured person according to Queensland’s specific guidelines. A WPI rating of 5% is the minimum required to qualify for a whole person impairment in QLD payout.

What Types of Injuries Are Covered by WPI?

Steps to Make Back Injury Claim - Guide from WT Compensation Lawyers
How to Make Back Injury Claim - Step-by-Step Guide

Whole person impairment covers both physical injuries and psychological injuries or conditions. If you have suffered one of the following injuries from an accident at work, and it affects your current quality of life, you may be eligible for a WPI lump sum payment. 

Physical InjuriesPsychological Injuries or Conditions&
Serious back injuriesPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Shoulder injuriesWork-related mental illness
Head and neck injuriesSevere stress and/or depression
Brain injuries
Loss of limb
Hearing loss
Loss of sight (full or partial blindness)
Injuries that affect different body parts
Injuries that impact your five senses

How is Whole Person Impairment Assessed in QLD? 

To start your claim for whole person impairment in Queensland, you must have a Permanent Impairment Assessment with a trained medical specialist. This will include a physical examination, during which the specialist will assess you based on Queensland’s Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (GEPI). These are based on the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA5), and contain specific information for a wide range of injuries and conditions. 

After analysing how your impairment affects your daily life and activities, the specialist will calculate your degree of permanent impairment (DPI). Your DPI is a percentage of whole person impairment. If your score is 5% or higher, you will be eligible for a permanent impairment payout if you meet the criteria below. 

How is Whole Person Impairment Score Calculated? 

Your assessment will include a review of your medical records and a thorough physical examination. The assessor will look at things like your: 

  • Range of motion 
  • Function in your limbs 
  • Physical changes 
  • Neurological issues
  • Pain levels 
  • Impact on daily living 

These factors are combined to get your final whole person impairment rating. This is your final WPI score if you want to get a permanent impairment rating payout. You can work out your score using an online whole person impairment calculator, but that score won’t be valid unless officially backed up by a qualified assessor. 

Are You Eligible for a Whole Person Impairment Claim? 

You are eligible for a whole person impairment claim if your injury or illness is work-related, and if your impairment has been stable for at least 3 months. During your whole person impairment assessment, your medical assessor will evaluate you based on a special set of considerations to make sure your impairment fits the criteria.

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:


We’ve summarised the criteria to qualify for WPI lump sum compensation below:

You cannot claim WPI for an injury or illness that is not directly related to your work. If your injury or illness occurred as a result of work, then it falls under injuries that can be compensated. So, you are eligible for a WPI claim. 

2. Stabilised Condition

Your injury or illness must be at the point where medical professionals believe the likelihood of improvement is low, even with treatment. This point is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). 

Whole Person Psychological Impairment 

If you have both physical and psychological (or psychiatric) impairments caused by the same injury, your impairments will not be assessed together. You will be assessed twice – once for your physical injury and once for your mental condition. Unlike multiple physical impairments, these two results cannot be combined. 

When psychiatric or psychological disorders are present, you will be assessed by a Medical Assessment Tribunal (MAT). This is an independent tribunal run by the Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services (WCRS). You’ll be assessed by a panel of three to five specialists who will consider how long you’ve had the condition, any treatment or medication you’re on, and if your impairment is likely to improve. They will also check if you’ve had reasonable treatment for your impairment and whether it has been affected by your psychiatric condition. 

What is a Whole Person Impairment Scale/Rating? 

The whole person impairment scale is the rating system used to determine permanent impairment payout amounts in QLD. It spans from 0 to 100%, and your whole person impairment percentage (DPI) determines how much compensation you’re entitled to. This scale considers the overall effect of your impairment on your daily activities. 

According to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (QLD), your final compensation is calculated by multiplying your WPI percentage by the maximum statutory compensation. This amount can change based on your benefit type. 

For example, if your compensation falls under “standard” benefit, you would multiply Queensland’s ordinary time earnings (QOTE) by 216.15. As of 1 July 2023, QOTE is $1,760.70. This would give you a maximum statutory compensation of $380,575.31. 

We’ve used this calculation to give you an idea of the permanent impairment payment you can expect based on your WPI score using the “standard” benefit. 

Estimated Whole Person Impairment Rating Payout in Queensland

WPI Percentage (DPI)WPI Payout Estimate

** Note that these are only general payout amounts. Contact us today for an estimated payout based on your specific circumstances.

The Psychiatric Impairment Rating Scale (PIRS)

types of injuries covered by wpi
the psychiatric impairment rating scale (pirs)

There’s a different scale for calculating psychiatric impairment. It has extra factors to help the assessor determine the extent of impairment based on psychiatric conditions in those who are dealing with the consequences of workplace injuries or illnesses. 

The assessor will have to measure the impact of psychiatric conditions on your life separately from the impact of your physical injury or illness. This scale (called the PIRS scale) has 6 components to be evaluated: 

  1. Self-Care and Personal Hygiene: The assessor will evaluate whether you are taking care of your personal needs by yourself. 
  1. Engaging in Social Interaction and Leisure Activities: This measures how much you take part in social gatherings and hobbies, as well as how much you enjoy them. 
  1. Travel Independence: You will be assessed on your ability and willingness to travel on your own, use public transport, and operate your vehicle independently. 
  1. Relationships: Your assessor will also evaluate your personal relationships with family, friends, and your partner to see if everything is going well. 
  1. Focus and Completing Tasks: This component checks how well you can follow instructions, as well as how well you can focus on a single task, maintain effort on that task over time, and work consistently to finish what you have started. 
  1. Workplace Readiness: Lastly, your assessor will have a look at whether you are ready to return to work, whether you could return full-time or part-time, and if you need to work at a different location. Here, they may consider factors like productivity, stress management, time management, and reliability. 

Like physical impairment, your medico-legal assessment for psychiatric impairment is measured using the Guidelines for Evaluation of Permanent Impairment

Whole Person Impairment Compensation Options in QLD

If you qualify for a whole person impairment payout, you can expect one of two compensation options: a lump sum payout or common law damages. 

Lump Sum WPI Payout 

This lump sum compensation is a “no-fault” statutory claim. It is calculated based on your WPI score (DPI) and is paid out even if the accident was your fault. You are entitled to this payment no matter what your WPI score is, as long as you meet the permanent impairment criteria explained above. 

Common Law Damages 

You can file a common law claim for damages if your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. You will need to prove this negligence (or fault), but the payout is often higher as it covers medical expenses, lost income (past and future), and pain and suffering. It’s worth noting that common law damages claims can be more complex and often take longer than WPI lump sum claims. 

If your DPI is 20% or higher, you may be able to claim a WPI payout and file a common law damages claim. However, if your DPI is below 20%, you may have to choose between WPI compensation and common law compensation. 

We know the compensation claims process can be daunting, even when your claim seems straightforward. If you would like some guidance, get in touch with us, and we will walk with you every step of the way. 

What Is the Difference Between a WPI Claim and a Common Law Claim? 

WPI ClaimsCommon Law Claim
NatureNo-fault claim; no need to prove the causeBased on negligence
EligibilityUsually requires a minimum DPI of 5% or higherYou must prove someone else’s negligence
CompensationLump sum payment based on your DPI percentagePotentially higher as it includes pain and suffering, loss of future income, and more
Time LimitsStrict time limits for submitting a claim starting from WPI assessmentStrict time limits for submitting a claim starting from the day of injury
Common Law Rights and Impact on WPIIf your DPI is 20% or higher, you can also submit a common law claimIf your DPI is lower than 20%, you may waive your right to a WPI payout if you claim common law damages

How Do I Claim for Whole Person Impairment in QLD? 

We highly recommend getting legal help with permanent impairment claims. Having a professional on your side will help you get through the complexities of a claim with peace of mind! Give us a call today – our team is ready to help you along your WPI journey. 

Our team will handle the entire process for you. We’ll start by organising your medical assessment to prove you have reached maximum medical improvement. Then, we’ll submit your claim. You may wait up to 2 months to hear back from the insurer, and they may require a second examination done by one of their specialists. 

If a dispute arises, an independent medical examiner may need to assess you. If there’s no dispute, you will receive a lump sum payout. At WT Compensation Lawyers, we have a “No Win, No Fee” policy, so you won’t spend anything until you get your payout.

Whole Person Impairment in QLD FAQs

No, if you’ve already accepted a lump sum payout for whole person impairment in QLD, you cannot claim again for the same injury. However, you are still entitled to make a common law compensation claim if your DPI is over 20%, the injury was caused by third-party negligence, and you’re still within the legal time frame to make a claim.

Yes, you can appeal your WPI assessment. You can ask for a review, and if you still aren’t happy with your DPI, you can go to an independent medical assessment tribunal

Our compassionate team is ready to work with you on your claims journey. Contact us to chat about your case, and remember – no win, no fee. Or, take our FREE case assessment for more insight on your claim.

What our clients say

Thank you WT Compensation Lawyers for your hard work, commitment and dedication towards settling my case. This was my first ever experience having the helping hand of a lawyer and I’m glad it was with your firm! Thank you very much for making everything seem so easy and clear for me to understand. I will definitely know who I can trust in regards to seeking legal aid

Asipeli Feki

Warm, kind, compassionate, knowledgeable… I could go on and on about Jono and his great team at WT Compensation Lawyers. The words thank you don’t even begin to describe how grateful I am to this great team of personal injury lawyers and for the way they help people and show that they genuinely care about their clients.

R Rasul

I am beyond grateful for the genuine assistance of WT Compensation lawyers to get through with my claim. Absolutely every single person I had contact with at the team were amazing. I especially want to thank Jono Wu who helped me achieve an outstanding outcome.

Virginia Su

Jono, Sinny and everyone at WT Compensation Lawyers are the best car accident lawyers in Brisbane I’ve come across. The genuine care, compassion and human kindness they show to their clients is clear from the very first moment you speak to them. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer and would not hesitate at all to refer any of my family or friends. Thank you guys always for all your great work.

Ru McKinnon

Big thanks to WT, Jono, Sinny and the entire team. I couldn’t be happier with boys and the help they’ve given me and my family over the years. Both my sister and partner had car accidents and got unreal results from their claim. These guys are talented, empathetic and genuinely want the best for their clients and I couldn’t recommend them more if you want the best car accident lawyers.

Tylor Bunting

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:


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