Chapter VI: Determination And Calculation Of Compensation

When someone is injured on duty in an “accident” as contemplated in section 1 of the COIDA, this accident could result in various conditions and thus different forms of compensation. The expression “compensation” is, therefore, used in the wide sense of the word that is associated with different kinds of benefits. The injury leads to a specific medical condition which determines the nature of the payments of compensation. For the sake of a better understanding of what is to follow in the column let me illustrate how an injury can lead to different kind of benefits:

Temporary total or partial disablement that is the period in which the employee is receiving medical treatment and is unable to work.

The benefit payable will be 75% of the monthly earnings of the injured taking the earning limit prescribed in item I of Schedule 4 of the COIDA into account.

Permanent Disablement

The amount payable for this disablement will differ, the fact is it can differ drastically. It all depends on the percentage of the permanent disablement as determined by the office of the CC. The % pd can either be listed in Schedule 2 of the Act or if not listed, a percentage fixed by the CC office claims department. If the percentage is 1 to 30 % it will be a lump sum calculated according to according to item 2 of Schedule 4 of the Act. If the percentage is 31% to 100% it will be a monthly pension for life to the injured calculated in accordance with items 4 and 8 of Schedule 4 of the Act. 

Fatal Accidents

The benefit payable to the dependants of an employee who was fatally injured in an accident is also a monthly pension. A lack of space prohibits me from discussing who the dependants might be but I promise that this subject will form part of a column in future. It is a difficult subject that needs to be well understood to ensure that everybody is getting what is due to them. It is in any case a difficult subject if one is not familiar with the relevant laws. Basically the way a pension is calculated is set out in items 6 to 10 of Schedule 4 of the Act. Item 10 deals especially with the funeral costs paid by the Compensation Fund.

Section 47 

Provides for the compensation for temporary disablement, a brief overview of which I have given you above. The maximum period that compensation can be paid is two years. Thereafter the CC must determine whether the employees is suffering from pd and fix the % pd so that the compensation for this condition can be paid.

Section 49 & 54

These sections also need a closer look. It was discussed above but as an introduction for a clearer understanding of the word compensation. When you deal with these aspects of workers’ compensation always keep in mind that you cannot deal with these sections in isolation. The Schedules 2 and 4 are just as important and you must be totally familiar with them otherwise the sections in themselves will make no sense. Also keep in mind that compensation for pd for a person under the age of 26 or in training has a different formula to their benefit. See section 51 in this regard.

Please also note that Schedule 4, Manner of Calculating Compensation, is annually amended per Notice in the Government Gazette. Unless you familiarise yourself with the latest Schedule 4, you will not be able to verify the correctness of the CC’s calculation of the compensation.

There is a further benefit payable in connection with injuries on duty. This concerns the payment of the medical costs incurred when someone is injured on duty. This benefit will be discussed under Chapter VIII of the columns.

Due to a lack of space I am forced to write a follow-up on Chapter VI of the COIDA. The rest of the Chapter contains several important provisions that are often ignored maybe due to a lack of knowledge.

To be continued.

Till next time.