Provided you meet the eligibility requirements, the TAC will pay a range of benefits to people injured in motor vehicle accidents. These benefits fall into 3 categories, all of which are administered under a ‘no fault’ scheme. They include:
The TAC will pay you Loss of Earnings benefits (LOE) if you are unable to work as a result of your injury. These benefits are only available for the first 18 months after the date of the accident.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:
- You are 15 Years or over;
- You must have been employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis when the accident occurred. If you were unemployed at the time, you still may be able to claim a loss of earnings benefit, provided that you held a job in the two years before the accident;
- You are unable to return to work due to your accident-related injuries;
- You have obtained a Certificate of Capacity from your doctor supporting your claim;
- You have had more than 5 days off work. Unless the injured person can demonstrate severe financial hardship, the TAC will generally not pay for loss of earnings for the first 5 days following the accident.
How much can I receive?
When calculating your loss of earnings, the TAC will average your gross weekly earnings over the 12 month period before the date of the accident. Periods without pay and bonuses etc. will also be taken into account.
Typically, you should receive 80% of your income if you have a total incapacity for work. However, if you earn less than $612, you will be paid the full amount of your income. If you have one dependent, you will receive $785 and $55 for each additional dependent. The maximum payment that a person can receive is $1250.
Alex earns $50,000, or $961.53 per week. However, she takes 2 weeks of unpaid leave throughout the year reducing her actual earnings to $48,076.94. Therefore, her pre-injury earnings are $924.55 ($48,076.94 divided by 52).
Without any dependents, Alex would be entitled to $739.64 per week (80% of $924.55).
What if I Return to Work Part Time?
If you are able to work on a part time basis, you may still be eligible to receive partial loss of earnings benefits. You should inform the TAC and provide them with a current Certificate of Capacity from your doctor.
While your claim is being assessed, the TAC may also provide immediate financial assistance in the form of a one-off payment. This will cover the 2 week period following the 6th day after the accident occurred and is only available to someone who:
- has provided evidence of earnings;
- has suffered a loss of earnings and provided a certificate of capacity;
- has been absent from work or expects to be absent for more than 5 days; and
- has applied for loss of earnings benefits.
What I am Unable to Return to Work after 18 Months?
The TAC should still continue to pay you, however, the amount will be based on your earning capacity
Medical and Like Expenses
If your TAC claim has been approved, you should also be able to claim all reasonable and necessary treatment expenses incurred as a result of your injury.
Generally, you will be required to pay the first $629 for medical expenses. However, there are exceptions. For further information on medical excess, please click here.
A wide range of medical services can be claimed such as dental, acupuncture, chiropractic, optometry, orthopaedics, physiotherapy or weight loss treatment.
Ambulance, Hospital and Nursing
This can include, but is not limited to, hospital stays, ambulance costs, nursing treatment, hip-replacement surgery, reimbursement of private health insurance and road accident rescue services.
You may be able to claim for services such as exercise physiology, drug and alcohol counselling, gym and swimming memberships, rehabilitation programs, driving programs, return to work programs or speech pathology.
This might include services such as osteopathy, physiotherapy, joint fluid therapy, audiology, myotherapy and massage and occupational therapy.
Medication and Equipment
Medication and equipment services can include chemist medication, special food, dose administration aids, continence equipment, vitamins, vaccinations, sedatives or treatment of transport injuries with drugs of dependence.
Treatment for People who have been Severely Injured or have a Disability
These services can include guide dogs and assistance dogs, home and vehicle modifications, on-call services, respite services, family counselling and therapy support services.
You may be entitled to receive psychology services to assist you in returning to work or improving your overall mental health. You will need to obtain a referral from your doctor to be eligible for such services.
Any travel expenses you incur as a result of the accident will generally be reimbursed so long as they are reasonable and necessary.
The TAC will cover expenses such as travel to and from appointments, accommodation, travel to school and higher education and visiting expenses for immediate members
To assist with day-to-day living, there are a range of services available that you may be able to claim. These can include family support, education support, daily living, interpreting services, social work, household help and respite.
If you require assistance around the home, your doctor will need to provide a written request for household help services. You should obtain approval prior to commencement of such services.
For a complete list of services available, visit the TAC website.
There are certain expenses that the TAC will not pay for such as equipment for others or equipment that it deems unnecessary.
Permanent Impairment Benefits
An impairment benefit is a once-off lump sum payment made to an injured person as a result of a motor vehicle accident causing a physical and/or psychiatric permanent impairment. This is often referred to as pain and suffering, which essentially means ‘actual pain, distress or anxiety’. For further information on Permanent Impairment Benefits, please click here.