Part of the entitlements which are part of the Transport Accident Commission scheme is known as ‘No-Fault Benefits’. These benefits are payable by the TAC no matter who is at fault in the cause of the accident
1. Hospital medical and like benefits including rehabilitation expenses.
These may include:
o Medicals services,
o Hospital services,
o Nursing services,
o Physiotherapy services,
o Rehabilitation and disability services,
o Travelling to and from treatment or rehabilitation, approved program or place of employment,
o Pharmacy expenses,
o Tuition, training or further education,
o Gym/swim programs,
o Vocational services and retraining,
o Occupational therapy,
o Attendant care,
o Child care and home services,
o Substitute care where injured person is a primary carer,
o Accommodation support, community access and respite care subject to prior authorisation,
o Aids, appliance or apparatus required as a result of injuries,
o Counselling services to family members of a person who has sustained a severe injury,
o Travel and accommodation costs incurred by injured person’s partner, child or immediate family member.
If your treating doctor or specialist believes a benefit or service is reasonable under the circumstances, you should obtain a medical certificate in support and send it into your claims manager at the TAC. We recommend keeping copies of all correspondence you send to the TAC and we are happy to assist you with this process, so please discuss with us should you have any questions or require assistance.
You must submit all accounts for medical and related expenses including travel expenses, to the TAC, within 2 years of the date of the treatment or service.
2. Loss of Earnings (LOE) benefits
Are paid during the first 18 month period after the transport accident – The TAC will pay LOE benefits after the first 5 working days, at a rate of 80% of your pre-accident weekly earnings for a period of 18 months after the accident. If you are on a low income or have one or more dependants, you may be entitled to more than 80% of your income.
If you are partially incapacitated for work your rate will be 85% of the difference between your pre-accident weekly earnings and your actual post-accident earnings. This may be higher if you have on a low income or have one or more dependants.
Pre-accident weekly earnings are normally based on your average earnings, including allowances and overtime, during the 12 month period immediately before your transport accident. Loss of Earnings benefits is capped at $1,300 per week.
3. Loss of Earnings Capacity (LOEC) Benefits
Are paid for the loss of income and earning capacity for the second 18 month period after the accident up until the 3-year mark, unless you reach an impairment degree of 50% or more in which case these benefits are payable until age 65.
A person’s ‘pre-accident capacity’ is the amount they had the capacity to earn before the transport accident in employment which is reasonably available to them in light of their training, skills and experience, and is currently capped at $1110 per week.
4. Post Hospital Support Payment
If your degree of impairment is less than 50% but you are hospitalised outside of the period of 3 years after the transport accident, the TAC can pay up to $5,090 for loss of wages, childcare assistance, home service or post-acute support.
5. A Lump Sum Impairment Benefit
Are payable for injured persons whose injuries are greater than 10% whole person impairment.
An impairment of 11% will entitle you to $7,560 and an additional amount will be paid for every 1% impairment after that, with 20% entitling you to $20,530, and 30% is $41,030, all the way up to 100% which entitles you to $344,930.
An impairment benefit does not take into account the pain and suffering you have experienced or your loss of enjoyment of life. It is strictly a no-fault payment that is made to compensate you for the level of bodily impairment you have suffered. Pain and suffering is something that you will be compensated for in the event you are entitled to bring a common law claim.
The TAC can assess your level of impairment as soon as 3 months after the accident provided your injuries are stable. This means that they are not getting substantially better or worse at the time. The TAC is obliged to determine your level of impairment within 3 years of the date of an accident, however, a request can be made to wait beyond this timeframe to allow injuries to substantially stabilise if needed.
You have 6 years from the date of the accident, or from the date the injuries first manifested themselves, to apply to the TAC to bring a claim for impairment benefits. It is important that you contact the TAC or ourselves for advice within this time frame or you may lose your right to claim this benefit.
6. Fatal Accidents
In the event a transport accident results in a fatality, the following additional no-fault benefits are payable by the TAC:
- Reasonable costs of burial or cremation (up to $15,230),
- Reasonable costs of family counselling (up to $16,160),
- Reasonable costs of child care,
- Primary care support,
- Home services,
- Lump sum death benefit (current max – $181,180),
- Weekly payments to surviving partner,
- Payments for surviving children.
There are situations where persons may be ineligible for some or other of these No-Fault Benefits due to drinking driving or driving-related offences. In the event you are unsure about your situation please contact your local TAC Lawyers today so that we can provide you with expert advice in relation to your particular circumstances and provide you with an assessment of your claim.