How to make a TAC claim
Many people do not lodge a TAC claim after a motor vehicle accident, simply because they are unaware that they’re entitled to make a claim, or because they’re not sure what they can actually claim, or they might not know how to make a claim.
This page will show you the following:
1. How to lodge a TAC claim
2. Determine whether you’re likely to be entitled to TAC benefits.
3. What the TAC will pay for if you have an accepted claim.
How to make a TAC claim
There are three ways in which you can lodge a TAC claim after accident.
1. Call the TAC on 1300 654 329
They’re available Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:30 pm.
Tell the person that you speak to that you have been involved in an accident and that you wish to lodge a new TAC claim.
The person will ask you a number of questions about how the accident happened, your contact information, details of any vehicles involved and details of any police attendance (see later on in this article for the information that you should have prior to lodging a claim).
Generally speaking the call should take between 15 and 30 minutes.
When the call has finished, you’ll be provided with a TAC claim number. This number is important and you should make a note of it.
You will also receive some correspondence which include some forms that you should sign and return.
If you have a lawyer there will be a form that will include an authority document that lets the TAC know you’re legally represented.
The TAC will determine whether to accept or deny the claim within 21 days.
If they require further information in order to process the claim, they will contact you during this period.
If your claim is accepted then you are entitled to the payment of medical and like expenses and if your ability to work has been impacted because of the accident, you’re entitled to income payments.
If the TAC reject your claim then there are appeal avenues that you can access.
2. TAC claim online lodgement
The TAC has an online claim lodgement form you can use.
The form will ask you a number of questions.
Once all of the questions have been answered, you can submit the form online.
Their online claim lodgement form looks like this (below).
Keep in mind however that if you don’t have all the information that you need to complete the form, you may not be able to lodge your claim online.
3. Hospital lodgement
The final way for a claim to be lodged is by a hospital.
Sometimes if you’ve been hospitalised after an accident, the hospital will lodge a TAC claim on your behalf.
They do this because they want to ensure that they get paid for the treatment that they provide to you.
You often won’t be told that the hospital has lodged a claim on your behalf.
To find out whether they have lodged a claim in your matter, you can call the TAC and ask them, or alternatively you can contact the hospital.
Before lodging a claim, you should have the following information:
- Your preferred contact information
- Details of the accident – including the date, how it occurred, where it occurred
- Details of any injuries you suffered
- The name of any doctors or any health practitioners that you’ve seen
- Details of any hospital you attended
- Details of any police who attended the scene, or accident reporting details
- Details of any witnesses
- Registration numbers of any relevant vehicles involved
- Employment and income details if you’ve lost income and earnings as a consequence of the accident
- Your bank account details (the bank account where payment to be made).
If the accident involved public transport, ensure also to have the following;
- Name of public transport operator (e.g. metro trains)
- Details of any person that you reported the accident to
- Details of your trip including where you were travelling to and where you were travelling from
- Details of any vehicle number or identifying number.
TAC claim eligibility
The TAC will pay compensation to a person who is injured, or to the dependant of a person who dies as a result of a motor vehicle accident that occurs in Victoria or interstate with a Victorian registered vehicle and the injured person is a Victorian resident or was an occupant of a Victorian based vehicle.
Who is excluded from claiming TAC benefits?
If the accident occurred after 1 January 1987, the TAC will not be responsible for paying any benefits if a report of the transport accident has not made to the police if the accident involved a motor vehicle or to the operator of a public transport service (e.g. train or tram).
However, the TAC has a discretion in some circumstances to accept claims where there has been a failure to report the accident.
The TAC will only pay medical and like expenses if a person was injured driving a motor vehicle and was convicted of culpable driving causing death or driving a motor vehicle in a matter that is dangerous to the public causing death.
If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident that occurred as part of a car race or similar event, you may not be entitled to claim.
If you suffer injury in a motor vehicle accident that occurred during the course of your employment, then you may be entitled to WorkCover benefits rather than TAC benefits.
The TAC is not liable to pay any loss of earnings benefits (relating to the first 18 months after an accident) if;
- The transport accident charge (which is paid at the time of your vehicle registration) had not been paid at the time of the transport accident.
- If a person was unlicensed at the time of the accident or if the license had been cancelled or suspended or in some instances if the person held or had held a license but at the time of the accident it had not been renewed for the last three years
- The person had been convicted of driving under the influence unless it is proven that this did not contribute to the accident
- If person at the time of the accident was the driver or a passenger in a motor vehicle that was used for or in connection with the commission of certain offences, which includes stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle or intentionally causing injury to another person.
If you’re involved in an accident on private land then the TAC is not liable to pay compensation if the motor vehicle was unregistered. You can read more about accidents on private property here.
What do I need to prove to have an accepted TAC claim?
You need to prove the following;
- That a transport accident occurred
- That the accident has been reported to police (and where relevant to the train/tram/bus operator)
- That you suffered injury as a result of the accident (or, that you had a pre-existing condition that has been aggravated by the accident).
TAC claim time limit
You have 12 months from the date of your accident to lodge a TAC claim.
Alternatively, you have 12 months from the date that an injury from your accident first becomes evident.
In some circumstances, the TAC can consider a claim made outside the 12 month period if it is made within three years of the accident.
Or, the date from when the injury first manifested itself and that reasonable grounds exist for the delay in making a claim.
However, we recommend lodging the TAC claim as soon as possible.
A TAC claim is designed to assist you after a motor vehicle accident and for this reason waiting is often detrimental and can prevent you from getting the help and support you need after a motor vehicle accident.
If a claim is not made for a person under the age of 18 by their parent or guardian within the appropriate time, that person can make a claim until the day before they reach the age of 21.
If you do not lodge a TAC claim within three years post accident, it is likely the TAC will not accept your claim and you will not be entitled to any compensation payable by the TAC (that being said, if you are outside the three year period and you think a TAC claim would benefit you, you should lodge a claim as soon as possible).
When you are claiming reimbursement of medical expenses from the TAC, you have two years from when the expense was incurred in which to do so.
If you wish to lodge a lump sum claim with the TAC for compensation of your injuries, generally speaking you have six years from the date of accident in which to bring a claim.
In some cases, it is possible to obtain an extension of time in which to do so.
What can TAC pay for?
There are four main entitlements under the TAC scheme.
- the payment of medical expenses
- the payment of income payments
- an impairment benefit lump sum
- a common law claim for damages.
1. Medical expenses
The TAC can pay for the reasonable cost of any medical expenses incurred as a consequence of the motor vehicle accident.
The TAC will cover reasonable medical, hospital, nursing, personal and household, occupational, rehabilitation and ambulance services.
Doctor, chemist, physiotherapy, and chiropractor bills are covered, as are appointments to see your specialist, and surgery (if approved by the TAC).
Mobility devices and special equipment, home and car modifications and transportation costs are also covered (again, if approved by the TAC).
There is no set time limit on how long your entitlement to medical expenses will run for.
TAC medical excess
In 2018, the TAC made some changes to the way that it approves treatment for people who are injured in a motor vehicle accident.
Prior to this, the TAC used to have a medical excess scheme which meant that an injured person needed to pay a minimum amount for medical treatment before the TAC started paying medical expenses.
However this is no longer relevant.
The TAC will be responsible for paying your medical treatment expenses as soon as your claim is accepted.
Keep in mind however that if you’re injured before the medical excess was removed (14 February 2018) you may still be required to pay the medical excess.
This means that you will need to pay for any medical treatment yourself and then provide proof of payment and treatment (totalling $651) to the TAC before they will pay your medical expenses.
2. Income payments
If your injuries prevent you from being able to do your job properly, whether that’s because you can’t work at all or can only do some work, then you’ll be entitled to income payments from the TAC.
To get payments from the TAC you will need to obtain a certificate of capacity from your GP or other health practitioner.
Most health professionals can provide you with TAC certificates other than psychologists.
It’s a good idea to have your GP write your certificates as you probably see them on a regular basis.
In terms of how payments are calculated, they’re based on an average of your wage of the 12 months prior to the injury (with a few exceptions).
This is called your pre-injury average weekly earnings.
You’ll sometimes see this is referred to as PIAWE.
How long can these payments go for?
Here’s a summary;
- If your income (gross) is less than $708 a week, the TAC will pay you 100% percent of your income.
- If 80% of your gross income is less than $708 a week, they pay you $708 a week.
- If your income is between $708 and $1430 a week, they will pay you 80% of your income a week.
- If 80% of income is more than $1430 a week, they pay $1430 a week.
What happens at the three year period?
There’s a significant change in the eligibility test for weekly payments at the three year mark.
Before then, you need to show that you can’t do your old job in an unrestricted way.
After the three mark however, you need to show that you have a 50% or greater whole person impairment.
There’s not a lot of people on weekly payments post three years because 50% is a very significant whole person impairment rating that very few people reach.
3. Impairment lump sum
Some people also choose to pursue an impairment lump sum claim.
This is lump sum compensation claim for permanent impairment.
In order to pursue an impairment claim it doesn’t matter whether someone was at fault or not or whether you’re at fault.
Anyone that is injured on the road is entitled to pursue an impairment benefit if they have suffered a permanent impairment.
A key to success in an impairment claim is to make sure that all of the injuries that you suffered in the accident are assessed by specialist doctors.
These doctors will grade all of the injuries and conditions that relate to the motor vehicle accident. They will put figures on them.
These percentage figures will then get combined into one overall figure.
The higher the overall figure, the greater the chance of success in the claim and the more that the claim is worth.
As of 2021, the minimum amount payable was $8040 and the maximum amount was $366,900.
These figures change at the end of each financial year.
4. Common law claim for damages
Some people are also able to pursue another lump sum claim called a common law claim for damages.
This is the claim which involves suing another party for their negligence.
Just being involved in a motor vehicle accident doesn’t automatically entitle you to pursue a common
law claim for damages. You need to show that someone else was negligent and it was their negligence that caused or contributed to the accident.
If you cannot show that someone else was negligent you will not succeed in this claim.
The second thing that you need to show to succeed in a common law claim for damages is that you have suffered a serious injury. This is a legal term.
If you succeed in your case, you can be compensated for the pain and suffering you’ve gone through and will go through and the loss of earnings you have experienced and will experience because of the accident.
As far as the pain and suffering side of things is concerned, it is calculated based on previous cases that have come before yours.
So part of a lawyers job (you should have a lawyer if you pursue a common law claim) is to work out where your pain and suffering consequences fit based on previous cases.
In relation to loss of earnings, calculating loss of earnings isn’t as simple as working out what you’ve lost or are likely to lose on a dollar for dollar basis.
Keep in mind that these common law claims must be initiated within six years from the date of your injury. There are some exceptions to this but as a general rule, six years is all you get.
How do I find my TAC claim number?
When you lodge a TAC claim over the phone or online, you’ll be provided with your TAC number.
If you can’t find it, it should be printed towards the top of any correspondence you receive from the TAC.
It should look something like this: 20/123456
If you still can’t locate it, the easiest way to obtain it is to call the TAC.
TAC phone number
The TAC phone number is 1300 654 329.