TAC payments after 18 months
The TAC will usually fund up to three years of weekly payments for people injured in a transport accident.
The payment periods are broken up into two 18-month blocks.
For the first 18 months, the injured person must prove that they were in employment or had an arrangement for employment to commence, to be entitled to weekly payments.
However, after the first 18 months have expired, the test changes to a type of payment called a “loss of earning capacity” payment.
Who qualifies and what do they get?
The test for loss of earning capacity benefits, unlike the initial test, does not require the person to establish they were in work or had an arrangement to commence work at the time of the accident.
If a person is considered to be a “non-earner”, then the TAC looks at whether the injured persons pre-accident history indicates that they had a work capacity and an intention to return to work.
Here are the factors that the TAC will look at to see whether someone will qualify:
- the nature of the injury
- the degree of impairment
- the potential for, and ability to, undertake rehabilitation
- the injured persons training, skills and experience
- the injured persons age; and
- other employment reasonably available following the transport accident injuries.
Once the claim is accepted, payments are made every fortnight to the injured persons nominated bank account.
The payment is based on 80% of the injured persons weekly pre-accident earning capacity or the prescribed weekly minimum amount (this varies year to year).
There are also maximum amounts that can be paid.
Who doesn’t qualify?
People not entitled to loss of earning capacity payments are: those with no incapacity related to the transport accident, periods of time where a person is in prison and those who have permanently retired from all employment, reached retirement age, or the age that they can apply for the Commonwealth aged pension where no retirement age is set for their particular industry.
Certain offences or conduct will also exclude someone from being able to claim loss of earning capacity:
- Culpable driving
- concentration of alcohol present in blood or breath of 0.24 grams or more per 100 millilitres of blood
- driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of any drug to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the motor vehicle
- refusing to perform a preliminary breath test or accompany a police officer to a police station to undergo a test
- obstructing a police officer of doctor from taking a blood or breath sample
If however the injured person can show that a disqualifying level of drugs or alcohol did not in any way contribute to the transport accident, the TAC may pay loss of earning capacity.
What about after 3 years?
After the three years has expired, that TAC will in most cases have no further obligation to pay weekly payments.
This can change if the injured person has a 50% or greater whole person impairment.
If this is the case, loss of earning capacity payments can continue. Further information on impairment ratings can be found here.