Can I claim TAC loss of earnings if I wasn’t working when I had the accident?
The answer to this question will depend on some more detail about your particular situation.
If at the time of the accident you were not working, and had no intention of working and no job lined up to start work, then during the first 18 months after an accident you would not get loss of earnings payments from the TAC.
The situation does change however after 18 months.
If at that time you would be considered to be an earner, then you may qualify for loss of earning capacity payments, which run from 18 months after the accident to 3 years after the accident.
This is a total payment period of 18 months.
On the other hand, if you were due to commence work but had not started the job at the time of the accident, then you are most likely going to be able to claim loss of earnings payments during the first 18 month period.
The test that that TAC applies to this is as follows:
you will be considered an earner if:
“before the transport accident, [you] entered into an arrangement (whether or not an enforceable contract) to commence, at a particular time and place: employment with an employer or other person, or a business as a self-employed person.”
If there is a dispute about whether you would have started work or what your rate of pay would be in this new work, then you are able to dispute these decisions through a lawyer.
Types of evidence that could be accepted for showing that you were due to commence employment include a written letter of offer or email with an offer of employment, a statement from a prospective employer that they were going to employ you.
Less convincing but potentially useful supporting material could include job applications or your own statement regarding a job offer.
The situation is different with common law.
Firstly, you are excluded for the first 18 months from claiming loss of earnings in a TAC common law claim.
After that time, whether you had a job offer or not, is irrelevant.
What is relevant is whether you could have worked during this period and if so in what position and for how many hours.