How long does it take TAC to reimburse?
Generally speaking, if there are no issues in terms of approval of the medical and like expense and the TAC is responsible for payment, then you should expect payment by the TAC within a couple of weeks from when you submit the reimbursement documentation to the TAC.
This applies in relation to (but is not limited to);
- Medical treatment expenses such as GP attendances, physiotherapy, psychologist, specialist appointments
- Imaging such as x-ray, CT, ultrasound or MRI expenses
- Travel expenses, for example to and from medical treatment
- The provision of equipment, either something that you have purchased outright or hired
What if it takes longer than two weeks?
You might find that it takes for TAC longer than a couple of weeks to reimburse you for a particular expense.
If this is the case it’s a good idea to contact the TAC, either email or phone them and just follow up and enquire as to why you haven’t been reimbursed.
Sometimes this will result in the reimbursement being made shortly thereafter.
However, sometimes the reason you haven’t been reimbursed is because the TAC might have an issue with a particular request.
For example, you may be seeking reimbursement for an expense that you needed to obtain approval from by the TAC first.
Or the TAC may need further material or documentation to, for example, clarify something, before they can reimburse you.
Sometimes it can take a little while for the TAC to notify you they’ve got an issue with a particular reimbursement request and by contacting them after a couple of weeks you might be able to find out if there is an issue sooner rather than later, helping to minimise any delay with payment.
If there is a significant delay in payment
If there is a significant delay in reimbursing you, or you think the delay is unfair, you can put a complaint in with the TAC using their complaint process. To do so you need to call or email them and tell them you wish to lodge a complaint.
You have a lawyer then it would be a good idea to discuss the issue with your lawyer and see whether they can help you.
If the TAC refuse to reimburse you for a particular expense
If the matter doesn’t resolve after you’ve pursued one or both of these options, then you have the option of pursuing the matter to VCAT however very few reimbursement disputes end up in VCAT and one of the reasons for this is that it can be costly and time consuming for a person to pursue a matter to VCAT, and you really need to have a matter that makes it financially sensible to do so.
For example, if you’re trying to get reimbursed for a single physiotherapy attendance worth $80, it wouldn’t make sense to pursue the matter to VCAT.
However if it concerns ongoing physiotherapy attendances which could amount to several thousand dollars, then it might make sense to pursue the matter to VCAT.
What if I don’t have the money to pay for a particular type of medical expense upfront and seek reimbursement later?
You should discuss the matter with your treatment provider if you can because the treatment provider can bill for TAC directly.
Keep in mind however some providers don’t want to do this because they may have done this in the past and not been paid or they find it too much of it administrative hassle.
If you are experiencing financial hardship which makes it difficult to pay for a particular type of medical expense upfront, then you can always contact the TAC and discuss this with them.
In certain circumstances they might be able to pay you up front prior to a treatment or service, rather than you having to pay and then be reimbursed.
If you have a lawyer that is acting on a no win no fee basis for you then you can always contact them and ask them to discuss the matter with the TAC on your behalf.
In some instances it can take the TAC a couple of weeks or more to reimburse a person for a medical and like expense that they’ve paid for.
However, sometimes it can take longer simply because the TAC have a lot on their plate administratively speaking and may take some time before they reach your reimbursement.
Sometimes however there can be a delay because the TAC don’t want to pay for a particular type of medical expense or treatment because you didn’t get approval for it first or they might need further information before reimbursing you.
If you haven’t heard from the TAC within a couple of weeks after submitting the reimbursement material to them, it’s not a bad idea to give them a call and find out where things are at.