The coronavirus pandemic is creating an unprecedented state of uncertainty and fear. If you’re receiving TAC payments or treatment funded by the TAC (as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident), you may be worried about what will happen to your entitlements, given the shutdown of many services.
The purpose of this article is to answer as many questions as you might have.
Am I still entitled to loss of earning payments?
If you were receiving loss of earnings payments because of a road accident injury, then your entitlement should not change due to the coronavirus.
As long as your incapacity for work is still related to the injuries you sustained in the accident, then your entitlement to loss of earnings payments should remain the same, irrespective of what is happening at your workplace or elsewhere.
If you need your doctor to provide an opinion regarding your capacity or a certificate of capacity to the TAC, many medical clinics are offering telehealth appointments during the current pandemic.
What if I become unable to work during this time?
If you become unable to work due to your injuries, you will be entitled to loss of earnings payments from the TAC (after the first 5 days). Find out more about your TAC loss of income entitlements here.
Many medical clinics are offering telehealth appointments during the current pandemic. You may need to utilise this service to obtain TAC certificates of capacity or a report from your doctor. This is an acceptable form of medical attendance during the pandemic.
What if I was returning to work (in a reduced capacity) but my employer stands me down?
If you were returning to work or working in a reduced capacity and your employer stands you down, depending on the circumstances you may still be entitled to TAC loss of earnings payments.
If it is within 3 years of your transport accident or you have had your level of whole person impairment determined at greater than 50% and:
- you were on a return to work plan; or
- working in a reduced capacity (for example, you were working either part-time or full time completing alternative or modified duties),
and your workplace can no longer provide you with employment or the JobKeeper payment due to the coronavirus, then you should seek reinstatement of your loss of earnings benefits from the TAC
You will require certificates of capacity or a report from your treating doctor about your capacity for employment. You may have an obligation to make reasonable attempts to find other employment.
If you are unsure of your rights or entitlements here, you should consult a lawyer experienced in personal injury compensation and, in particular, experience with TAC claims.
What if my employer is still able to provide me with employment but I choose not to go to work?
If you voluntarily cease or reduce your employment, then a decision may be made to stop paying or to reduce your loss of earnings benefits.
If you are considering doing this due to concerns about exposure to the virus, it is critical that you speak with a personal injury lawyer first. At this time, Polaris Lawyers is operating in a ‘virtual’ capacity. You can make an appointment by phone or teleconference so you can feel very comfortable about any potential exposure to the virus.
Am I still entitled to loss of earning payments if my employer shuts down or ceases trading?
As long as you still have an incapacity for work that arises due to your transport accident injury, you will continue to have an entitlement to loss of earnings benefits. You should contact the TAC about the payments directly.
What about my treatment?
You should talk to your regular medical service providers about how they are delivering treatment during this period.
The TAC has agreed to fund telehealth services at the usual TAC rates. Many medical clinics are offering telehealth appointments; services such as GP’s and psychologists are adapting to this new service delivery method quickly.
We are aware that surgeons are continuing to consult with TAC patients via video and telephone appointments. Referrals for radiological investigations are continuing to be made.
It is important to remember that your transport accident-related injury only needs to be one of the reasons for your need for treatment. Find out more about what medical treatment the TAC can pay for here.
Legal advice and assistance during COVID-19
At Polaris, we are experts in transport accident compensation claims.
The entire Polaris team remains at work during the current pandemic. We are all working remotely (primarily at home) but this does not impact on the delivery and quality of our services.
For advice or assistance, please get in touch directly, with today’s blog writer, Yen Tran.
It doesn’t cost you anything to find out if you have a claim or to find out if you can dispute an issue with your current claim.
Call: 1300 383 825
Email: [email protected]