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Loss of Income from Road Accidents, Victoria

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Compensation for loss of wages

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a government funded insurance company, responsible for compensating people who are injured in transport accidents in Victoria, and in certain circumstances, people injured outside Victoria in Victorian registered vehicles.

The TAC is required to pay compensation in a number of forms. If your injuries stop you from working, the TAC is required to compensate you for the loss you suffer in this regard. In other words, as part of your motor accident claim you should receive compensation payments for the wages you lose because of your accident related incapacity.

Compensation for loss of wages comes in two forms, loss of earnings benefits and loss of earning capacity benefits.

Loss of earnings benefits

In the first 18 months after your accident you should receive loss of earnings benefits for every day, after the first 5 days, that you are off work due to your accident related injuries. You are entitled to be compensated for the first 5 days of loss if you can show that you would endure financial hardship if compensation were not paid.

Your entitlement to loss of earnings benefits is an important part of your motor accident claim.

If you are unable to work at all because of your accident related injuries, you are entitled to 80% of your pre-accident weekly earnings as assessed by reference to your ordinary time earnings before the accident, or a statutory minimum payment, whichever is greater.

If you only suffer a partial loss of earnings, as might occur if you are able to return to work on reduced hours, then the loss of earnings benefit will be reduced accordingly.  

There is a statutory cap on how much you can receive each week in loss of earnings benefits.

Loss of earning capacity benefits

On the 18 month anniversary of your accident, if you are still unable to return to work in your pre-accident capacity, you will be entitled to loss of earning capacity benefits for the periods that you remain off work due to your accident related injuries. These payments will generally cease at the 3 year anniversary of your transport accident. As above, the payment of these benefits is an important part of your motor vehicle claim.

For the period between 18 months and three years after your transport accident, you are entitled to 80% of your pre-injury earning capacity, or a statutory minimum payment, whichever is greater.

Your pre-accident earning capacity is assessed differently from your pre-accident earnings. When assessing your pre-accident earning capacity, the TAC is required to look at the loss of capacity to earn you have suffered as result of the accident by reference to a variety of factors including your training, skills, experience and your potential for rehabilitation, among others. For many claimants their pre-accident earning capacity will be assessed the same as their pre-accident weekly earnings. Such an assessment might not be correct in your particular case, however.

If you only suffer a partial loss of earning capacity, your benefit will be adjusted accordingly. As with loss of earnings benefits there is a statutory cap on how much you can receive in loss of earning capacity payments.

Generally, your entitlement to loss of earning capacity payments ceases at the 3 year anniversary of your accident. However, if you suffer an injury which leaves you with a 50% or more whole person impairment, you will continue to be entitled to loss of earning capacity benefits after the 3 year anniversary of your accident.

Motor accident claims for loss of wages can be complicated. To ensure that you get the most out of your motor accident claim and receive what you are entitled to, you should seek professional legal advice.

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**Our solicitors provide advice on claims that involve personal injuries. They do not provide advice on claims that involve vehicle or property damage only.

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