Personal injury benefits can be income support payments, medical expenses and/or vocational rehabilitation programs while you recover.
Before you read below, watch this short video on how to claim personal injury benefits. Also open this personal injury benefits diagram.
Income support payments
Did you know? For the first six months it doesn't matter who caused the accident.
If you are injured in a motor accident and as a result you have a loss of earnings, you may be entitled to income support payments.
Regular income support payments compensate you for some of the income you have lost because of your injury. If you're off work these payments will help pay the bills, so you can focus on getting better.
These payments will be a percentage of your pre-accident earnings:
- for the first 13 weeks the maximum is 95 percent
- after 14 weeks the maximum is 85 percent (depending on whether you have total or partial loss of earning capacity)
Most people recover within six months. After six months your income support payments will end if:
- you were at fault / most at fault or
- your injuries are assessed as 'minor' (as defined in the legislation).
To continue to receive income payments after two years, you must have an ongoing loss of earning capacity and have lodged a claim for damages.
Make your claim as soon as possible
To receive back pay from the date of the crash, the insurer needs to receive the claim within 28 days. You can still submit a claim up to three months after the crash, but it’s best to submit a claim as soon as possible.
Did you know? You might not need to lodge a claim to receive early treatment. Once you notify the relevant insurer, they can approve a GP visit and two treatment sessions such as for physiotherapy without further documents. Use the online accident notification system CTP Connect to get in touch with the right insurer. Contact CTP Assist on 1300 656 919 or email@example.com for more information.
If you need (or think you'll need) more than two treatment sessions, it's important to submit a claim for personal injury benefits.
The insurer may pay for all reasonable and necessary expenses for injury resulting from the accident. This includes:
- medical, dental and pharmaceutical expenses
- rehabilitation and treatment expenses (like physiotherapy)
- the cost of travelling to and from appointments
- in some cases support services (like personal care and help around the home).
Who can apply?
Anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW can apply. This includes:
- drivers and passengers
- riders and pillion passengers
The injury can be physical or psychological.
If the injury is a result of a motor accident that is also a work-related accident, you will also need to make a workers compensation claim. See claiming workers compensation for more information.
You cannot claim these benefits if you are charged with a serious driving offence in connection with the accident, or were the at-fault driver of an uninsured vehicle.
How to apply
Things to know before you start:
- To receive back pay from the date of the crash, the insurer needs to receive the claim within 28 days. You can still submit a claim up to three months after the crash, but it’s best to submit a claim as soon as possible.
- You can still make a claim if you don't have all these details yet. Submit the application and the insurer will be in touch about any other information they need.
- Before you apply, get the details of the other vehicle and report the crash to police. While you have 28 days to do this, you should do it as soon as possible. This is an important way of proving that the accident happened. Read more.
- If you're unable to make the claim yourself (eg you're in hospital), family members, friends or other representatives can submit the claim on your behalf.
The fastest way to submit your application is by using the online claim submission portal. This portal will lead you through the questions one step at a time and once you have submitted the claim will send it to the insurer. You will get a PDF summary that you can use as a record of your claim.
- Login / create account: Login/register an account with Service NSW.
- Link SIRA: Link your Service NSW account with SIRA.
- Complete the application for personal injury benefits, providing as many details as possible including the police event number, details of your injuries and what medical treatment you've already received.
- Upload the documents to support your claim, including your certificate of fitness and receipts from any medical expenses for treatment you have received so far, as well as proof of earnings (from before and after accident) such as pay slips (photos are ok).
Apply by email or post
Did you know? We can find out for you which insurer you need to claim with. See who do I claim with?
- Fill out the form: You need to complete the application for personal injury benefits form. Provide as many details about the accident as you can, including the police event number, details of your injuries and what medical treatment you've already received.
- Attach documents: Any documents or information that helps the insurer to assess the claim can be included. This should include your certificate of fitness and receipts from your medical expenses, as well as proof of earnings, such as your pay slips (photos are ok).
- Send to the insurer: By email or by post (registered post will help you track the day the claim form was delivered to the insurer).
- CTP Assist is here to help: Contact us between 8.30 am and 5 pm on 1300 656 919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you leave a voice message or email after hours, we will call you back the next business day.
What happens next?
- Contact you: The insurer will contact you within three days after you lodge a claim. They will confirm they have received your application and will outline the next steps in the process. They should also provide a claim number and their contact details. If you need immediate medical treatment ask the insurer to explain what you should do next (including how you can be reimbursed for your medical expenses so far). Also see our pages in the Injury Advice Centre for information to help you recover from certain types of injuries.
- Investigate: The insurer will investigate your claim including reviewing the police report and other evidence such as medical reports from your treating doctor / health professional. The insurer may ask you to see other medical specialists.
- Make a decision: The insurer must tell you within four weeks of the claim being made if they're accepting or denying the claim. If the insurer denies liability they need to give a full explanation of their reasons. This must include the consequences of their decision (including the effects on your entitlements and when it will take effect), copies of the information they used in making the decisions, how you can seek a review the decision, and where to go for further help in understanding what to do next.
- Payments: The insurer will start making payments to you within 14 days if they accept your claim. Most people will also need to start a recovery plan. A recovery plan is designed to return you to full pre-accident activities as soon as possible. It is prepared in consultation with you, your doctor and any relevant treating practitioners. Talk to the insurer for more information.
What if I disagree with the insurer?
You only have 28 days to request an internal review by the insurer.