SIRA's CTP Legal Advisory Service may be able to assist you if you were injured in a motor accident on or after 1 December, 2017.
A PDF of this page is available for download
What is the CTP Legal Advisory Service?
When the new CTP Green Slip scheme came into effect on 1 December 2017, new laws were introduced which prevents lawyers from receiving payment for certain services, and regulates how much they can charge for other types of services. This means lawyers cannot be paid for or recover costs for providing advice on certain matters.
To ensure you have access to legal advice in these instances, SIRA has established a CTP Legal Advisory Service. This service is made up of a panel of lawyers who provide independent legal advice to people who have been injured in a motor accident on or after 1 December 2017.
If you are already receiving advice from a lawyer on your CTP claim it is recommended that you speak to them.
How do I access the CTP Legal Advisory Service?
Call CTP Assist on 1300 656 919. They will confirm your eligibility and arrange a telephone-based consultation between you and a lawyer from the service. If you need an interpreter CTP Assist can also arrange this for you.
The lawyer will provide you with advice over the phone, and confirm that advice to you in writing. The advice you receive will be confidential. See below for further information on the steps in the claims process and what time frame to expect.
What matters can be referred to the CTP Legal Advisory Service?
Only certain matters can be referred to the CTP Legal Advisory Service for advice (see the table below). These relate to claims for statutory benefits for a motor accident that occurred on or after 1 December 2017.
Advice can be provided at different stages during the life of a claim, including:
- before a decision is made by an insurer
- at any time before or after internal review (but not in connection with the internal review application)
- at any time before an application is made to the Dispute Resolution Service (DRS).
The table below outlines the matters which can be referred to the CTP Legal Advisory Service:
|Reason for referral|
Example of when information or advice may be required
|Funeral expenses||What is a ‘reasonable’ funeral expense?|
|Amount of weekly payments||Pre-accident weekly earning, post-accident earning capacity and calculations.|
|Cessation of a pending damages claim||Whether the cessation of weekly payments after the maximum weekly payments period is subject to a pending claim for damages.|
|Suspension due to work fitness evidence||Insurer disputes ‘special reasons’ for a certificate of fitness for work covering a period that exceeds 28 days.|
|Suspension due to non-rehabilitation/treatment/training||Do you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ not to comply in undertaking rehabilitation, treatment or vocational training?|
|Insurer notice periods||Has the insurer complied with the relevant notice periods?|
|Recoverable statutory benefits||Is there a right to recover and if so, what amount?|
|Gratuitous services||Do you have a loss of capacity to provide gratuitous services, and if so, what is the amount payable?|
|Retirement age termination||Termination of weekly payments on retiring age.|
|Suspension re medical evidence||Have you provided the insurer with a medical certificate certifying your fitness for work?|
|Weekly benefits outside Australia||Are you residing outside of Australia and want to claim ongoing weekly payments and your loss is likely to be permanent?|
|Variation of weekly payments||Your weekly payments been varied and you do not agree (eg have they been indexed correctly?)|
|Cost of treatment and care||Is the cost of treatment and care reasonable?|
|Verification of expenses||Have expenses been properly verified in accordance with the Act?|
|Treatment and care within time||Have expenses been incurred within the 26-week period for at fault or minor injury claims?|
|Treatment and care authorised||Are treatment expenses incurred more than 26 weeks after the date of the accident authorised to be paid?|
|Treatment and care compensated||Has the treatment and care already been paid under a damages claim or bulk billing arrangement?|
|Treatment and care limits||Does the cost of treatment or care exceed the limits imposed by the Motor Accident Guidelines?|
|Excluded treatment and care||Is the treatment and care covered by the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme?|
|Treatment and care outside Australia||Are you receiving treatment outside Australia (as a citizen or permanent resident)?|
Note that the lawyer assigned to you can only advise on the specific matter for which you have been referred after contacting CTP Assist.
For example, if you are referred to the CTP Legal Advisory Service for advice on the amount of statutory benefits that are payable, the lawyer can only advise you on whether your pre-accident weekly earnings (PAWE) has been calculated correctly. The PAWE is the amount you were earning at the time you were injured. The lawyer would not be able to also provide advice on another matter, for example, whether you have a minor injury.
Matters which cannot be referred to the CTP Legal Advisory Service include:
- advice about a claim under the Motor Accidents Act 1988
- advice about a claim under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999
- any common law claims
- advice relating to an application for internal review.
The CTP Legal Advisory Service lawyer cannot:
- file any documents or make any applications in a court or to DRS on your behalf; or
- represent you at DRS or in a court.
What will it cost?
There is no charge to you to access this service.
Who are the lawyers on the CTP Legal Advisory Service panel?
The lawyers who provide advice through the CTP Legal Advisory Service have significant experience in providing legal advice on motor accident and personal injury law. They practice in both regional and metropolitan areas across NSW.
How long does it take?
This claims referral timeframe outlines how long the claim process takes from referral to completion.
|Number of business days||Step in the claim process (referral through to completion)|
|Day 1||SIRA receives your verbal consent over the phone with a CTP Assist consultant and refers you matter to the Legal Advisory Service.|
|Within 2 days of receiving consent for referral||
SIRA contacts the Legal Advisory Service solicitor to confirm that they can accept the referral, or seeks an alternative panel solicitor if required.|
Once accepted, SIRA forwards your information to the solicitor. You will be notified who the solicitor is.
|Between 1 and 3 days of receipt of referral||
Contact is made between you and the solicitor for an initial discussion. |
The panel solicitor initiates contact within 1 day.
|5 days after receipt of referral||The solicitor provides you with verbal advice.|
|2 days after verbal advice provided||The solicitor provides you with written advice. End of services.|
Download a PDF of this claims referral time frame.
What if I am not eligible?
CTP Assist will provide you with information about other available legal services. These include:
- the Law Society of NSW. They can give you more information, including information about finding a lawyer in NSW. They can be contacted on (02) 9926 0333.
- Community Legal Centres
Independent Review of SIRA's Legal Advisory Service
Background to the independent review of the operation of SIRA’s Legal Advisory Service Pilot
The Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 introduced the requirement for SIRA to establish a claimant support service to provide people with advice and assistance on claims and dispute processes, as well as limiting the legal costs for a legal service in relation to a CTP claim.
To support claimants, SIRA established a Legal Advisory Service at no charge to claimants. A commitment was made to review the Legal Advisory Service in December 2018.
An Evaluation of the Legal Advisory Service has now been undertaken to inform the service moving forward. SIRA welcomes the public release of the Evaluation Report.
The Evaluation Report outlines a range of key findings and identified a number of positive experiences by those who have utilised the CTP Legal Advisory Service. It also makes recommendations to improve the CTP Legal Advisory Service in three key areas:
- Strengthening operational practices.
- Ensuring a planned and targeted approach to stakeholder education.
- Promotion of the CTP Legal Advisory Service.
The 12 Evaluation recommendations are summarised in the table.
|1||SIRA will transition the CTP Legal Advisory Service from pilot phase to a recognised service.|
|2||SIRA will consider how and if the matters referred to the CTP Legal Advisory Service can be enhanced.|
|3||SIRA will continue to promptly address any matters that may require policy or operational procedure clarification.|
|4||SIRA will continue to utilise existing stakeholder forums to respond or raise matters that require policy or operational clarification.|
|5||SIRA will continue to review the SIRA website content relating to the CTP Legal Advisory Service.|
|6||SIRA will continue to review and improve the effectiveness of communication artefacts through periodic sample-based research.|
|7||SIRA will maintain periodic updates through forums for stakeholders on the operation of the CTP Legal Advisory Service.|
|8||SIRA will maintain its current project planning associated with the CTP Legal Advisory Service in the database system which will enable reporting of key activity and outcomes.|
|9||SIRA will continue to routinely conduct customer satisfaction surveys to gain feedback and insight on the CTP Legal Advisory Service.|
|10||SIRA will routinely request feedback from the solicitor panel on the CTP Legal Advisory Service.|
|11||SIRA will continue to review the timing of CTP Assist outbound calls as they may relate to users of the CTP Legal Advisory Service.|
|12||SIRA will maintain the CTP Assist outbound call discussion guide to make explicit reference to the CTP Legal Advisory Service.|
SIRA has taken immediate action on the above recommendations. To date, SIRA has implemented six of the recommendations and is considering and working towards addressing the remainder. SIRA will advise of any significant changes to the CTP Legal Advisory Service that are made in the future.
You can access SIRA's response to the Report of the Independent Review of SIRA's Legal Advisory Service Pilot here.