SIRA Logo

New benefits for injured people

Injured people recover more quickly when they receive early support and benefits.

Delays in payment of expenses, such as lost income, can create significant financial hardship and stress at a time when people need to recover. This can impact on a person’s ability to return to work and lead a normal life again.

The community and stakeholders told us that people injured on the road should have access to support and benefits regardless of who is at fault and that these benefits should be delivered quickly.

Benefits for all injured people, regardless of fault

All injured people, regardless of fault, are entitled to up to six months of:

  • weekly income payments (if time off work is needed )
  • medical and treatment expenses
  • commercial attendant care (for help needed around the home).

These benefits will commence soon after a claim is made

Around 7,000 people a year are considered to be at-fault and under the previous scheme could only claim a maximum of $5,000 for combined medical expenses and loss of income. Being at fault can be the result of an unfortunate situation such as a momentary lapse in concentration, being blinded by the sun, or hitting a kangaroo on a country road. The new scheme will provide significantly more support for injured people who were at fault in the accident.

Benefits after six months

Income benefits can continue for up to two years for people who were not at fault in the accident and whose injures are more than minor injuries.

Medical, treatment and care benefits can continue as required, for life if necessary.

After two years

To receive income benefits after two years, a person must have made a common law claim for damages. They must also have not been at fault in the accident and their injuries cannot be minor injuries.

The amount of extra time income benefits continue for depends on the degree of injury which can be measured by a ‘whole person impairment’ (WPI) assessment or if the insurer is satisfied that the person is over 10% whole person impaired.

A person with 10% or less whole person impairment can only make a common law claim for damages 20 months after the date of the accident.   The common law claim is for past and future economic loss.

Their weekly income benefits can continue for up to three years in total from the date of the accident) allowing time for their common law claim to be finalised.

Once the common law claim is finalised there are no further weekly income payments.

Reasonable medical and treatment benefits and commercial attendant care can be provided on an ongoing basis as needed.

More serious injuries

People who are more seriously injured, with a whole person impairment of more than 10% are eligible for up to five years of weekly income payments if they lodge a common law claim for damages.

A claim for damages under common law can be made at any time and can include compensation for:

  • past and future economic loss
  • non-economic loss (e.g. pain and suffering).

Once the common law claim is finalised there are no further weekly income payments.

The person will continue to receive reasonable medical and treatment benefits and commercial attendant care on an ongoing basis, for life if required.

Note: A levy in the CTP scheme goes towards another scheme called Lifetime Care and Support. This is a no-fault scheme for people catastrophically injured in a road accident. This scheme is not part of this review.

Death benefits

All reasonable funeral costs for someone who dies in a motor vehicle accident will be met by the insurer.