Income support for self-employed people

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The best person to run your business is you. We understand that having an accident and not being able to work can be expensive.

We can make temporary payments to you while you recover. We may also be able to help with the cost of employing someone to replace you.

Summary

  • If you're eligible, in most cases we pay 80% of your gross income, up to $1,390 per week
  • To get paid each fortnight, you need to send us a Certificate of Capacity from your doctor
  • If you return to work part-time or on reduced hours, we can pay partial income support until you go back to your normal hours.

On this page

Who can claim income support

Use our Income support eligibility tool to check if you can claim income support.

See How to apply for information about what you need to do.

You may be eligible to claim income support if:

  • You have an accepted TAC claim
  • You’ve had more than 5 days off work because of your transport accident injures
  • You are 15 years or older
  • You have a certificate of capacity from your doctor that says what you can and can't do because of your accident injuries.

How much we can pay

First, we work out what you earned before your accident. The way we work this out depends on the structure of your business. See the section below that applies to you.

After we work out how much you earn, we apply a formula to work out your TAC income support payment.

For most people, their income support works out to be 80% of what they earned before the accident.

If you operate as a sole trader or in a partnership

There are two ways we can work out your income support. We can look at:

  • Your taxable earnings for the last 3 years
  • What it costs to hire someone to replace you.

If your business is less than 3 years old, we will look at the whole period your business has operated. We can take into account any upward or downward trends in your business profits.

Generally, you cannot claim both lost income and the cost of hiring someone.

See 'How to apply' for information about what we need to work out your income support.

If your business is set up as a company or a trust

If your business is a proprietary limited company and you get paid a salary or wage, we can work out your income support based on your pay.

If your business is a trust and you get wages or distributions, we can pay income support in some cases.

See 'How to apply' for information about what we need to work out your income support.

Things we won't include when we work out your income support

  • Cash payments or income that was not declared with the Australian Taxation Office
  • Money you received from interest
  • Rental income
  • Money from dividends
  • Any other income you got that didn't involve working

How we work out what to pay

If your income is less than $686* a week

We can pay you 100% of your income.

If 80% of your income is less than $686* a week

We can pay you $686* a week.

If 80% of your income is between $686* and $1,390 a week

We can pay you 80% of your income a week.

If 80% of your income is more than $1,390 a week

We can pay you $1,390 a week.

* $686 applies if you have no dependants. If you have one dependant, this rate is $880. For each extra dependant add $62. Dependants include anyone who relies on you for financial support.

Things to note

  • We can only pay you the dependant rate if it is less than 100% of your weekly income.
  • The dollar amounts listed are for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. We update these amounts each financial year.
  • We base the amount you get on what you earned before your accident. See How are Loss of Earnings (LOE) benefits assessed for self-employed people? for more information about how we work out your earnings.
  • We will take out tax from your income support. If you have a HELP debt, we will also take out a HELP payment. If you pay family maintenance, we may take out an amount decided by the Child Support Agency.

What you need to do to keep getting income support

To get paid each fortnight, you need to send us a Certificate of Capacity from your doctor.

The Certificate of Capacity updates us on your progress and tells us what you can and can't do.

To avoid a delay in your payments, you must must send us your new certificate at least 5 working days before your certificate expires.

What happens if your certificate is late and you don't get paid

We know that sometimes things don’t go to plan. If we’re satisfied that you tried to send us your Certificate of Capacity on time, we may be able to pay you outside the normal payment cycle. Please call us on 1300 654 329 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5:30pm) for more information.

Other things you need to let us know

You must let us know if:

  • You change your address or bank account details
  • Someone becomes dependent on you for financial support, or is no longer dependent on you
  • You return to work

When you will get paid

Once we’ve accepted your claim, we pay into your nominated bank account each fortnight.

We will send you a Pay As You Go (PAYG) summary at the end of the financial year to include in your tax return.

The 2019 pay dates for eligible clients are below.

  • 2 January
  • 16 January
  • 30 January
  • 13 February
  • 27 February
  • 13 March
  • 27 March
  • 10 April
  • 24 April
  • 8 May
  • 22 May
  • 5 June
  • 19 June
  • 3 July
  • 17 July
  • 31 July
  • 14 August
  • 28 August
  • 11 September
  • 25 September
  • 9 October
  • 23 October
  • 6 November
  • 20 November
  • 4 December
  • 18 December

What happens if your certificate is late

We know that sometimes things don’t go to plan. If we’re satisfied that you tried to send us your Certificate of Capacity on time, we may be able to pay you outside the normal payment cycle. Please call us on 1300 654 329 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5:30pm) for more information.

What happens if you go back to work part-time

If you return to work part-time or on reduced hours, we can make partial income support payments to you.

We will need a Certificate of Capacity from your doctor that tells us what you can do at work.

To work out how much to pay, we need a copy of your profit and loss statements. You can send these to us using myTAC.

Many people find getting back to work plays a big part in their recovery. When you are ready, we’re here to support you get back to work as quickly and safely as possible.

See Return to work support for more details about the resources available to you and your employer.

Step 1

If you haven't already, you will need to talk to us about your eligibility for income support. You can call us on 1300 654 329 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5:30pm).

When we talk to you, we will ask you for some information, such as:

  • Your business name
  • Type of business
  • ABN
  • Contact details for your accountant
  • Details about what you earned before the accident
  • If you have financial dependent(s), their name, date of birth and relationship to you (e.g. wife/husband, partner, child)
  • Bank account details

We will use this information to work out if you are eligible for income support.

Step 2

To work out your income support rate, we need you to send us:

  • Personal income tax records for the 3 years before your accident
  • Business Activity Statements (if applicable)
  • A completed Tax File Number (TFN) declaration form. We need to receive this within 14 days or, by law, we must tax your income support at the highest tax rate. Please email the completed TFN declaration form to tfn@tac.vic.gov.au

If you hire someone to do your work

If you hire someone to do your work while you are injured, we need this information to work out if you are eligible for income support:

  • A Certificate of Capacity from your doctor
  • The name and contact details of the person you have employed to do your work
  • Written or verbal confirmation that the person is doing work that you would normally do
  • Payslips or invoices showing gross pay and hours worked by the person
  • Proof of payment, such as a copy of bank statements, bank transfers or cheque butts
  • If the person worked for you before your accident, we will also need a record of all wages paid to them in the 12 months before your accident

If you have a question about income support, please call us on 1300 654 329 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm) or email info@tac.vic.gov.au

I have financial trouble and need money now - what can I do?

If you need urgent financial help, please call us on 1300 654 329 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm).

Can I get my accountant to contact you?

Yes. We encourage your accountant to speak with us to move things along.

We need your permission to speak to your accountant. If you haven't already, you will need to sign and send us an Authority to Release Information form. This form gives us permission to talk to others about your claim.

How long can I get income support?

Most people only need income support for a short time. We can pay when your transport accident injuries stop you from going back to work.

We can pay income support for up to 18 months. This time starts from the date of your accident, or when your injury first appears.

If you have reached or are within 1 year of reaching retirement age in your occupation, income support may only be available for 12 months. See 'How long are loss of earnings benefits payable for?' for more information.

We will review your progress and your ability to return to work. We may ask you to go to a medical examination so we can better understand your options and ability to return to work.

If, after 18 months you can't go back to work, you may be eligible for a loss of earnings capacity benefit.

I have income protection paid by my insurer. Can I get TAC income support?

Yes. It is the TAC's responsibility to pay eligible people income support.

You should let your insurer or broker know if you get income support from the TAC.

Can I get income support if I go back to work part-time or on reduced hours?

Yes. We will still make temporary payments to you while you recover enough to return to your normal hours.

The amount we pay will depend on how much you earn when you go back to work.

You must let us know if you return to work.

Because of the accident, my business has stopped. How will you assess my income?

If you're in a business partnership, we work out your income by looking at your share of the profit. In some cases, we may also look at your physical contribution to the business. For example, if you run a cleaning business and do all the physical work, we will take this into account.

In some cases, we can pay for the cost of hiring someone to do the work you can't do.

What should I do if I haven't lodged my tax return for this year?

We work out your income support benefit by looking at your income for the most recent financial year.

If this is not possible, we can accept information from the previous financial year.

How do I prove my income if my business is new?

We can use a profit and loss statement prepared by your accountant to work out your income support.

Income support for employees - FAQ

Summary:

This information sheet has answer to common questions about income support. If you have a question about income support, please call us on 1300 654 329 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm) or email info@tac.vic.gov.au


Loss of earnings benefits

Summary:

The TAC can pay you loss of earnings benefits while you are unable to return to work due to your accident injuries. Loss of earnings benefits is a temporary income support while you recover enough to return to work.


Authority to pay entitlement: employer form

Summary:

Use this form to have your sick or annual leave reimbursed for time off work because of your accident injuries.


Travel to work declaration form

Summary:

This form is for claiming expenses related to travel (by private car, public transport and/or taxi) to work. (Claims for travel expenses to attend medical treatment and/or rehabilitation need to be made using a separate form titled Travel Expenses: Declaration).

There are two ways to get reimbursed:

  • Online
    The quickest and easiest way to get reimbursed is online. Simply log in to myTAC and send us a copy of your receipt. We will then transfer your reimbursement to your bank account.
    If you haven’t already, register for myTAC here or download the app to your mobile device
  • Post
    Please fill in the form below, attach your original receipts and post to Transport Accident Commission, Reply Paid 2751, Melbourne, Vic 3001

Are your bank details up to date?
The easiest way to keep your bank account details up to date is online. Simply log in to myTAC to update your details.

If you haven’t already, register for myTAC here or download the app to your mobile device to use myTAC.

If you prefer, you can also update your details by completing the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Authority form for TAC clients or by calling us on 1300 654 329.


Loss of earnings benefits for self employed people

Summary:

This booklet provides useful information about the loss of earnings benefits that the TAC can pay self-employed clients who have lost income as a result of their accident injuries. As well as setting out how loss of earnings benefits are calculated and paid, the publication explains ways the TAC can help you return to work.


Returning to work

Summary:

This booklet explains how TAC clients can work positively with their employer, health professionals and the TAC to coordinate a safe and smooth return to work. It outlines the TAC services and benefits, such as workplace assessments and modifications, that are available to assist return to work. There's also a useful planner tool and answers to frequently asked questions about return to work programs.


Travel expense declaration form

Summary:

This form is to be used when claiming reimbursement for travel (i.e. private vehicle, public transport and/or taxi) expenses to attend: medical treatment for accident injuries; medical examinations arranged by the TAC; approved rehabilitation or disability services; or work, if you are participating in a formal Return to Work program.

There are two ways to get reimbursed:

  • Online
    The quickest and easiest way to get reimbursed is online. Simply log in to myTAC and send us a copy of your receipt. We will then transfer your reimbursement to your bank account.
    If you haven’t already, register for myTAC here or download the app to your mobile device
  • Post
    Please fill in the form below, attach your original receipts and post to Transport Accident Commission, Reply Paid 2751, Melbourne, Vic 3001

Are your bank details up to date?
The easiest way to keep your bank account details up to date is online. Simply log in to myTAC to update your details.

If you haven’t already, register for myTAC here or download the app to your mobile device to use myTAC.

If you prefer, you can also update your details by completing the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Authority form for TAC clients or by calling us on 1300 654 329.


TAC income support and return to work

Summary:

This information sheet explains what happens to your TAC income support when you go back to work.

View as PDF