Minors additional benefit policy
The TAC will pay an eligible client minor's additional benefits, after 18 months have elapsed from the date of the accident:
- until the minor attains the age of 18 years; or
- until the minor ceases to suffer an impairment of 11% or more;
whichever occurs first
Who is a minor?
A minor is a person who, at the date of the accident:
- is under the age of 18 years; and
- is not an "earner" under the Transport Accident Act 1986 (TAA)
What are minors' additional benefits and why are they paid?
Minors' additional benefits are weekly payments to compensate a minor for impairment resulting from transport accident injuries which have been assessed at 11% or more.
The benefit is paid in addition to any other impairment entitlement the minor may receive upon attaining the age of 18 from the TAC. The amount the minor may receive depends on the degree of impairment. The benefit is payable irrespective of the stability of the injuries.
How is the benefit calculated?
Once a minor's impairment is assessed at 11% or more they are entitled to receive minors' additional benefits which are calculated in accordance with the applicable formula under section 54 of the TAA. This example illustrates how weekly benefits are calculated.
A minor's injuries are not stable and the degree of impairment is assessed at 72%. Therefore the minor's weekly payments would be assessed as follows:
$200 (from 1 July 2020) x 72%= $144 weekly amount payable
When do benefits commence and when do they cease?
Minors' additional benefits commence 18 months after the date of the accident and are payable :
until the earlier of:
- the minor attains the age of 18 years; or
- the minor ceases to suffer an impairment which is 11% or more; or
- the common law claim settles
Are minors' additional benefits subject to review?
The TAC may review a minor's entitlement to this benefit from time to time. The timing of the review depends on the recommendation of the TAC's independent medical examiner as to when a further review should be conducted. The review normally occurs after the minor has undergone a period of substantial treatment, surgery or rehabilitation as this may have a bearing on the minor's level of impairment.
How is the review conducted?
In conducting the review, a minor will be re-examined by an independent medical examiner who will use the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, second or fourth edition, depending on when the accident occurred.
What happens after the review is completed?
If the degree of impairment alters upon re-examination, the minor's entitlement is re-assessed. The amount of the weekly benefit therefore may increase, decrease, cease or be maintained. A minor's parent who receives the weekly benefit on behalf of the minor will be informed of the outcome of the review by letter.
How are payments made?
Under the Act the TAC is required to pay the minors' additional benefits which are for the benefit of the minor to the parent or legal guardian.
What is a minor entitled to once they attain the age of 18 years?
Provided the injuries are stable, a minor who attains the age of 18 years becomes entitled to:
- a lump-sum impairment benefit and weekly annuity benefits, (this applies to accidents before 16/12/2004). Note a minor is not entitled to the annuity benefits, if they decide to claim LOEC benefits instead.
- a lump-sum impairment benefit, (applies to accidents on or after 16/12/2004)
Refer also to the policy for Impairment Benefits.
When can a minor apply for LOEC benefits?
The TAC will determine a minor's entitlement to LOEC benefits once he/she has attained the age of 18. An eligible minor may receive LOEC benefits provided the minor has sustained a loss of earning capacity due to the injuries and the LOEC entitlement exceeds the annuity or Centrelink amount.
How are LOEC benefits determined for minors?
A minor is unlikely to have been engaged in any gainful employment due to their young age at the time of the accident. Accordingly, it may be impossible to determine the weekly amount of the LOEC by reference to the minor's pre-accident work history. In such cases, the TAC will use 80% of the average weekly earnings (AWE) for all Victorian employees as the pre-accident earning capacity amount. For example, the pre-accident earning capacity of an 8-year-old child who remained incapacitated for work due to their injuries when they turned 18 would be assessed in this manner. Refer also to the policy for LOEC benefits.
When can a minor pursue a common law claim?
- A minor is able to pursue a claim at common law if :
- the TAC has assessed the impairment at 30% or more; or
- if the impairment is assessed at less than 30%, the injury is considered "serious" under the TAA 1986, and a serious injury certificate (SIC) has been issued by the TAC, or
- leave is granted by the court to proceed with a common law claim
- The impairment assessment conducted for the purpose of assessing entitlement to minor's additional benefits does not give rise to an entitlement to recover damages.
However, a minor's parent, legal guardian, or representative may request a separate impairment assessment for the purposes of seeking damages before the minor attains the age of 18 years. Refer also to the policy for Claims for Common law Damages.
For further information related to this policy: