An impairment is a permanent physical or psychological condition caused by your transport accident injury.
Depending on your level of impairment, you may be entitled to a lump-sum payment from the TAC. To work out your impairment rating, you will be asked to attend an impairment examination where a specialised doctor tests the functions of your body to understand any permanent problems from your injuries.
If you have more than one injury, you may be required to attend a number of different impairment examinations. This is because each doctor specialises in a different field.
What to expect at the examination
The impairment examination is conducted by a doctor who has undertaken Government-approved training to conduct impairment assessments.
Using guidelines prescribed by law, the doctor measures the effect of each injury on the normal functions of the body and then gives a percentage rating to each impairment.
At the examination, the doctor may ask you questions about your medical history. You may be asked about your accident, the injuries you sustained, your current problems and your health prior to the accident.
Depending on your type of injury, the doctor may undertake a physical examination. The examination may last anywhere from a half hour to more than an hour, depending on the injury or condition.
About the impairment examination
It’s important to remember that the examination will be very different to a visit to your family doctor or medical specialist. For example, it is not the role of the examiner to provide you with direct advice about treatment of your injuries.
Don’t be concerned if you’re not asked certain questions about your injuries, or asked to provide information, as most examinations are strictly clinical assessments of your injuries.
Some people find the examination difficult and impersonal because of this clinical focus. Try to remember that this is quite normal and any issues about your injuries can be discussed with your regular doctor.
What to bring
Please refer to your appointment letter for specific information on what to bring to your examination, such as x-rays or other reports.
However, if you happen to have any medical information, such as a report or test result, and it is easy to carry then please take that information to the examination.
If you have been given any x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans on a computer disk, which should be easy to carry, then please take the computer disk to the examination.
TAC support to attend the examination
A growing number of Attendant Care Agencies are able to provide Daily support. Please contact your Support Coordinator for more details.
The TAC offers a range of support services to minimise any inconvenience caused by attending the examination. These support services are listed below. Please call the TAC and ask to speak to your impairment officer for more information.
We can arrange for a professional interpreter who speaks your language to be present at your examination.
We can pay for the reasonable travel costs you incur to travel to and from the TAC impairment examination.
If you live in rural Victoria or interstate, the TAC can help you to arrange and pay for accommodation nearby the place of examination
Time off work
If you need to take time off work to attend a TAC impairment examination, the TAC will reimburse you for reasonable loss of income or wages.
If you cannot attend an appointment
If you are unable to attend an impairment examination, you must contact the TAC as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
There is usually a long waiting list for these examinations, so if you are unable to attend then there might be some delay in finalising the consideration of your entitlement to impairment benefits.
What happens after the examination
After the doctor has examined you, he or she will write a report about your injuries, including giving your injury an impairment rating (expressed as a percentage). This report is then sent to the TAC to review.
Once all of your injuries have been assessed, your TAC Lump Sum Coordinator will work out your impairment rating and write to you with the results.
If you have any questions about your impairment assessment, please call the TAC on 1300 654 329 and ask to speak to your Lump Sum Coordinator