Mental health and wellbeing services
We’re here to help you get your life back on track and will pay for mental health services you need as a result of a transport accident.
We can pay for the following services provided in Australia:
- social work
In the first 90 days after your accident, the TAC can help pay for these services without the need for you to contact us for approval first.
When you need to contact us for approval
You or your provider need to contact the TAC for approval of these services if:
- It is approaching or more than 90 days since your accident and we have not approved further treatment or services, or
- It has been more than 6 months since you’ve had any treatment or service paid for by the TAC.
When we can pay for mental health and wellbeing services
In the first 90 days after your accident, we will pay for a consultation with your doctor to assess your needs. You do not need to contact us first. As part of that consultation, your doctor may refer you to a mental health service.
We can pay for your first six psychology or neuropsychology sessions at the TAC rate when recommended and required because of a transport accident injury.
If your treating psychologist recommends that you would benefit from more than six sessions your provider will need to complete and submit a Mental Health Treatment Plan. This plan outlines your treatment goals, outcome measures and recommends any additional sessions. When we receive the treatment plan we will review it and make a decision about further treatment and how many sessions we agree to pay for.
Where appropriate we will work with your treating team to help them organise the mental health services and support you need.
We may contact your provider of mental health services to discuss your progress or request an assessment to make sure that:
- You have access to appropriate treatment and supports required for your transport accident injuries.
- You are getting proven, evidence-based treatment and not receiving treatment that isn't helping you recover.
- You are moving towards getting your life back on track or being able to live independently.
If you have developed a dependency condition as a result of your transport accident, your doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist may also recommend that you attend a drug or alcohol program.
Counselling for family members
We will support immediate family members by paying for family counselling if their loved one has died or is severely injured as a result of an accident. Contact us to check your eligibility.
We can also support immediate family members if a loved one has:
- a significant acquired brain injury
- paraplegia or quadriplegia
- amputation of an arm or leg
- burns to more than 50 percent of their body
- permanent blindness
- a brachial plexus injury.
Family counselling can only be provided by a psychologist, doctor or social worker and we can only pay up to the maximum amount of $17,850*.
If a family member has died, it may also be helpful to read our When a family member dies information. You can also call our Support Coordinators for help and advice on 1300 654 329 or toll free on 1800 332 556.
Treatment and services we can’t pay for
We can’t pay for services that:
- Do not treat your transport accident injuries.
- Are not reasonable, necessary or appropriate.
- Are not clinically justified, safe and effective.
What do these services do?
Psychologists are educated in the science of how people feel, behave and react. They can provide help with issues such as anxiety, depression, stress and eating disorders. Psychologists do not prescribe medications but use a number of evidence-based tests to determine the mental health and wellbeing of people.
Some psychologists specialise in neuropsychology, which studies the relationship between behaviour, emotion, cognition and brain function. This can be helpful for assessing, managing and rehabilitating people who have suffered a transport accident injury that has caused neurocognitive problems.
A psychiatrist is a medical specialist who can diagnose and treat mental health issues and emotional problems that you may experience as a result of your transport accident injuries. They use a range of approaches such as therapy, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy to help you. They are able to prescribe medication.
Social workers are trained to support people that are experiencing family problems, anxiety, depression, crisis and trauma. These may occur as a result of transport accident injuries. Social workers can also provide information and support to people who have mental health issues and require counselling.
For more information, see:
- Psychologists – Better Health Channel
- Psychiatrists – Better Health Channel
- Social workers – Better Health Channel
- Health Direct
How treatments and services are paid for
We pay for your treatments:
- Directly to your psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker, when you have given them your TAC claim number, or
- If you have to pay, use myTAC to send a copy of your receipt to us and we will repay you.
We pay for your services in line with our responsibilities under the Transport Accident Act 1986.
How much we will pay
We will pay for your treatment and services according to our fee schedule. If your hospital charges more than the TAC rate, you may need to pay the difference.
See: TAC rates related to mental health and wellbeing services.
For accidents that happened before 14 February 2018, we can only pay for psychiatry and psychology services once any required medical excess has been reached. Find out if the medical excess applies to you.
If you are a provider of mental health services, please refer to the related Provider Guideline:
* This amount applies when a claim for family counselling is made for the first time on or after 1 July 2022.