Making a Claim for Compensation
The TAC will consider a claim for compensation which is made over the telephone or using a hospital claim form.
If a person dies in a transport accident, a claim for the deceased person is made using the Burial/Cremation and Dependency benefits Claim for Compensation form. Please call the TAC on 1300 654 329 or (03) 5225 6567 for help in claiming funeral or dependency benefits. Refer to the When a family member dies policy.
How can a person claim transport accident compensation from the TAC?
Hospital claim form
If a person sustains injuries as a result of a transport accident and is taken to hospital, the hospital may complete claim lodgement on their behalf. If the injured person or another person who is authorised to act on his/her behalf signs a claim form, then they can expect that the claim has been lodged by the hospital and submitted to the TAC.
Any other person injured in a transport accident can contact the TAC by telephone to lodge their claim on 1300 654 329 for the cost of a local call if made from a land-line.
If the person has a disability that makes communicating by telephone difficult, an authorised person should contact the TAC to discuss an alternate arrangement for lodging a claim.
What happens during claim lodgement?
A member of the TAC will:
- collect the information required to complete claim lodgement (for example, personal details, transport accident details, witness details etc.)
- where possible, determine a person's eligibility for benefits, please refer to the Eligibility for Benefits policy
- mail the Claim for Compensation Summary to the person lodging the claim to check that all details collected are complete and correct.
What happens after the initial telephone call?
If the TAC is able to approve the claim during claim lodgement, the TAC will send the person or their authorised representative a Claim for Compensation Summary and any relevant forms, including an Authority to Release Information. To avoid delays in the processing of a claim for compensation, the Authority to Release Information must be completed and returned as soon as possible.
The TAC will decide whether to accept or deny the claim, or seek further information within 21 days of receiving it. If the TAC fails to make a decision at the end of 21 days or denies the claim, the client can have the decision reviewed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Refer to the Claims for compensation - TAC response times policy and the Reviewing a TAC Decision policy.
When a client signs the Authority to Release Information form he/she also authorises the TAC to obtain information. Why does the TAC collect this information?
The consent in the hospital claim form and the Authority to Release Information allows the TAC to collect information and documents that are relevant to assessing a client's entitlement to benefits under the Transport Accident Act 1986 (the Act). The TAC requests information using the authority for various reasons, including clarification of:
- the extent of injuries sustained in a transport accident
- the nature of any aggravation of an existing injury or condition caused by transport accident injuries
- the extent of financial loss suffered as a result of transport accident injuries
How much information does the TAC collect and how is the information used?
The TAC collects information that is necessary to manage a claim. The TAC will ensure that information:
- collected is adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose of assessing a client's entitlements
- is lawfully used to carry out a function or exercise a power in accordance with the Act, and
- is kept securely stored and disclosed only where this is lawful.
If the TAC makes a request to a third party for information in relation to the claim, will the TAC advise the client and his/her representative?
The TAC will notify the client and his/her representative in writing if the TAC uses the Authority to Release Information to obtain information and documents from:
- a doctor, ambulance service, hospital or other health service provider
- a motor vehicle insurer and or a worker's compensation insurer
- a trustee or trustee of any superannuation fund
- a department, agency or instrumentality of the Commonwealth or the State of Victoria or another State that administers Police, Health Insurance Commission payments or Social Welfare laws
- the client's employer or previous employer, or
- the client's accountant.
Can the authority to obtain information be withdrawn?
Once the consent in the hospital claim form or the Authority to Release Information form has been signed, the authority cannot be revoked or withdrawn until the claim is finally determined.
Are there any time limits on making a claim for transport accident compensation?
A claim for compensation must be made within one year of the date of the transport accident or the date when the injury first manifests itself. The TAC may also consider a claim made outside of this time limit if:
- it is made within three years of the transport accident or the date when the injury first manifests itself, and
- reasonable grounds exist for the delay in making a claim.
If a claim for compensation or dependency is not made for a person under the age of 18 by their parent or guardian within the statutory time, that person can make a claim until the day before they attain the age of 21.
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.68
Who can change the personal information of a client, after a claim for compensation has been lodged?
Privacy of a client's personal information
Under the Transport Accident Act 1986 and the Privacy Information Act 2000, the TAC is required to keep a client's personal information confidential. This includes:
- name, address, and date of birth
- home and business telephone details
- bank account details for electronic funds transfer purposes.
The TAC will change its records upon the provision of appropriate identifying information where a client, next of kin if a client is seriously injured, or an appointed legal guardian or administrator gives notice of a change to personal information by phone or in writing. The TAC will not amend a client's personal information on the advice of the client's service providers such as a doctor or hospital.