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Work and income

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

Who can claim loss of earnings benefits?

You can claim loss of earnings benefits if:

  • You have an accepted TAC claim
  • You are 15 years or older
  • You were working full-time, part-time or casually before the accident
  • Your accident-related injuries prevent you from returning to work full-time
  • You have a certificate of capacity from your doctor that states your capacity to work is affected because of your accident injuries
  • You have had more than five days off work*.

You may still be entitled to loss of earnings benefits if you were unemployed at the time of your accident. Please contact the TAC on 1300 654 3291300 654 329 for more information.

* The TAC, by law, cannot ordinarily pay loss of earnings benefits for the first five working days after your accident. However, there may be exceptions in special cases, if you can prove severe financial hardship. For further information, please call the TAC on 1300 654 3291300 654 329.

How much loss of earnings the TAC can pay

In most cases, the TAC pays 80% of your gross income, to a maximum of $1,300 per week.

How it's calculated

To work out how much to pay for loss of earnings, the TAC calculates how much you were earning before your accident. Once the TAC has worked out your earnings, we follow a formula that sets out how much we can pay.

See the Income support or the Income support for self-employed section for more information about how the TAC calculates your pre-accident earnings and applies the formula to work out your entitlement.

How long the TAC can pay loss of earnings

Loss of earnings benefits are payable in the first 18 months after an accident, however most people need loss of earnings benefits for only a short period of time.

If, after 18 months, a person has a loss of earnings capacity as a result of their accident injuries, they may be entitled to receive Loss of Earnings Capacity (LOEC) benefits. LOEC is payable for a further 18 months, or until retirement age, (usually 65), for clients assessed with an impairment greater than 50%.

The TAC will generally stop paying when there is no medical reason relating to your accident injuries that prevents you from returning to work.

The TAC will regularly review your progress and your ability to return to work. You may be asked to attend a medical examination so we can better understand your options and ability to return to work.

If you are receiving leave payments from your employer

If you have been paid leave by your employer for time off after your accident, the TAC can reimburse some of this leave.

The TAC will calculate the reimbursement using the same formula that is used to calculate loss of earnings payments.  In most cases, the TAC pays 80% of your gross income, to a maximum of $1,300 per week.

The TAC can only start reimbursing leave if you have had more than five days off after an accident.

The TAC needs your written permission to reimburse paid leave. Please complete the Authority to pay entitlement: employer form if you would like the TAC to reimburse some of your leave.

If you stop receiving paid leave from your employer, the TAC can start to pay you loss of earnings benefits directly. Your employer will need to confirm with the TAC that your leave payments have stopped.

If you are receiving Centrelink benefits

It is the TAC's responsibility to pay you loss of earnings benefits if you cannot work due to you transport accident injuries. If you are receiving or have applied for Centrelink benefits, you must contact Centrelink within 14 days and advise them of your TAC claim.

If you have received Centrelink benefits when you are entitled to loss of earnings benefits from the TAC, Centrelink will recover the money from the TAC. This could happen in one of two ways:

  • If the TAC has not started paying you loss of earnings benefits, the TAC will reimburse Centrelink the amounts owing by making deductions from your TAC loss of earnings benefits
  • If the TAC has already paid you loss of earnings benefits for the period/s claimed by Centrelink, the TAC will advise Centrelink to seek reimbursement from you directly.

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