This policy should be read in conjunction with the Loss of Earnings benefits policy.
LOE payments to the employer
In which circumstances will the TAC pay the client's income benefits to the employer?
The purpose of paying a client's LOE payments to the employer is to reinstate part of the client's paid leave entitlements, in circumstances where the client uses leave entitlements as a result of the transport accident injuries.
The TAC may consider making LOE payments to a client's employer in respect of any paid leave entitlement used by a client, as a result of the transport accident injury other than during the first five days. This only occurs once the TAC receives the client's written request authorising the TAC to pay the employer the client's TAC entitlement. The TAC will only pay what the client's LOE entitlement would be assessed at under the Act.
What types of leave entitlements can be used?
At the client's request the TAC will consider paying the client's LOE entitlement to the employer where the client has used leave as a result of the transport accident injury. Such leave includes:
- sick leave
- annual, long service or recreational leave
- public holiday leave
- ex gratia payments, ie. those payments made by the employer in exceptional circumstances that are not part of the employment contract or award.
How is this payment calculated?
The employer's refund is calculated using the prescribed formula. This amount is not taxed.
The Commonwealth Government is empowered by law to recover money from TAC in order to receive:
- debt owed by a client (unrelated to a transport accident), or
- amounts due because of a transport accident (eg. the client received benefits from Centrelink when entitled to TAC benefits)
- amounts due for other reasons (such as child support).
This section contains information regarding government departments who serve debt recovery notices on the TAC. They include:
- The Australian Tax Office (ATO)
- The Child Support Agency (ATO).
Is a client obligated to notify Centrelink about any LOE benefit paid by the TAC?
If a client is receiving Centrelink benefits he/she must contact Centrelink within 14 days of receiving a LOE payment to advise Centrelink of the change in circumstances.
In which circumstances will Centrelink recover amounts from the TAC?
Centrelink will seek to recover money from the TAC when it becomes aware that a recipient of Centrelink benefits should be entitled to TAC benefits. Centrelink will issue the TAC a "Recovery Notice" detailing the amount that the TAC is required to reimburse to Centrelink.
Is Centrelink able to recover LOE benefits that have not been paid?
Where the TAC has not already commenced paying LOE benefits for the period/s claimed by Centrelink, the TAC will reimburse Centrelink the amounts owing by making deductions from the client's LOE entitlements.
Is Centrelink able to recover LOE benefits that have previously been paid?
Where the TAC has already paid LOE benefits for the period/s being claimed by Centrelink, they will be advised to seek reimbursement directly from the client.
Debt recovery by garnishee notice
Is the Commonwealth able to garnishee LOE benefits to recover a debt incurred by a client?
If a person owes money to the Commonwealth, a garnishee notice may be issued by the Commonwealth to the person (called the debtor), or any organisation who holds money for the debtor, eg. the TAC who holds the client's LOE benefit payments.
What amount of money is withheld and paid to the Commonwealth?
The TAC will deduct the weekly amount specified in the garnishee order from a client's ongoing weekly LOE benefits, which is paid to the relevant department until the debt is satisfied, or until otherwise advised.
Debt recovery of child maintenance payments
Is the Australian Government Child Support Agency able to collect child support from LOE benefits?
The Child Support Agency is able to enforce the collection of maintenance liability because of the Child Support Act 1988 and the Child Support (Registration & Collection) Act 1988. Once the Child Support Agency makes an assessment and serves an assessment notice on the TAC , the TAC will deduct from a client's ongoing weekly LOE benefits the amount specified in the notice, and pay the agency until the debt is satisfied, or until otherwise advised.
Debt recovery and TAC benefits for medical and like services
Is the Commonwealth Government Department able to recover amounts that are paid to the client for medical, rehabilitation or disability services?
No, the TAC will deduct amounts owed to the Commonwealth from the client's income benefits only. Deductions will not be made from compensation owing to the client that relates to:
- medical services
- rehabilitation services
- disability services.
Other client income
Does a client's personal accident insurance policy payments affect their entitlement to LOE benefits?
No, income received from personal accident insurance policies are not taken into consideration when paying LOE benefits.
Will the TAC reimburse a personal accident insurer when they have paid income benefits to an injured client?
The TAC will not reimburse a personal accident insurer that has paid income benefits on behalf of an injured person who has an entitlement to these benefits.
Do a client's superannuation payments affect their entitlement to LOE benefits?
No, any lump sum or periodic superannuation payments made to a client are not taken into consideration when paying LOE benefits.
Does a client's interest from their bank accounts and dividends from share investments affect their entitlement to LOE benefits?
No, any income received as interest from bank accounts or dividends from share investments are not taken into consideration when paying LOE benefits.
Attending medical or rehabilitation treatment
Will the TAC pay LOE benefits for a client to attend medical or rehabilitation treatment during work hours, when they have returned to work after a transport accident?
The TAC will pay LOE benefits for a client who has returned to work after a transport accident, and incurs a loss of income to attend:
- medical treatment or
- rehabilitation treatment
where the treatment could not be provided outside the client's normal working hours, and is for injuries that are a result of the transport accident. These payments will be subject to the first five working days excess.
The client will be required to provide:
- a written request, which provides details of the work hours lost and the hourly rate of pay
- confirmation from the practitioner that appointment times are only available during the client's normal working hours, and the client is still required to attend treatment
- confirmation of attendance at the examination, which is usually in the form of a medical certificate.