Published: 09 May 2013
Author: Richard Derks
Have you been sacked because of a TAC injury claim?
If you've been injured on the road you might find that the road back to work is more than a little bumpy.
Car and other road injuries can stop you from performing your normal work duties. This should not be a problem if you have a sympathetic boss, but the more severe your injury and prolonged your rehab, the less understanding your boss is likely to be.
Under the TAC Act, there are provisions for income support for road accident victims who need time off work. However, unlike WorkCover where employers are legally required to assist their injured workers back to work on light duties, the TAC Act does not require this of employers.
The more disruptive the injury is to your work attendance, the more likely it is that your boss' enthusiasm for your rehab dwindles. It is not uncommon for employees to find themselves without a job after an extended time off work.
What you can do is insist that the TAC, who will have allocated you a caseworker, will support you with proper rehabilitation services, and with retraining if necessary. Furthermore, they are obliged to actively help find you replacement employment.
The clock does start ticking down on income support from the TAC. After three years, that income will be stopped and alternative disability payments may kick in, ie Centre Link benefits. This is not a good place to be.
If you have a good and responsible TAC lawyer, he or she should help you keep the pressure on the TAC to actively assist you. They should also be prepared to make a house call to advise you on your rights and entitlements when required.
Finally, if you are seriously injured and facing prolonged absence from work, you should lodge a claim for lump sum compensation, which may be quite a large amount if you have suffered an injury that meets the required impairment tests or serious injury requirements.