If you have a personal injury claim in Queensland and you have received Centrelink benefits then this will be important to your claim.
In Queensland, insurance companies have been allowed by the Court to obtain an injured persons Centrelink file for the three years before the injury. You may think this is an invasion of privacy. The insurance companies obtain Centrelink files to find out whether the injured person has lodged any medical documents with Centrelink or has been on Centrelink benefits. For example, if you injure your neck in a motor vehicle accident and two years earlier had a period off work for an injury then the insurer wants to discover this an attempt to lower your claim.
Centrelink is also an important issue when you come to settle your claim. In that regard, if you had a previous debt to Centrelink then Centrelink may require the debt to be repaid from the settlement money and will, in fact, ask the insurer to repay the debt before you receive any money. Your lawyer should ask you if you have any Centrelink debt and factor this into the legal advice you receive.
Further, if you have received any Centrelink benefits between the date of injury and the settlement of your claim then all or some of the money you received from Centrelink may be repaid to Centrelink, again by the insurer. The amount that Centrelink recovers is based on a complicated formula. Your lawyer should ask you if you have received Centrelink and advise you on the approximate amount of the refund.
Another important issue with Centrelink is what is known as the “preclusion period’. This is the period of time that you may be cut off from receiving Centrelink benefits into the future after your settlement. Your lawyer should advise you of this.
Making a mistake regarding Centrelink can really affect your claim and your settlement and what you receive in the hand.
Your Trusted Personal Injury Lawyers
Your Claim Lawyers are specialist personal injury lawyers and have handled many cases. We can advise you fully on all personal injury claims and Centrelink issues.
Please call Your Claim Lawyers anytime for a free consultation with experienced personal injury lawyers on 1800 968 725 or 0400 839 314.