What is the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme?

Published 19 Mar 2018

People who are fault for motor vehicle crashes in Australia are typically excluded from receiving car accident compensation. At best, they are likely to see their claim for damages reduced for contributory negligence.

But at-fault drivers can still experience devastating injuries that place them under a severe emotional and financial burden. This is one of the reasons that the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government set up the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme (LTCS) in 2014.

The initiative means any road user who is involved in a motor accident in the territory, regardless of fault, can seek financial support for their ongoing care needs if they sustain catastrophic injuries.

However, at least one vehicle involved in the accident must have compulsory third-party insurance for individuals to make a claim. Since July 1 2016, the scheme has also applied to people who suffer workplace injuries.

What is a catastrophic injury?

The criteria for this type of injury are outlined in the Lifetime Care and Support (Catastrophic Injuries) Act 2014. Eligible claimants include those with:

  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Amputated limbs;
  • Burns;
  • Permanent blindness; or
  • Brain injuries.

A full list of catastrophic injuries and their definitions are included in the LTCS Guidelines, which you can view here.

People who believe they may be entitled to financial redress should contact the Lifetime Care and Support Commissioner using a Severe Injury Advice Form. This includes a certificate from a treating doctor confirming that the injuries are likely to be considered catastrophic for the purposes of a claim.

If eligible, the commissioner should appoint an LTCS coordinator to assist the injured party to apply for the scheme.

What financial support do applicants receive?

Successful applicants can receive lifetime or interim financial support for costs relating to:

  • Treatment;
  • Rehabilitation; and
  • Ongoing care.

Compensation for lost income and superannuation, as well as damages for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses aren’t available through the scheme. Individuals may also face difficulties if no one involved in the accident had insurance or it was a hit-and-run incident.

Anyone who has suffered car accident injuries in the ACT should therefore contact an experienced no-win, no-fee lawyer to see if they are eligible to claim damages in addition to LTCS support.

Please give a member of the Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers team a call today to discuss your options.