The six-month cut off.
If your injuries have been assessed as minor, your weekly benefits will stop after six months, or even earlier if you’ve been assessed as being fit to return to work before that.
This is because the CTP scheme is designed to get you off benefits and back to work as soon as possible. This makes sense if you’ve recovered from your injuries, however there’s a fundamental flaw in this system. The problem is that the whole system is based on the assumption that if you have minor injuries, you’ll fully recover within six months.
There are a number of situations where injuries that are assessed as being minor can actually worsen after six months, making it difficult or even impossible to return to work. Take for example whiplash injury. Whiplash is deemed to be a minor injury, and in many cases people who’ve suffered whiplash recover and are able to return to work within a few weeks or months. But there are exceptions, and for some people the pain can worsen over time, and become debilitating. This can cause a range of issues including reduced mobility, reliance on pain killers and even psychological issues.
What should I do if my injuries get worse?
Regardless of whether your injuries have worsened over time, if you’ve been assessed as having minor injuries your weekly benefits will be cut off by the insurer at the six-month mark. But if you’re still struggling with your injuries, there are ways you can get your benefits reinstated.
The fact is, many injuries, especially psychological injuries, can take more than six months to stabilise. So if your benefits have been cut off, your first course of action is to challenge your medical assessment and have your injuries reassessed. Then if your new medical assessment shows that your injuries are non-minor, you’ll be entitled to continue receiving weekly benefits for up to 24 months. Use our head to toe assessment checklist when having your injuries reassessed.
How can I have my injuries reassessed?
To get your injuries reassessed, you’ll need to lodge a dispute with the insurer – the initial dispute is known as an IIR, or insurer internal review. You’ll need to lodge the dispute on the basis that your medical assessment is wrong, and provide evidence that there is new information to support your dispute. We’ve provided a letter you can use as a template in the “resources” section of this site.
For more information on lodging a dispute, please read our article on What you need to know before you lodge a dispute.
Under the new CTP scheme, solicitors can’t charge to help you lodge your claim. However, a solicitor can assist you with lodging your dispute, and any legal costs are covered by the insurer so that there’s no cost to you. For more information on getting help with your dispute you can call our free CTP claim advice line.
The fact is, many injuries, especially psychological injuries, can take more than six months to stabilise.