Frequently Asked Questions

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Question: What is the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme?

Answer: The Scheme is a no-fault insurance scheme that seeks to ensure that people who are catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident in the ACT can manage their ongoing care needs into the future.

Under this scheme, ACT motorists needing lifetime care as a result of a catastrophic injury have the opportunity to access a scheme targeted at providing long-term care and support.

The introduction of the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme is part of the implementation in the ACT of a nationally agreed scheme, which will transform the way the ACT community supports people with a disability, their families and carers.

Question: Why do we need a Lifetime Care and Support Scheme? 

Answer: This enables those who are catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident to receive the treatment and care that they need for life on a no-fault basis.

This enhances the current motor accident environment as it provides coverage for these injuries on a no-fault basis. The scheme covers those persons who may be considered to be at-fault, or someone who is involved in a single vehicle accident, or even a blameless accident.

The compulsory third-party insurance scheme only provides coverage for those able to prove someone else at fault. Where a lump sum award or settlement was made in a CTP claim, there was no certainty that the lump sum would last for the rest of the catastrophically injured person’s life or that the injured person would in fact receive the treatment and care they needed.

Question: When did the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme start in the ACT? 

Answer: The ACT Scheme commenced on 1 July 2014.

Question: Who will be eligible for the Scheme? 

Answer: The Scheme applies to persons who sustain a catastrophic injury resulting from a motor accident, regardless of fault, that occurs in the ACT from 1 July 2014.

It covers pedestrians, cyclists, motor bikes and motor vehicles so long as at least one vehicle involved in the motor accident had CTP cover.

The motor accident injury must be a catastrophic injury type mentioned in the Lifetime Care and Support (Catastrophic Injuries) Act 2014; and satisfy the criteria as set out in the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme Guidelines.

The criteria are nationally agreed minimum benchmarks (or national standards) that have been developed for the National Injury Insurance Scheme for motor accidents.

Question: What injuries are considered to be catastrophic injuries? 

Answer: The categories of catastrophic injury that the Scheme cover include spinal cord injuries, moderate to severe brain injury, amputations, severe burns or permanent blindness. The precise injuries covered by the Scheme are set out in the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme Guidelines.

Question: What benefits (treatment and care) do participants in the Scheme get? 

Answer: The treatment and care needs that are covered by the Scheme are found in section 9 of the Lifetime Care and Support (Catastrophic Injuries) Act 2014 and include:

  • medical treatment (including pharmaceutical treatment);
  • dental treatment;
  • rehabilitation;
  • ambulance transportation;
  • respite care;
  • attendant care services;
  • aids and appliances;
  • prostheses;
  • education and vocational training;
  • home and transport modification; and
  • workplace and educational facility modifications.

Question: Will a participant in the Scheme still have access to their common law compulsory third party (CTP) claim?

Answer: Yes.

A person who is a participant in the Scheme and who is also able to prove that someone else is at-fault in a motor accident will still be able to access their compulsory third-party insurance claim for compensation in relation to economic loss (loss of earnings and earning capacity) and non-economic loss (general damages or pain and suffering).

For a person who is catastrophically injured in a motor accident, all their reasonable and necessary treatment and care needs will be covered under the Scheme.  As such, those persons who also have a CTP claim will already be receiving their treatment and care needs under the Scheme and hence no longer need to litigate in order to receive compensation for those most fundamental needs.

Question: Does the Scheme apply to motor accidents that occurred before 1 July 2014? 

Answer: No

Question: What if I am catastrophically injured in a motor accident interstate? 

Answer: You will need to apply under the scheme operating in that state, for example, in New South Wales you should contact the NSW Lifetime Care and Support Authority.