Will my Centrelink entitlements be affected?
When your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you may need to rely on Centrelink benefits.
These Centrelink benefits may be affected if your lump sum compensation payment includes an amount for loss of income. This is especially relevant as the majority of claims for injuries occurring in Queensland will involve a claim for loss of income.
Entitlements not affected:
Disaster Relief Payments
Family Tax Benefits
Entitlements likely to be affected:
When you receive your compensation payment, Centrelink will calculate the period of time you are not entitled to claim benefits. This is known as the preclusion period.
The preclusion period is deemed to have commenced on the day that your workers’ compensation benefits cease. Or, if you didn’t receive worker’s compensation, the preclusion period commences from the date of your accident.
If your preclusion period extends beyond the date of the resolution of your claim, you will not be able to receive or claim Centrelink benefits until the period expires.
Refund of Benefits received
Once your preclusion period has been calculated, you are legally required to refund Centrelink any eligible benefits that you may have received during this period. The amount required to be refunded is dependant on the amount of your compensation payment.
The refund requirement is designed to prevent personal injury claimants from “double-dipping”. That is, receiving the benefit of income from Centrelink and claiming a loss of income for the same period of time.
Finally, the refund amount will be taken out of your compensation payment before you receive any funds.