The Federal Government has established a claims scheme to reimburse individuals who suffer a ‘moderate to significant impact’ following an adverse reaction to TGA approved Covid-19 vaccines. Current TGA approved vaccines are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Janssen-Cilag, Moderna Australia.
The scheme has been developed to provide an avenue for non litigated reimbursement or compensation claims covering the cost of injuries above $5,000 relating to the administration or adverse event caused by a TGA approved Covid-19 vaccine.
It appears as though the scheme may assist employers who are intending to mandate vaccination of their employees, allowing compensation external to their insurance policies. However, for high value claims, the evidentiary burden may be so onerous under the Federal Government’s no fault compensation scheme that employees may still wish to claim under the employer’s workers compensation scheme.
Claimants who pursue claims under the Federal Government’s compensation scheme may still be able to pursue a claim through a court judgement if that is their preference. It is not yet clear on how this scheme interacts with WorkCover claims however we expect this to be clarified in the coming weeks.
Claimants must nominate they are seeking less than $20,000 and have been hospitalised for at least one night.
Recognised side effects of Covid-19 Vaccines are included in the approved ‘Product Information’ including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine and myocarditis and pericarditis associated with the Pfizer vaccine.
Evidence needs to be provided to support a claim regarding:
- medical documentation supporting the nature of the injury and its likely relationship to a COVID-19 vaccination;
- hospitalisation due to approved TGA Covid-10 vaccines;
- lost wages; and
- medical costs.
Evidentiary requirements for claims over $20,000 including death are currently being developed. The only clarification to date is that claims relating to death will not require evidence of hospitalisation.
If you require assistance in managing workers affected by Covid-19, or require more information regarding any Covid-19 guidelines in the workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact our Workplace Law team.
The assistance of Jade Scheuerle, Law Clerk in researching this article is gratefully acknowledged.