On the 1st August 2014 the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013 will come into force.
What does this mean to the average compensation claim?
It will introduce a system called the Recoverable Benefits and Assistance Scheme very similar to the CRU system that has been in operation in the UK for many years.
It will allow the Department of Social Welfare to directly recoup certain categories of social welfare payments paid to a victim of an accident who has brought a claim for compensation for injuries suffered.
The RBAS applies to claims before the Injuries Board as well as before the Courts however it will not apply to fatal accidents.
The categories of benefit are – Illness Benefit
– Partial Capacity Benefit
– Injury Benefit
– Invalidity Pension
– Disability Allowance
– Increases in Disablement Benefit
The good news is, it will be the insurance company for the party at fault who pays not the injured victim. Most importantly your Injuries Board Assessment or Court Award will have to include an additional separate amount to cover this, paid by the insurance company.
So if you are involved in an accident after the 1st August this year and you submit a claim to the Injuries Board it is very important the Injuries Board apply to the Department of Social Welfare for a CERTIFICATE of any benefits received otherwise your entitlement to compensation may be compromised or delayed.
C.M. Solicitors has compiled a careful study of this new legislation and it`s potential impact on personal injury litigation. We very much welcome this legislation as protection for innocent victims of accidents who end up being dependent upon state welfare.
A striking feature of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013 is the difficulty it is likely to create for insurance companies trying to force victims of an accidents to accept what has become to be known as the “all in settlement”. This is a tactic used by insurance companies to cheat vulnerable accident victims out of the true value of the their compensation claim. A recent article in the Irish Times by a member of the Irish Bar noted that insurance companies will no longer be able to rely upon all in settlements to resolve claims as each and every aspect of the claim will have to be financially accounted for separately and in particular any amount for loss of earnings or profits. This is welcome news indeed.
If you require further advice about the effect of this legislation on you individually please call us for a free assessment and independent advice on 1900938893.