This Vaccine Injury Scheme is Designed to Financially Assist Those Adversely Affected by a TGA-Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
Have you suffered harm or injury as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination? You may be entitled to compensation under the Federal Governments COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme.
All medicines can have side effects, including vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines include the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Comirnaty (Pfizer), Spikevax (Moderna) and Nuvaxovid (Novavax), and people may experience some side effects (also known as adverse events), most of which are mild and resolve within a few days.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) closely monitors vaccine safety and has often found that adverse events or suspected side effects are not caused by the vaccine itself. However, there are rare cases of recipients experiencing a serious adverse reaction after a COVID-19 vaccine.
These individuals are the ones the compensation scheme as been designed to support.
BurkeMead Lawyers are experts in personal injury law and experienced in managing compensation claims. If you believe you have experienced a COVID-19 vaccine-related adverse event, here’s everything you need to know about the Australian Government’s claims scheme.
What is the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme?
The Australian Government has implemented this no-fault compensation scheme to compensate eligible people for recognised vaccine-related adverse events. To be eligible, an individual will have received a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine and suffered a moderate to severe adverse reaction, or multiple adverse events, related to receiving the vaccine (also known as vaccine administration injuries).
The objective of the scheme is to provide a simple, streamlined process for compensation, without the need for complex legal proceedings. The financial support from this compensation scheme will assist claimants with receiving the care they need. The compensation amount will depend on extent of the vaccine injuries and the long-term impact on the affected individual.
Eligibility for the Claims Scheme
The scheme covers losses or expenses of $1,000 and over, and covers a limited list of diagnosed clinical conditions, which are dependent upon the particular vaccine you received, and the diagnosis received.
In order to be eligible to seek compensation under this scheme, you need to have been vaccinated in Australia, or vaccinated overseas under the Australian Government Overseas Network COVID-19 vaccination rollout managed by DFAT and Defence. Other eligibility criteria includes:
- Received a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine;
- Suffered moderate to significant harm or death due to administration of a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, or due to an adverse event that is recognised to be caused by a COVID-19 vaccination;
- Meet the minimum threshold of $1000.00 in out-of-pocket costs or lost income and care costs (both past and future); and
- You were hospitalised (with some limited exceptions).
What Clinical Conditions Are Covered Under the Scheme?
The list of recognised adverse effects for claims purposes under the Scheme includes a range of clinical conditions that are diagnosed by a treating medical professional and are included in the Product Information document for the specific vaccine as listed in the table below:
The Scheme also covers administration-related injuries that are clinically diagnosed, including shoulder injuries or other moderate to significant physical injuries that result in permanent impairment or an extended period of medical treatment (with some exclusions).
What is Not Covered Under the Scheme?
The following clinical conditions and diagnoses are not covered under the government scheme:
- psychological and psychiatric conditions (e.g. shock);
- secondary injuries (e.g. injury suffered when fainting, or a haematoma at the injection site that becomes infected);
- the following other symptoms unless they form part of the symptom complex of a clinical condition that is covered – such as headache, fatigue, injection site reaction, muscle or joint pain, dizziness, diarrhoea, pain in extremity, fever, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, hyperhidrosis, chills, decreased appetite, malaise, lymphadenopathy, somnolence, abdominal pain, pruritus, urticaria/rash, influenza-like illness, angioedema, and anxiety-related reactions (hyperventilation and fainting).
Compensation: What Costs Can You Claim?
According to Services Australia, eligible claimants will need to list what they are claiming and show how they’ve calculated the claim amount. Claimants may be entitled to recover expenses for past or future loss for the following:
- Loss of wages or income;
- Treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses;
- Gratuitous Attendant Care Services (in certain circumstances);
- Paid Domestic Assistance;
- Pain and Suffering;
- Deceased COVID-19 Vaccine Recipient Payments and Funeral Costs.
How to Make a COVID-19 Vaccine Compensation Claim?
In order to make a claim, you will need to fill out a couple of documents, with the assistance of your treating doctor, and gather the appropriate information. You will need:
- Your doctor to complete a COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme medical report to help with the assessment of your claim.
- A completed COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme expenses form, showing:
- the amount you’re claiming under the scheme, and
- proof to support your losses and expenses, such as invoices, quotes, and payslips.
Are You Looking to Submit a Compensation Claim for a COVID-19 Vaccine-Related Injury? Contact BurkeMead Lawyers Today
If you believe you may be eligible for compensation under the scheme and would like to have an obligation free discussion about your options, please contact Emma Mead or Heidi Lewis on (02) 4902 3800 or send us an enquiry.
About the Author
Emma Mead is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, accredited by the Law Society of NSW. She is also a National Accreditor Mediator and has a Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution. She specialises in all personal injury and family law disputes, locally and across New South Wales.