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 Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme and you have until the 30th September 2024 to lodge your claim.

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.

For full details about the scheme, including the policy document, see the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care resources.

How Long Do I Have to Lodge a Claim for the Vaccine Claims Scheme?

For those who have suffered harm or injury as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, the time limit to lodge your claim has recently been extended to 30 September 2024.


Get in touch with our Personal Injury Compensation team

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:

  1. Received a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine;
  2. 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;
  3. Meet the minimum threshold of $1000.00 in out-of-pocket costs or lost income and care costs (both past and future); and
  4. 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.

The list of eligible clinical conditions has been updated and now recognises 10 clinical conditions which are eligible to receive a grant of financial assistance that correspond with the specific vaccine received. Those conditions are set out below:

  • Clinical Condition: COVID-19 Vaccine (specified with reference to the company in whose name the COVID-19 Vaccine is registered in the ARTG).
  • Anaphylactic Reaction:
    • AstraZeneca Pty Limited
    • Pfizer Australia Pty Limited
    • Moderna Australia Pty Limited
    • Biocelect Pty Ltd (Novavax vaccine)
  • Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome:
    • AstraZeneca Pty Limited
  • Myocarditis:
    • Pfizer Australia Pty Limited
    • Moderna Australia Pty Limited
    • Biocelect Pty Ltd (Novavax vaccine)
  • Pericarditis:
    • Pfizer Australia Pty Limited
    • Moderna Australia Pty Limited
    • Biocelect Pty Ltd (Novavax vaccine)
  • Capillary Leak Syndrome:
    • AstraZeneca Pty Limited
  • Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS):
    • AstraZeneca Pty Limited
  • Thrombocytopenia, including immune Thrombocytopenia, identified as a final diagnosis:
    • AstraZeneca Pty Limited
  • Erythema Multiforme (major):
    • Moderna Australia Pty Limited
    • Pfizer Australia Pty Limited
  • Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST) without thrombocytopenia:
    • AstraZeneca Pty Limited
  • Transverse Myelitis:
    • AstraZeneca Pty Limited

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:

  • COVID-19;
  • 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:

  1. Loss of wages or income;
  2. Treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses;
  3. Gratuitous Attendant Care Services (in certain circumstances);
  4. Paid Domestic Assistance;
  5. Pain and Suffering;
  6. 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:

Making a Workers Compensation Claim for Vaccine Injuries

Workers Compensation is a form of insurance payment to employees if they are injured at work or become sick as a result of the work they do. Employers are required to take out workers compensation insurance to cover themselves and their employees. Each state and territory also has their own regulators and administrators who can assist or provide advice on your workers compensation case. In NSW, this regulator is SIRA (State Insurance Regulatory Authority). Workers compensation is designed to cover employees wages while they’re not fit for work, as well as cover costs related to their injury like medical expenses, support needs, and/or rehabilitation.

If receiving the vaccine or booster was a requirement of your employment, you may also be entitled to bring a claim for Workers Compensation. Whether you should pursue a Workers Compensation Claim or a Vaccine Claims Scheme Claim needs to be carefully considered, and we advise you should obtain legal advice on your options and likely benefits under both schemes.

Key Takeaways

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 due to a vaccine-related injury, 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

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.