Disability payouts should not be squandered

Date: May 23, 2016

The legal experts at Gerard Malouf and Partners spend a lot of hours ensuring your case is pointed toward the right court, making sure you have the right medical evidence and that your paperwork is well organised, and finally we make sure your case is made strongly and professionally.

When we successfully win settlements – and we are successful, 98 per cent of the time – you will receive a lump sump. It’s advisable to spend wisely and cautiously.
Failing to do so can undermine all of the hard work that brought you success. In the following case study, an injured man splurged everything his lawyers had fought to get for him and had to return to court to get Centrelink to continue to pay him his disability pension.

Fair payout for disability, yes. But was the payout spent fairly?

A Canberra man was awarded more than a million dollars in compensation in 2008 after injuring himself at half time during a Canberra Raiders game, spent almost all his compensation within weeks. The one-time millionaire came before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in January 2015 arguing that his pension should be reinstated.

Court unimpressed with spending

The plaintiff had broken his neck diving to catch a football. He could no longer work as a tiler and went on a Disability Support Pension. He was initially awarded damages totalling $1,025,000 .
When he took the Department of Social Services to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in January 2015, an embarrassing account of his expenses emerged. The plaintiff had bought a house and paid its fees, but also lost money buying model cars and memorabilia and giving away many thousands to family and friends. He told the court that he needed a quality stereo system and TV, a pool table and games machine to occupy his time while unemployable.
The plaintiff’s explanation was his disability compensation settlement had actually taken years and it was only January 2014 before he received the reduced amount of $516,236.65, much of which was spent on a house.
Ultimately, the plaintiff was put back on a compensation preclusion period meaning his weekly disability pension will not be paid out until 16 September 2017.

We can help

If you are unable to work, because you are suffering a total and/or permanent disability as a result of injury, incapacity or ill health, you may be able to access lump sum partial, and/or permanent disability benefits. At Gerard Malouf & Partners, we know the insurance companies and the tactics they use to minimise compensation payouts for permanent disability claims. We put this knowledge to the best possible use, maximising our client’s compensation payouts.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.