A 42 year old client of Adviceline Injury Lawyers who was injured in a car accident in 2008 had his income benefits terminated by the TAC on the basis that he had a capacity to work in alternative occupations to his pre-accident occupation as a self-employed cabinet maker.
The client, who suffered a disc prolapse in his lower back which connected with a nerve root, suffers from continuous pain and has been unable to resume his job as a cabinet maker due to the physical nature of the work. The client, who lives in rural Victoria, was told by the TAC that he was capable of undertaking occupations such as those of waiter, fitted kitchen salesman and ticket inspector, despite the fact that he is unable to drive or use public transport over long distances due to the nature of his injuries. The fact that the TAC's own job assistance service could not locate any available positions in these occupations in the client's local area did not stop the TAC from cutting him off his income benefits and leaving him in severe financial difficulties as a result.
Adviceline Injury Lawyers obtained specialist medical and Otherional opinion which demonstrated that the occupations suggested by the TAC were unrealistic given his skills, education, work experience and physical capabilities. It was unlikely that he would obtain employment in the open marketplace given the level of his disability. We pointed out to the TAC the decision of Taylor v TAC  in VCAT where Macnamara DP, found that a 54 year old electrician who was restricted to'light duties' following a whiplash injury, had in fact sustained a total loss of earning capacity. There was little realistic scope for him to be able to obtain employment on'light duties' given the actual reality of the employment marketplace. It was sufficient to show that it was more likely than not that the electrician could not obtain such work.
The TAC eventually reconsidered their decision and decided to restore his full income benefits.
Adviceline Injury Lawyers are currently preparing an application to the TAC that the client be allowed to commence proceedings for compensation for his injuries.