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What happens to my benefits if I make a claim?

  • April 17, 2015
  • mmassen
  • Comments Off on What happens to my benefits if I make a claim?

If you are concerned about what will happen to your benefits if you make a claim then there are steps that can be taken, and provisions made to lessen the impact that the receipt of compensation may have on your benefits.

First, it is worth looking at how your benefits are dealt with within the claim itself.

It is right and fair that you should only receive compensation to offset your losses, and you should not be put in a better position than you would have been pre accident if you claim successfully. Therefore any compensation you receive, other than compensation for your injuries, may be subject to a deduction equal to the amount of benefits received if those benefits are relevant to the compensation claimed.

An example of this would be that state benefits received in lieu of loss of earnings will be deducted from any compensation paid for lost income. This obviously prevents an injured party from receiving full lost income as well as benefits, which would be double recovery. Similarly, any state benefits received to assist with mobility will be deducted from any claim made in relation to transport costs.
Each area is ring fenced so that benefits received for lost income cannot be deducted from claims for transportation, to use the example given above. Benefits can only be deducted on a like for like basis, and compensation paid for injuries can never be used for this purpose and are not subject to deductions for benefit payments.

If the level of benefits exceeds the amount claimed there cannot be a deduction from other heads of damage to make up the shortfall.

When the claim is concluded and the compensation received there is again a necessity to look at benefits received to see what impact there may be.
Some benefits are means tested and if you have above a certain level of savings then your entitlement to state benefits may be affected.

This can be avoided by means of putting compensation awarded into a trust, so that the money is not held by the injured party leaving their benefits unaffected. The money is held by trustees who can make regular payments to the injured party at such a rate that the amount the injured party holds never exceeds the level that will impact or threatened their benefits.

The setting up and running of a personal injury trust is a complex area and you should speak with your solicitor who will be able to advise you. However it is worth noting the following points:-

1. A trust should be set up within 52 weeks of the first compensation payment. This includes interim payments as well.

2. Payments of compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and payment from Motor Insurers’ Bureau as well as other forms of payment, such as charitable or public donations are all affected by the rules. Compensation received for professional negligence against a solicitor who has not dealt with your personal injury claim in an appropriate and effective manner is also included.

3. The 52 week period above is not an open season for spending compensation and if, after this period it is felt that the Claimant has spent their money to avoid benefit deductions, then the sums received can be taken into account resulting in deductions from future benefits.

To make sure that you get full and comprehensive advice speak to Cohen Cramer Solicitors:

  • call: 0113 224 7830
  • email: mike.massen@cohencramer.co.uk

For the Quality Legal Service You Deserve.

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