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5.13 Financial and Legal Advice for Permanent Impairment Compensation Payments
Last amended: 1 July 2013
Should liability be accepted for conditions that result in an impairment rating of at least 50 Impairment Points (IPs) the claimant is entitled to compensation for the cost of financial and/or legal advice. The only requirement for the financial adviser is that they are suitably qualified, and similarly, all legal advice must be provided by a practicing lawyer. A financial adviser employed by an organisation that holds an Australian Financial Services Licence is accepted as a suitably qualified person. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission administer the allocation of Australian Financial Services Licences. At no time should any member of DVA recommend any adviser. A practicing lawyer is a person who is admitted to the legal profession by a federal court or a Supreme Court of a state or territory and holds a practising certificate entitling the person to practise that profession. The legal advice must only aid in making a choice to receive a lump sum amount and is not intended to cover legal advice that may be required in dealing with other matters such as family court disputes.
The delegate is to determine what amount of compensation for financial and/or legal advice is reasonable. However, there is a limit to the total amount of assistance that can be provided for advice received. See CLIK rates chart for current amount under 'Reimbursement limits – Financial and legal advice compensation'.
A claimant may seek a second opinion if unhappy with the initial advice provided. However, the amount of compensation for all advice combined must not exceed the maximum amount payable.
The only circumstance in which the person is entitled to more than the maximum amount is if that person has been given both:
- a notice concerning the amount of PI compensation payable;
- an offer of a Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP); and
- he date of the notice and the offer are different.
In such a case, up to double the maximum amount is payable. If the notice and the offer are made on the same day, only the maximum amount is payable.
The compensation for the cost of financial and legal advice is payable either to the person making the claim or, if directed by the claimant, the person providing the financial or legal advice.