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The Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme

Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme

The Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme (PICS) provides coverage for parliamentarians and the Prime Minister’s spouse. From 1 January 2016, PICS provides compensation coverage for injuries and diseases suffered in connection with their covered activities.

About the Scheme

The Minister for Finance has established the PICS under the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 by issuing the Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme Instrument 2016 (the PICS Instrument).

Comcare’s role is to administer compensation claims for parliamentarians and the Prime Minister’s spouse.

The PICS Instrument provides coverage for:

  • an injury or disease, or an aggravation of an injury or disease, suffered by a parliamentarian arising out of, or contributed to, by their  activities as a parliamentarian
  • an injury or disease, or an aggravation of an injury or disease, suffered by the Prime Minister’s spouse, arising out of, or contributed to, by their official activities
  • the loss or damage to medical equipment used by the parliamentarian or the Prime Minister’s spouse arising from their covered activities; and
  • services, facilities and equipment intended to eliminate or minimise the risk to the health and safety of parliamentarians or the Prime Minister’s spouse, arising from their covered activities, which is administered by the Department of Finance.

Am I eligible to make a claim?

To be eligible for compensation under PICS, you must be a ‘covered person’ that has sustained an injury as a result of undertaking a covered activity or you have sustained a disease that has been significantly contributed to by covered activities.

Covered Person

A covered person is a parliamentarian or the Prime Minister’s spouse.

A covered person may claim compensation for any injuries or illnesses suffered while undertaking covered activities on or after 1 January 2016.

Covered Activity

For parliamentarians, covered activities are any activities engaged in by the parliamentarian as a parliamentarian, Parliamentary office‑holder or Minister, at a time when they are entitled to a Parliamentary allowance.

Examples of covered activities would include injuries sustained whilst:

  • you were in parliament
  • you were working on parliamentary-related business
  • you were travelling for parliamentary or parliamentary-related business.

For the Prime Minister’s spouse, covered activities are the spouse’s official activities as the Prime Minister’s spouse.

An official activity is an activity undertaken in connection with the role of the Prime Minister as the head of government, for example hosting bilateral/multilateral events for the spouses of other heads of government, such as the Group of Twenty, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

What can I claim compensation for?

If you are injured as part of your covered activities, Comcare may provide for benefits such as:

  • payment of appropriate costs of medical treatment, aids, appliances and home help
  • income support
  • payments for permanent impairment, or
  • death and funeral benefits for dependants.

What are the exclusions?

The PICS Instrument excludes any disease, injury or aggravation claims suffered as a result of:

  • a loss of, or failure to gain, selection as a candidate for election to the Parliament
  • the loss of, or failure to gain, a position as a Minister (including a Parliamentary Secretary) or a Parliamentary office-holder
  • the loss of, or failure to gain, a position in a political party
  • the result of an election
  • a decision relating to a benefit (including a decision made under the PICS Instrument)
  • an injury that is intentionally self-inflicted; and
  • an injury that is caused by serious and willful conduct, which includes a person who is under the influence of alcohol or a drug, other than a prescribed drug correctly taken.

The information above is provided as a guide only and the final decision on any claim you lodge will be made by Comcare as the relevant determining authority.

An injury has occurred what should I do?

Step 1 – Seek Medical Treatment if Required

If you need to seek medical treatment for your injury make sure you ask the treating practitioner to complete a Comcare Certificate of Capacity .

If you decide to lodge a claim it is important you submit a detailed medical certificate. The certificate should include:

  • a precise diagnosis
  • cause of the condition
  • date of injury
  • capacity for work; and
  • recommended treatment.

Step 2 – Notify Comcare

If you suffer an injury or disease but are unsure if you will be lodging a claim for compensation then make sure you send a notification of the incident to Comcare as soon as practical after you become aware of your injury or disease.

The notification can be made by sending an email to PICS@Comcare.gov.au . The email should contain the details of your injury or disease including:

  • how the injury or disease occurred
  • what you were doing when the injury or disease occurred, including your location
  • the date and time your injury or disease occurred, and
  • your preferred contact details.

Lodging a claim

How do I make a claim?

To claim injury compensation from Comcare you will need to complete a Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme Claim Form [PDF] and attach a completed Certificate of Capacity .

The Certificate of Capacity provides Comcare with the information needed to assess your claim and understand your capacity for duty with regard to your condition.  The certificate should clearly state:

  • your diagnosis and causation (what caused your condition)
  • your capacity for work, completed by your doctor or medical practitioner.

Your claim cannot be considered until the required documentation is attached to your claim form. This ensures Comcare are able to make a timely determination about your claim and provide you with the support and treatment required to return to health and work sooner.

Comcare will require you to declare that you were conducting covered activities at the time of your injury, for the purposes of the scheme.  You can do this on the Parliamentary Injury Compensation Scheme Claim Form  [PDF].

Submit your completed PICS claim form and Certificate of Capacity to Comcare by email to PICS@Comcare.gov.au or via fax on 02 6274 8613.

Determining your claim

After your claim has been determined, Comcare will provide you with its decision in writing. The written determination will explain the reasons for the decision and provides you with information on what to do if you are not satisfied with the decision.

If you have a complaint about the process for lodging a claim or the way your claim has been managed, please call Comcare on 1300 366 979.

Reconsiderations and reviews

Comcare’s Reconsiderations Team independently reviews certain claim determinations. It is not a court process or a re-investigation of the claim.  Some determinations that can be reviewed include decisions to accept or deny a claim for injury compensation.

More information about your rights regarding a determination and requesting a reconsideration are included under Reconsiderations and Reviews .

For further information

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Providing feedback to Comcare

Comcare welcomes your feedback. It tells us what's working well and allows us to recognise and celebrate outstanding service. It also tells us what is not working well so we can do something about it.

Compliments and suggestions

  • Telephone: 1300 366 979 between 8.30 am and 5.00 pm AEST Monday to Friday
    (calls from mobile phones are charged at mobile phone rates)
  • Write to: Comcare, GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • Complete our online enquiry form

Complaints

  • Telephone: 1300 366 979 between 8.30 am and 5.00 pm AEST Monday to Friday
    (calls from mobile phones are charged at mobile phone rates)
  • Write to: Comcare, GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • Email: feedback@comcare.gov.au
  • Complete our online complaint form

Making a complaint is free. For further information on the process, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions - Complaints page.

Page last updated: 16 Sep 2016