Does Injury Compensation Affect Your Social Security Benefit?

If you were injured in an accident that was not your own fault while you were already receiving support from the government for a separate condition altogether, you may undoubtedly be confused and somewhat stressed. You'll certainly want to recover as best as you can from your unexpected injuries, but you may also be worried that any compensation due to you might impact your social security benefits. What should you know in this situation so that you can prepare accordingly?


The Australian government runs a social security system through the Centrelink support network that is meant to help people who have been affected by a number of life events. For example, they provide benefits through pension cheques, carer payments, disability support, single-parenting allowance or rehabilitation. In each case, a certain sum of money will be paid out to the affected individual for an agreed amount of time, to help them live their life and meet their obligations.

Separate Compensation

Sometimes in cases like yours, an individual will suffer a further loss through an injury or accident, and this may make them eligible for direct compensation from the other party. This is a situation that has to be worked out between you and the insurance company in most cases, but you will then be subject to a preclusion period, which will effectively cut off your social security benefit.

Preclusion Period

This type of preclusion period is intended to stop an individual from claiming both compensation and social security at the same time. If the individual is awarded a lump sum or ongoing compensation payment due to an accidental injury, then they would be expected to live off that and not off the taxpayer-funded support. Each preclusion period will differ based on the circumstances, but it will generally start from the time that you lost the ability to earn, or the date of the award.

It's important to get this right, as if you are found to have received Centrelink compensation at the same time as another form of compensation, you may have to repay your obligations to the government.

Getting It Right

If you are not sure how you are affected or want to make sure that you get the most appropriate treatment in your case, you should always work with a compensation lawyer. They will make sure that all parties make the correct decisions and that you do not lose out due to any confusion along the way.