Personal Injury Trusts
When you receive compensation for an accident, medical negligence or any form of personal injury, your entitlement to state benefits or funded care could be severely affected. The only way to prevent this is with a Personal Injury Trust. Either way you will want to be safe in the knowledge that the Government, DWP or the Benefits Office will not take this money into account when assessing your entitlement to benefits or assistance with your care.
Often these claims are complicated and take years to conclude meaning you have had to rely on the Benefits system more because of your injuries. The party causing your injury will have a Solicitor acting for them as you will have for your claim. It is the responsibility of the Solicitor who is defending the person or organisation to notify all the agencies that they are paying you a settlement amount for the injury their client has caused. In many cases the sum of money you are to receive will reduce your entitlement to the benefit, meaning you will now need to supplement your income as a consequence of this.
There are some exceptions where the money you receive will not be considered but on the whole, it usually is. Your Solicitor acting for you will advise you to seek advice in relation to a Trust. Trusts often sound complicated and restrictive and they normally are, but not in the case of a Personal Injury Trust.
You must now consider whether a Personal Injury Trust is right for you.
What are the benefits of a Personal Injury Trust?
The benefits of a Personal Injury Trust allow the injured party to receive any amount of compensation without it affecting benefits, care home fees or predatory family wishing to stake a claim to your settlement. You may struggle to manage your money and would like to have a trusted family member or friend to assist you. If you are unable to get out of the house, live in remote areas or have no access to a bank, a trustee will be able to assist you.
These are some of the compensation claims eligible for a Personal Injury Trust
Compensation received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for
injuries caused by an assault.
Injuries caused in any way by a 3rd party where you are not at fault.
Medical negligence for incorrect treatment or diagnosis.
Injuries at work.
Compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau for injuries caused by an uninsured or untraced motorist.
Compensation for an accident which happened abroad.
Compensation ordered by a criminal Court in respect of an injury you suffered.
An Armed Forces Compensation Scheme award.
Payments from other government compensation schemes.
Charitable or public donations following an injury.
Payments from insurance policies, for example accident or travel insurance.
Some Employment Tribunal awards.
Payments from a Permanent Health Insurance policy made as you cannot work due to a physical or psychological condition.
Payments from a professional negligence claim paid to compensate for a poorly handled personal injury claim.
Breach of human rights.
Breach of Civil liberties.
Road traffic accidents.
If I have already received my compensation is it too late?
You have 52 weeks from the date you received the funds to set up a Personal Injury Trust. If it is outside this time scale you are too late.
Can I spend the compensation or give the money away so as not to lose my benefits?
There are some legitimate reasons to spend the money for it to not affect your benefits. Every case is different but the general rule is, if you are seen to have wasted, given away or ‘hidden’ the money, the Government agencies will see this as deprivation of assets and assess you as if you still had these funds. The only guaranteed way to preserve your compensation is with a Personal Injury Trust.
What if I don’t currently receive benefits, is there any reason to have a Trust?
Many Clients place their settlement in a Trust when not receiving benefits. The protection from a Trust, means these funds will never be considered should your circumstances change in the future. A very good example of this was during the COVID-19, Coronavirus outbreak where millions of people where forced onto Universal Credit for the first time. For these people who, because of their settlement had capital in the bank, their claim was rejected forcing them to use their compensation to supplement their income.
If you receive compensation and at some time in the future you require assistance either at home or in a residential care home, you will be expected to fund your care from your settlement. A Personal Injury Trust ring-fences this money so this cannot happen.
If you are unsure whether your claim qualifies, your Solicitor will guide you or contact us. Find out more by getting in touch with us today.