By Kain Elsmore
- Sam is a non-commissioned officer in the Australian Army.
- Sam undertakes regular deployments in overseas locations.
- The military meet Sam’s medical costs, provide gymnasium facilities and subsidise the cost of his housing.
Things to Consider
Claims for persons working in the military are inherently more complex than at first glance. What should you be considering when assessing losses for personal injury clients who were or intended to pursue a military career?
- How much of your clients earnings are subject to taxation?
Any earnings derived whilst on deployment are not subject to Income Tax.
- Do your taxation calculations include the Medicare levy?
Military workers are exempt from payment of the Medicare levy.
- Have you taken account of lost, non-cash benefits?
The housing assistance, gym access and health care support provided to military workers has a significant value in that it replaces the need to meet such expenses.
- Is the “rule of thumb” approach to calculating lost superannuation (ie. as a percentage of loss of earnings) accurately representing the loss that will be suffered?
Access to a defined benefit scheme may provide for significantly higher levels of “but for” superannuation entitlements. In the alternative, given the nature of the calculation used in assessing defined benefit superannuation outcomes, the possibility exists that your client has in fact, not suffered a loss of superannuation at all.
To sum up:
- DO look beyond what the gross wages say.
- DO consider how the components of your client’s earnings are taxed.
- DO ask your client what else they received by virtue of their employment.
- DON’T merely adopt the “rule of thumb” when it comes to calculating your client’s superannuation losses.
- DON’T hesitate to pick up the phone and call us and we will be happy to assist.
An Important Message
While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.