Over $13 Million Paid Out In Vaccine Injury Claims In Australia

The Australian government has paid out $20.5 million (US$13.2 million) in COVID-19 vaccine injury claims to people who experienced harm from the jab.

(Karn Buppunhasamai/Shutterstock)

Services Australia data provided to The Epoch Times reveals 6.82 percent of claims have been compensated so far, that is 286 out of 4,191.

“As at 31 March 2024, the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme has received 4,191 claims and paid 286 claims to the value of around $20.5 million,” a spokesperson said.

“Services Australia expects to receive new claims until the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme’s end date of 30 September 2024.”

The updated figures up to the end of March, follow a submission to the government’s COVID-19 Inquiry, revealing it had paid $16.9 million worth of claims up to the end of November 2023.

The federal government is due to deliver a budget for 2024/2025 covering all government agencies in the evening on May 14.

How Does the Vaccine Claims Scheme Work?

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme allows individuals to claim losses above $1,000 in relation to “moderate to severe adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines.”

It covers vaccines approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) including the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax jabs.

Services Australia administers the scheme on behalf of the Department of Health and Aged Care (DHAC). In April, the Department updated the policy to include more claimable conditions, based on advice from the TGA.

In order to make a compensation claim, individuals must meet the definition of harm, be admitted to hospital as an inpatient, or have a waiver if seen in outpatient care.

Further, those who suffered harm need to have experienced losses or expenses of more than $1,000 due to the vaccine.

The conditions included range from anaphylactic reaction to erythema multiforme (major), myocarditis, pericarditis and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.

Also included, are shoulder injuries from the vaccine, or other moderate to significant physical injuries that caused permanent impairment or need an extended period of medical treatment.

“In both cases, the injuries must have been sustained during the physical act of being given the vaccine. You must also have been admitted to hospital as an in-patient,” Services Australia explains.

“Presenting to an emergency department is not recognised as being admitted to hospital.”

Lockdown Lead to Surge in Demand for Government Services

Services Australia revealed it had processed 1.3 million JobSeeker claims in 55 days in 2020, an amount that equates to the claim volume normally processed within two and a half years.

“At the peak, more than 53,000 claims were completed in a single day. Within the same 55 day period, the Agency also received and monitored approximately 3.7 million phone calls, 1.9 million service centre walk-ins, and 250,000 social media interactions,” the department said (pdf).

During Victoria’s lockdown in 2021, demand for COVID-related claims also surged.

“In less than 4 months, between 1 July and 26 October 2021, Services Australia processed over 5.1 million COVID-related claims alone—more than the full-year total of 3.5 million claims across all social security and welfare payments in the year prior to COVID (2018-19).”

Not Enough Focus on Mental Health, Psychologists

Meanwhile, the Australian Association of Psychologists Incorporated (AAPi) has raised concerns that there was not enough focus on mental health support during the pandemic.

“Particularly during times of crisis, such as snap lockdowns, crisis support lines should have been prominently displayed along with the urging of people to reach out for support and the continuation of psychological treatment,” they said.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) also raised concerns that alcohol companies and retailers taking advantage of the situation.

“Alcohol companies invested significantly in digital marketing and in expanding their capacity to deliver alcohol, outpacing privacy and marketing regulation,” FARE said.

Authored by Monica O'Shea via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

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