Although many solicitors and counsel are working from home during the current COVID-19 restrictions, settlement negotiations are still being undertaken by phone and video call.
However, in order to achieve a settlement, a defendant’s representatives must be in possession of an up to date statement from the Recovery of Benefits & Assistance section of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The certificate sets out the benefits received by a plaintiff which are recoverable by the Department from the “compensator”, in this case, the defendant. Obtaining these certificates has been challenging recently due to current COVID-19 restrictions.
It is vital that, before settlement, a compensator is aware of the up to date value of the RBA certificate as this amount is payable prior to the payment of any compensation.
Extension of current RBA statements
In light of the current climate the Department has agreed to extend all expired RBA statements until 31 December 2020.
This means that any RBA statement that compensators currently have on file, regardless of when the statement expired, will be considered by the Department as the up to date statement. The last amount stated on the statement will be the amount owed by the compensator to the Department. The Department will not be issuing renewed RBA statements until further notice.
The extension of all current RBA statements to 31 December 2020 is a welcome development for all practitioners and will assist in the continued progression of personal injury actions in these uncertain times.
For more information on successfully achieving settlements of personal injury claims during the COVID-19 crisis, contact a member of our Insurance & Risk team.