Financial and legal support

Being on ICU or having a loved one on ICU often causes financial pressures for families. There may be new costs for travel and accommodation as well as loss of income. There are financial support services for patients who have illness, a disability or are frail aged. There are also financial support services for families and carers.

In Australia, each state and territory has its own paperwork and laws. New Zealand also has its own paperwork and laws. The social worker at the hospital is the best person to talk to first about local support services.

Other people you can ask are:

An independent financial advisor

You may also have to pay for an independent financial advisor. “Independent” means the advisor isn't given any payment to recommend certain services to you. They can help you with reviewing your insurance (Life or Trauma Insurance) and your overall finances. Check that the financial advisor is “independent” before making an appointment.

A legal representative

You may be eligible for free legal support. A legal representative can help with:

  • Insurance claims for “Sickness or Total and Permanent Disability” through your Superannuation
  • Compulsory Third-Party Insurance claims
  • Workers Compensation Claims

Other things a legal representative can help with are:

Power of Attorney

A “Power of Attorney” is a legal document. You appoint someone to look after your assets and finances. It is used if you are unable to do that for yourself. That may because of illness, an accident or your absence.

Medical Power of Attorney

A Medical Power of Attorney is also a legal document. You appoint someone to make decisions about your medical treatment. It is used if you are mentally or physically unable to make medical decisions for yourself.

The “Find support” pages on this site to see details for some government and financial support services.

Find support

This page was reviewed by an intensive care medicine specialist in July 2022.

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