The GAA Injury Benefit Fund - Explained
What is the GAA Injury Benefit Fund?
The GAA Injury Benefit Fund is a Self-funded benefit fund, funded entirely from GAA funds with no outside involvement. In effect it is a benefit fund, funded by members for the members.
The GAA Injury Benefit Fund applies to Registered Players as per the Official Guide who play on a team registered with the GAA Injury Benefit Fund who incur accidental bodily injury while playing Hurling or Gaelic Football either in the course of an official competitive Fixture or an Official Sanctioned challenge match or in the course of an official supervised training session. There is no cover under the GAA Injury Benefit Fund for injuries sustained at unauthorised \ unofficial competitions, charity events, recreational activities and fundraisers.
Any player who makes an injury claim under the scheme must be a fully registered and paid-up member of their club.
It is important to state that the scheme is NOT an Insurance cover and does not seek to compensate fully for Injuries sustained but to supplement other Schemes such as Personal Accident or Health Insurance where applicable. Therefore, if a player is covered under another source, e.g., private medical insurance (VHI, Aviva, LAYA, Irish Life, etc.) or School Insurance (e.g., Allianz Pupil Personal Accident Insurance), they must claim through that source first. The GAA Injury Benefit Fund is only in place to cover benefits which cannot be claimed elsewhere. It is a benefit cover only and only provides cover for unrecoverable losses up to the limits specified.
- If the player has cover under the Public Health System \ National Health Service, the player must avail of cover under the appropriate system before seeking to submit a claim under the GAA Injury Benefit Fund.
- If the player has private medical insurance e.g., VHI, Laya Health Care, Irish Life Health, BUPA etc. or cover under any Personal Accident policy, a claim must be made with the player’s private medical \ personal accident provider for both inpatient and outpatient medical expenses. Therefore, the player must submit all of his original medical receipts to their private medical insurer \ personal accident provider. Once these are submitted and assessed, the private third-party medical insurer will assess the claim and provide an inpatient \ outpatient statement of account clearly stating the benefits that they have covered or not covered. A copy of this statement of account (Benefits Statement) must be submitted under the GAA Injury Benefit fund.
In summary, the GAA Injury Benefit Fund is in place to cover benefits which cannot be claimed elsewhere. Therefore, if a claimant is seeking to claim benefit from the fund, they must exhaust all other avenues before making a claim under the GAA Injury Benefit Fund. Furthermore, the Injury Benefit Fund should not be used as a guarantee for the payment of expenses. Ultimately, the responsibility to ensure that adequate cover is in place lies with the individual member, commensurate with his \ her specific needs and members should not use the fund as their only recourse or be dependent on the fund to compensate them fully for any losses associated with the injury sustained. The playing of Gaelic Football, Hurling, Handball and Rounders’ involves the risk of Injury and it is each individual registered player’s responsibility to familiarise themselves with the terms and benefits of the GAA Injury Benefit Fund.
Please note there is NO cover for pre-operative physiotherapy. The only physiotherapy that maybe claimed for under the fund are treatments that are POST-OPERATIVE which have been medically prescribed. In the absence of surgery, there is NO cover for physiotherapy/associated treatments.
There are specific terms, conditions and limitations attached to the GAA Player Injury Fund. The GAA Injury Benefit Fund Summary Document explains in more detail how the Fund operates, its benefits and what is and is not covered. It is very important that any injured player/parent familiarises themselves with the contents of this document.