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Published: 02 November 2017
Author: Tanya Neilson

How can my super fund help if I'm ill or injured?

In the event that you become seriously ill or injured it's really important to have a look at your superannuation fund, because there may be a number of entitlements attached in the form of insurances. Most people who are ill or injured don't actually realise that they have these entitlements sitting there. There are often different categories of entitlements available.

The first entitlement is called a total and permanent disability or TPD entitlement. You don't just have to have sustained an injury at work or in a motor vehicle accident to make a TPD claim. These entitlements are open to people who are either injured or have a serious illness. The entitlement is a lump sum insurance component, as part of your superannuation insurances. To access this you need to show that you are totally and permanently disabled and you cannot return to work.

The second entitlement is known as an income protection, continuance or total and temporary disability entitlement. This entitlement is there if you cannot go back to work due to injury or illness, and is paid out as a weekly wage. Most people are insured for about 75 per cent of their weekly wage plus their superannuation.

The length of the period that you are paid for differs and varies because every policy is different, and every policy provides you with a different level of cover. Some people can have cover for up to two years, for other people the cover can go for a much longer period of time and sometimes until age 65. So it's worth having somebody check out your super fund policy should you become injured or disabled.

Many clients ask how long do they have to wait before lodging a Total and Permanent Disability claim for serious illness or injury?

There is generally not a specific time limit in which you are required to make a claim. We encourage our clients to make contact with us as soon as possible so that we can make sure that their claim is prepared appropriately to maximise their entitlements.

Some superannuation funds however have before you can make a claim. So In most instances superannuation funds will not accept your claim for income protection or total permanent disability within two months of the actual injury or illness occurring or being diagnosed.

Sometimes, however,  it's up to a six month waiting period and that's why it's important that we take a look at individual superannuation fund policies to ensure that we are aware of those time frames or waiting periods. By doing this we can maximize a client’s entitlements and lodge their claims at the appropriate time.

Is there a deadline for TPD claims?

With regards to total permanent disability income protection claims there is no time limit on when a claim must be lodged. However, the sooner the better is often the case.

What if the illness or injury happened a long time ago?

We regularly bring claims for our clients who have injuries or illnesses that occurred or were diagnosed many years ago. It could even be up to 10 or 20 years ago that they were diagnosed and ceased work. It is often the case that the client wasn’t aware that they had an insurance policy sitting behind their superannuation fund at the time the injury or illness occurred.

Why get a lawyer to help with a Superannuation TPD  claim?

If you're injured or unwell it's a really good idea to have a professional look at your superannuation policy because it does often contain quite complex entitlements. The amount that you're insured for will also vary quite considerably depending upon the date that you were injured or became unwell, and when you stopped work. It's really important that a professional takes a look at that aspect of your claim to make sure your entitlements are maximised.

What sets Ryan Carlisle Thomas apart as superannuation TPD claim lawyers?

Our firm has a dedicated superannuation department where we focus solely on superannuation claims and the entitlements contained within superannuation fund insurances. These policies are often quite complex, as are the claims processes involved, and we specialise in acting on behalf of our clients to obtain the maximum benefits and entitlements available to them.