Total and Permanent Disability Compensation Claims and Superannuation

It can be a difficult time when you become injured and are unable to work and earn an income because of your injuries. You may become injured at work, in a motor vehicle accident or develop an illness or disability, and find you are unable to work for a short or extended period of time. It might be a surprise to you to learn that your superannuation could provide cover and save you a lot of money, whether it’s covering medical expenses or loss of wages when you are unable to work.

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How do I make a claim from my superannuation fund?

When it comes to making claims from your superannuation fund, you need to know your rights and what you may be entitled to from your policy. Your policy may include cover for trauma and payments for temporary and permanent disability, and any money received from your provider will not be deducted from your fund.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) benefits are provided by many superannuation funds; if you can demonstrate your eligibility for TPD benefits you will receive a lump sum payment of money.

Your eligibility for TPD Benefits will require you to meet the TPD Definition that applies to your superfund, this definition can vary but a common definition found within numerous super funds, is that the “Insurer member has been absent from their occupation through injury or sickness for six (6) consecutive months and having provided proof to our satisfaction that the insured member has become incapacitated to such an extent as to render them unlikely ever to engaged in or work for reward in any occupation or work for which he or she is reasonably qualified by reason of education, training or experience”.

To lodge Total and Permanent Disability claims, the process can be quite complicated and stressful. There are forms and medical reports required, and even if you feel you are able to medically prove your claim for TPD, you could still find your claim is rejected by your super fund for no reason. While you can lodge a complaint if your application is rejected, and even appeal the decisions.

Meeting the TPD definition

TPD is a consideration of both your skill set (work history, training and education) and your medical limitations.

To establish your suitability for TPD benefits you will need to provide substantial medical evidence, which demonstrate that you have an injury or that you suffer an illness that makes it unlikely that you will return to employment (or volunteer work) that you are suited for.

Examples of injuries that may quality you for a TPD payment include the following:

  • Bulging disc in the neck, mid or lower back
  • Pinched nerves in lower or mid back or neck.
  • Injuries to the back that result in spinal fusions
  • A stroke which resulted in physical and cognitive restrictions
  • Knee replacements which result in significant limitations
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Shoulder injuries which result in significant limitations.
  • Paraplegic
  • Quadriplegia or incomplete tetraplegia-paraplegia
  • Brain Injuries
  • Degloving of limbs, i.e. foot
  • Accidents that result in blindness
  • Limb amputation
  • Significant burn injuries

Examples of illnesses that may qualify you for a TPD payment includes:

  • Chronic cardiac arrhythmia
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Schizophrenia
  • Major depressive disorder and anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder/Agoraphobia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic regional pain syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Chronic Endometriosis.

If you suffer from a terminal illness you may not meet the definition for TPD but we may be able to process your claim under alternative benefits that you may hold within your super accounts such as terminal illness benefits and or obtain the early release of your death benefit.

Should I speak to Total and Permanent Disability lawyers when making a claim?

You can hopefully avoid navigating this difficult process on your own if you seek help from Total and Permanent Disability lawyers before lodging your claim, as it can be a difficult and confusing process. At NSW Compensation Lawyers, we can assist you putting together and lodging your superannuation or TPD claim, so you don’t have to worry about the difficulties associated with making a claim for compensation.

The TPD process can be time consuming as it involves providing the superfund with the following information:

  1. Completed claim forms
  2. Information on your education, training and work experience
  3. Financial records which demonstrate your lack of income
  4. Medical evidence that substantiates your injury or illness and demonstrate that you meet the TPD definition

It is imperative that you provide the right evidence to your super fund/fund insurer before the determination is made on your TPD status this is because failure to do so may prevent you from challenging their decision not to pay your TPD benefit to you in the future.

Useful links

  • Superannuation Complaints Tribunal – This is the link to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal if your claim is rejected:
  • Financial Ombudsman Service – Complaints regarding issues with your superannuation fund can be made with the Financial Ombudsman Service:

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How can superannuation lawyers help me?

If you feel you have a reason to make a claim from your superannuation, speak to one of our experienced superannuation lawyers today, who can assist you in finding what your policy entitles you for so you can get the compensation you deserve for your suffering.

Need help? Speak to one of our experienced compensation lawyers today on 02 9601 0088 and receive obligation-free advice on your compensation claim, with no upfront costs. If your compensation claim proceeds, our No Win, No Fee policy* means you will not have to pay our legal costs unless your claim is successful and you receive your compensation.

*Note: In the event that your action fails in court you may be liable to an adverse costs order.