Along with private insurance for illness or injury, many Superannuation funds also have what we call TPD insurance. This allows you to make a claim on that insurance if you become “totally and permanently” incapacitated by injury or illness.
We are often asked, “how long will my TPD claim take?” Our standard response is “about 12 months”.
Of course, this is generic response. The more detailed answer is “it depends”.
TPD claims can be quick or they can be delayed and slow. Usually what determines whether a claim is assessed and finalised quickly or slowly is how long it takes to gather the required (or requested) information and documentation and how long it takes the insurer and the super fund to assess the claim and make a decision.
What sorts of things can cause a delay in processing my Super TPD claim?
The following requests can delay your superannuation TPD claim:
- Requests for Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) history;
- Requests for tax and financial documents made to the ATO;
- Requests for Centrelink documents and payment history; and
- Requests for medical records or medical reports.
The above documents are not always requested, but if they are, it can sometimes take 6-12 months for all these documents to be gathered from companies, medical providers, superannuation funds, insurance companies and relevant government departments.
As with all things, there are tricks and shortcuts which can be used to get the above document more quickly. Also, it can sometimes be argued that the documents are not required or we can work out other ways of getting the fund or insurer the information that they want without the delays involved in the above requests.
Do I really need all the documents they’re asking for, to complete my Super TPD claim?
Sometimes documents are requested which may not be required to assess your claim or the assessment itself is not undertaken in a timely manner. Sometimes this might seem like a deliberate delay tactic and other times it might just be that the claims manager assessing the claim has changed a few times and the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand has already done.
Issues causing delay with your claim can sometimes be resolved directly with the fund or insurer, however other times more drastic action is required. All funds and insurers have internal complaint resolution teams that can assist you. Otherwise there are options like court and other external dispute resolution schemes.
At Berrill & Watson, superannuation and insurance claims and disputes are in our blood. If you need to get your claim moving, get in touch with one of our team members today and we’ll get you on the right path.