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You can claim TPD benefits for a physical injury, mental health illnesses or chronic illness like cancer, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, chronic heart disease, fibromyalgia and many other illnesses.
Because we are superannuation and insurance experts, we know all about the different types of super TPD benefits offered under each of the different funds. There are a lot of different super funds which are active in Victoria. Two of the biggest funds are Australian Super and VicSuper.
TPD benefits and entitlements are different for each fund
Whilst all superannuation TPD entitlements are provided under different policies of insurance with different terms, there are some similarities.
For example, almost all superannuation TPD (and standalone TPD benefits) include a requirement that a person stops work and will never be able to work again within their education, training or experience.
Beware of funds with a ‘retraining’ clause
Some funds also have an additional requirement that a person should be unable to retrain to return to work (often referred to as a “retraining clause”).
More specifically, a retraining clause is a clause that allows a super fund and insurer to consider additional training which has been completed since a person ceased work and training that a person may reasonably be able to undertake when assessing whether they can ever work again. A retraining clause can make a claim a little bit more difficult. We can check your policy(s), for free, to see if they have a ‘retraining’ clause and then advise you accordingly.
Both Australian Super and VicSuper are superannuation funds which include a retraining clause in their TPD benefit definition. This means that when claiming a TPD benefit from these funds, care must be taken to make sure that the evidence submitted supports that a person can not work within their own education, training or experience or after reasonable retraining.
The word ‘reasonable’ is key. That is, the training must be training that the person can do despite their illness and which is consistent with their existing education and training.
That is, it would not be reasonable to say that a tradesperson with no prior medical training or experience would be capable of retraining to become a GP but it may be possible to find that he or she could return to work training apprentices at a TAFE or similar. However, this would only be a reasonable conclusion if they have the requisite verbal and academic skills and their illness did not prevent them from doing the job or the training required to get the job.
Big win for former Melbourne tram driver
We have had a lot of success helping Victorians to claim on their superannuation TPD benefits. For example, we recently finalised a claim for a man that had previously worked in Melbourne as a tram driver and receptionist at a health spa.
He ceased work due to serious mental health issues and was unable to return to his normal work or retrain because of his ill-health.
With our help, he successfully claimed TPD and income protection benefits from VicSuper. His claims were complicated by the threat of homelessness due to his dire financial circumstances and a lack of access to specialist treatment. We were ultimately successful with the claim and the money has provided some much needed financial respite.
It doesn’t matter what fund you have your policy(s) with
We have significant experience across the many funds available and we’ve run and won super and insurance claims for our clients, all across Australia.
Looking for more specific information about chronic illness claims?