SuperTalk Blog

What is a TPD claim?


What is a TPD claim?

TPD means “total and permanent disability”. It is a form of injury or illness insurance and is often available through your superannuation fund. You can lodge a TPD claim if you cannot work anymore as a result of injury or illness.

Do I have TPD cover?

Pretty much everyone who has worked has at least one super fund. Most super funds offer insurance cover that enable you to make a TPD claim and death cover claim.

Sometimes they also offer income protection insurance which is a monthly benefit to replace your wages while you are incapacitated for work.

There are thousands of super funds in Australia and they all have different arrangements and entitlements. Knowing and understanding precisely what your fund offers is important.

Berrill & Watson can help you with that initial investigation, free of charge!

What do I need to make a TPD claim?

A total and permanent disability claim is a claim which you can make through your super fund if you can’t work anymore as a result of an injury or illness. If your claim is successful you are usually paid a lump sum which is additional to the amount you have saved in your super, which is called your account balance.

To be entitled to a TPD benefit, you usually need to show that you can’t work in your job, or another job taking into account your education, training and experience. Sometimes, you also need to show that you aren’t able to be retrained into another different job. As we said, every fund is different with different entitlements and different requirements or thresholds to be met.

How much will I get for my TPD claim?

The amount that you are entitled to claim will depend on the insurance arrangements in your specific super fund(s) and is usually based on age. If you have more than one super fund, you might be able to make more than one claim. Helping people understand their entitlements and what they might be able to claim is a very important part of what we do.

The cause of the illness or injury doesn’t usually matter. So, your illness or injury doesn’t have to be work related. A TPD benefit can be payable for any illness or injury that prevents you from working.

We’ve assisted people claiming for many chronic illnesses including:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS);
  • Cancer;
  • Parkinson’s Disease;
  • Stroke;
  • Kidney/Renal failure;
  • Mental Health issues;
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome;
  • Fibromyalgia; and many other illnesses.

Can I have a workers compensation claim at the same time as a TPD claim?

Yes. If you have a workers compensation claim or a compensation claim from a motor vehicle accident, you might also be able to claim a TPD benefit. A super TPD claim in these circumstances is in addition to any claim through, for example, a workers compensation scheme or a motor vehicle accident scheme.

Unlike compensation claims the time limits regarding TPD claims are very different. You are probably still able to claim even if you stopped work over a decade ago. We have acted for people who stopped working in the 90’s and who were still able to claim.

What if I’m on Centrelink?

Many people who are receiving the Centrelink Disability Support Pension (DSP) are also able to claim. The Federal Government has recently made it harder to claim the DSP, and it is important for people to be aware that aside from the DSP, they may have other entitlements that they aren’t aware of in their super.

For example, you may have become ill five years ago and had to stop work and you are now on receiving a DSP pension. If you didn’t close your super fund, you may be entitled to claim a TPD payout. We have helped people find millions of dollars of entitlements that they didn’t know they could claim.

We are able to help you not only find your super funds but also claim your superannuation TPD benefits. Importantly, if you’ve had a claim rejected, you have rights of appeal internally with the super fund, or externally through the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and also through the courts. We assist with these types of claims every day.  Remember the insurance company’s interests are not always the same as your interests.  It’s important to seek advice from a lawyer experienced in superannuation and insurance law.

If you would like to have a free chat about your possible entitlements, give the Super Lawyers a call. We conduct all investigations free of charge, and act in all TPD claims on a “no win, no fee basis”.

Today’s blog writer is Principal at Berrill & Watson Lawyers, Paul Watson.  Get in touch directly with Paul if you have any queries or would like assistance with your super claim(s).

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