SuperTalk Blog

TPD claims and mental illness


Super TPD Claims and Mental Health

Updated 12 January 2023

It is well established that people with physical illnesses or injuries can successfully claim Total and Permanent Disability (“TPD”) and other disability benefits. However, many people think that it is not worth claiming a TPD benefit due to mental illness or mental health issues because it will be too hard for the claim to be approved. This is not the case. We have had a lot of success helping people claim TPD for mental illness or mental health issues.

Does it matter what the cause of my mental illness or mental health issue is?

No. No matter whether the cause of the illness is an accident is work-related or is secondary to another illness or injury, you will be able to make a claim so long as the illness causes you to be unable to work.

Also, unlike claims for some other disability benefits, which might require an assessment of your level of whole-person impairment (i.e. claims for WorkCover or Disability Support Pension benefits), the primary consideration when claiming a TPD benefit is the level of your working capacity due to your illness.

That is, if your illness causes you to permanently cease work, you are most likely entitled to a TPD benefit.

Are TPD claims related to mental illness or mental health difficult?

Yes, they can be.

But they are not impossible. As long as you have sought, and are receiving, regular treatment from your GP and (better yet) a psychologist or a psychiatrist, a successful claim can be made. The key to all TPD claims is making sure that you are engaged with and well-supported by your treating doctor(s) and other health professionals.

Do I need to have a formal diagnosis, and does it matter what that diagnosis is?

It is important, but not essential that your mental health condition is formally diagnosed as having a diagnosis will usually make your claim much more straightforward.

But it is still worthwhile lodging a claim if you are unwell, getting treatment, and you’re unable to work due to your mental health condition, even if you do not have a formal diagnosis.


The following are some conditions which we have successfully made TPD claims for:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Bi-polar
  • Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder
  • Personality disorders

Can I still claim if I do not consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist?

We understand that for those people living in rural areas, accessing appropriate psychiatric treatment can be difficult because it is not available or it’s very expensive. The cost of this treatment can even be prohibitive for people who live in the city where it is more readily available.

Sometimes not having seen a psychologist or psychiatrist can cause issues for your TPD claim, but not always, and as long as you are supported by your GPs, you have a good shot of bringing a successful claim.

Will I be able to cope with the TPD claims process?

This question is often front of mind for people who suffer from mental health issues or mental illness when they are considering lodging any insurance claim. There is no doubt that people with mental health issues can suffer the effects of the insurance company’s behaviour more keenly than others.

But if you get sound legal advice and advocacy from the start, you can avoid many of the headaches that can come with claim delays and rejected claims. You can also focus on your health and treatment rather than constantly worrying about your claim.

Our free advice sessions

At Berrill & Watson, we recommend that all claimants take advantage of our free advice sessions before they make a TPD insurance claim.

So, if you are unsure whether or not you should bring a TPD claim for your mental health condition or illness, we recommend that you seek advice. In most cases, as long as the condition has caused you to cease work, it is worth discussing a claim.

Also, it’s possible that you have income protection benefits in your super, so even if you’re not permanently unable to work, you may be able to claim benefits during a temporary absence from work due to your mental health condition or illness.

Get help from a TPD lawyer

If you’d like more information about Super TPD claims and mental health, feel free to get in touch directly with today’s blog writer, Tom Cobban. It costs you nothing to find out what your rights and entitlements are.

Or you can contact us directly by phone or email. It costs you nothing to find out what your rights and entitlements are. 

Contacting Berrill & Watson

📞 Melbourne: 03 9448 8048

📞 Brisbane: 07 3013 4300

📞 Anywhere else in Australia:  03 9448 8048

📧 [email protected]

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