Content updated 15 September 2020
In most super funds, there is no time limit for claiming insurance benefits and you can usually lodge a total and permanent disability (“TPD”) or income protection claim on superannuation based policies years after you cease work.
For this reason, we encourage you to get in touch if you’ve ceased work in the past due to injury or illness, even if you have not worked for 10+ years. It costs you nothing to find out what your entitlements are.
Are there exceptions?
As always, there are some exceptions to this rule and this is general advice only.
For example, some insurance policies or fund rules require that claims be made prior to ceasing work or employment being terminated and others require that the claim be made within a specified period after work ends. This is most common in Government or employer-sponsored superannuation funds but can be a requirement in other funds.
For this reason, we strongly recommend that you get in touch if:
- you’re working and struggling because of injury or illness and considering ceasing work;
- you’re working and struggling because of illness or injury and considering reducing work hours; or
- you ceased work many years ago due to illness or injury.
In other words, whether you are considering ceasing work, have ceased work recently or ceased work many years ago, you should get in touch for some advice about your superannuation-based insurance entitlements. There is no charge for our initial investigations and advice.
What problems might I encounter if I delay lodging my super TPD claim?
Even when there is no requirement that a claim is brought within a specific time frame, there are other reasons you should not delay in bringing claims for superannuation insurance entitlements, including:
- doctors retire;
- medical and other records are destroyed or lost;
- your memory fades over time and you may have forgotten important details.
Simply put, it’s harder to “make your case” years down the track because it can be harder to prove that your illness or injury was the reason that you ceased work. For example, the necessary evidence you need may no longer exist or the people that you need to support your claim may not be available.
Our experience with successful super TPD claims
At Berrill & Watson, we have run successful insurance claims for people who have approached us years after they ceased work due to an illness or injury. The claims have been for both income protection and total and permanent disability.
Usually, we find that claims are not made sooner because the person is not aware they have the insurance entitlement within their superannuation or they are too sick to lodge the claim.
This is where we can help.
Berrill & Watson are experts at finding superannuation insurance cover and helping people to make the claim. We can sometimes even find old superannuation insurance cover and claim on accounts that have long since closed.
What if a person has died and did not make a TPD claim when they were entitled to?
Claims for TPD and income protection insurance benefits can be made after the insured person dies. For example, if a person ceases work in 2008 due to illness and passes away 10 years later in 2018, their Estate or their superannuation fund beneficiaries may be able to lodge a claim for benefits relating to the cessation from work due to illness in 2008.
A previous example of a late claim involves a man who approached us when he was 67 years old. Eight years earlier, when aged 59, he ceased work because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
On ceasing work due to the illness, he accessed all of his superannuation funds (that is, his account balance) on retirement grounds and closed his account.
He lived off his superannuation money and a disability support pension/aged pension from this time. He came to us and asked us to check if he had any insurance in his superannuation account when he last worked, and he did!
We assisted him with the claim and he was paid around $80,000 as a total and permanent disability benefit.
Whilst we encourage you to bring superannuation and insurance claims as soon as possible after you cease work and to make enquiries before you cease work to avoid losing entitlements, this isn’t always possible for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, in most cases, claims for insurance and superannuation benefits can be made for many years after a person ceases work.
Have you stopped work some time ago or are thinking of stopping work due to injury or illness? You may have an entitlement to a TPD lump sum payment. If so, you can get in touch with today’s blog writer is Tom Cobban.
Or you can contact us directly by phone or email for free. It costs you nothing to find out what your rights and entitlements are.
Melbourne: 03 9448 8048
Brisbane: 07 3013 4300
Anywhere else in Australia: 03 9448 8048
How we charge
We are Australia's best value superannuation/insurance law firm. Other law firms charge nearly double (& sometimes more than double) what we charge. So, if you get a quote from them, or have a cost agreement, ask us what we will charge you.