Many people who suffer from chronic illness like Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Chronic Heart Disease, Fibromyalgia, Depression or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will be able to claim superannuation insurance benefits. In our experience, in many cases, people are unaware that they have an entitlement to these benefits and, if they successfully claim, the benefits often make a huge difference to an individual’s quality of life.
What is TPD insurance?
Almost all super funds provide automatic Total and Permanent Disability (“TPD”) insurance. People get cover for these benefits automatically on becoming a member of the fund and they can also usually apply for additional insurance cover. In addition to TPD insurance cover, many super funds also provide income protection insurance and death insurance benefits.
TPD insurance will usually pay a lump sum to you or into your superannuation account if you cease work due to injury or illness and are unable to return to your work or other work that is within your education, training or experience. The lump sum TPD benefit is often substantial and can be more than $100,000. The amount of your insurance cover will usually depend on your age and the super fund that you are a member of.
You can learn more about TPD claims here.
Claiming TPD benefits from multiple funds
Many people have more than one superannuation fund and can claim a TPD insurance benefit from more than one super fund for the same cessation from work.
What is Income Protection Insurance?
Income Protection insurance usually pays you a monthly insurance benefit of approximately 75-85% of your salary up to a maximum amount. The benefits are usually paid for either 2, 5 years or until age 60, 65 or 70.
To claim an income protection benefit you usually need to show that you can’t do your normal job for the time being due to your physical or psychological medical condition. You will also usually need to show that you are regularly attending your doctor. In most cases the work incapacity can be either total or partial.
Changing jobs, reducing hours or changing duties can affect your right to claim
In our experience, most people who suffer from a chronic illness do not want to stop work, and instead will do whatever is necessary to stay in the workforce, including:
- changing jobs;
- reducing hours; and
- changing the duties they perform - that is change to light or modified duties.
Many people do not realise that the above can affect your right to claim a TPD benefit or might make your claim much harder, and in some instances can reduce the amount that you are paid.
Berrill & Watson Lawyers encourage anyone who is considering reducing their work hours or changing jobs to contact us first so that we can check your super free of charge. We can provide you with free advice before you make any decisions so that you don’t lose out.
Looking for free advice about your TPD or Income Protection insurance entitlements? Feel free to get in touch directly with today’s blog writer, Paul Watson.
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