Super SA is a government superannuation fund which is governed by the Southern State Superannuation Regulations 2009. The fund usually provides total and permanent disability (TPD), death and Income Protection (also called salary continuance) type benefits to its members. This blog will deal with how income protection claims work for SuperSA members.
For information about TPD claims with SuperSA, please refer to our earlier blog, “SuperSA TPD claims”.
What is income protection?
An income protection (IP) benefit (sometimes called a disability pension) is a benefit which is paid at 75% of the member’s ‘notional salary’.
Notional salary is defined as:
“the salary that the member would be receiving if he/she had not become incapacitated and had continued to be in active employment”.
If a member was not in full-time employment immediately before they became incapacitated, the notional salary will be calculated based on the average hours of employment over the period (not exceeding 3 years) of their previous employment.
Who is eligible for income protection benefits with SuperSA?
You will be paid IP benefits if the Super SA Board (the equivalent of the super fund Trustees that are responsible for administrator non-government super funds) is satisfied that you are:
- temporarily or permanently incapacitated for work; and
- no longer engaged in work in respect of employment to which the SuperSA (including Triple S) relates on account of the incapacity; and
- under the age of 60 or 65 years.
A Super SA IP benefit will not be payable for a period where you are entitled to WorkCover weekly payments or leave entitlements (long service, sick, recreation). You will also not pay a benefit for less than 1 week and they may decline your IP claim if your incapacity is likely to be less than 6 months.
To be paid an IP benefit, you must have been incapacitated for work (due to the disability) for more than 30 consecutive days and absent from employment for all working days within that 30 day period.
How long are income protection benefits paid for?
An IP benefit cannot be paid for more than 24 months (continuous).
An IP benefit cannot be paid for the same incapacity for a combined period of 2 years, within a 4 year period. It is also not guaranteed that they will pay benefits for the full 24 month period and the member is required to re-apply for further benefits every 6 months or so.
Importantly, your entitlement to IP benefits cease on the day after your employment is terminated.
Time limits apply to lodging your IP claim
An application for income protection benefits must be made:
- within 6 months of the day you ‘cease to be engaged in work’; or
- within 6 months of the day you ceased to be entitled to WorkCover weekly payments, long service leave or paid sick leave in connection with your incapacity.
Applications must also be made “in the approved form”.
If you are late in making your claim, you can call and speak to one of our specialists (free of charge) to discuss options. There are some limited circumstances in which a claim can be made outside of time. Factors which are relevant are:
- the length of delay;
- The reasons for the delay; and
- how you would be negatively affected if an extension is not granted.
SuperSA insurance benefits (income protection, TPD and death benefits) operate differently to many other super funds. It’s important to seek legal advice from someone who has experience dealing with SuperSA claims.
We have helped many South Australian workers access their benefits through SuperSA.
Give us a call for some free advice or you can get in touch directly with today’s blog writer, Matt Charbel. It costs you nothing to find out where you stand.
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