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TPD and income protections options if you have long Covid


TPD and income protection options for long Covid

It is widely reported that most Australians have now had Covid-19. Unfortunately, some of those people experience more than simply mild symptoms which abate in 1 to 2 weeks. For some, a diagnosis of Covid-19 can lead to a longer illness which is called long Covid. In this article, we explore the options for a total and permanent impairment (TPD) payout or income protection payments for those who suffer long Covid to such a degree that they are unable to return to work.

What is long Covid?

The medical world is not yet clear on exactly how long symptoms of long Covid can affect people and it seems that the symptoms of the illness can vary from person to person.

However, early reports are that the symptoms can include:

  • fatigue;
  • post-exertional malaise/fatigue;
  • ongoing respiratory issues; and
  • joint or muscle pain.

In many ways, these symptoms appear to be similar to those experienced by people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, glandular fever or possibly fibromyalgia.

As with these other illnesses, if you suffer from long Covid, you may be forced to take significant periods of time off work in addition to having to be off work during the period that you are actively symptomatic and contagious.

If you are forced to take an extended period off work due to long Covid, you may be able to claim on insurance benefits held within your superannuation fund. More specifically, you may have active policies of insurance linked to your superannuation account that provide financial benefits called income protection (or salary continuance) and total and permanent disability (TPD claim) that can provide much needed sources of disability income if you are forced to cease work.

You can learn more about the differences between these insurance options in our blog, “What's the difference between income protection and TPD insurance?”

Income protection and long Covid

Income protection benefits provide a monthly payment to you if you are off work due to illness for longer than the waiting period. The waiting period varies from policy to policy but is usually 30, 60 or 90 days.

If you are diagnosed with long Covid and it forces you to be off work for longer than the waiting period, you should consider making a claim.

If your claim is successful, you will be paid a monthly benefit for each month after the waiting period that a doctor says that you are either totally or partially unable to work because of illness. The benefit you will be paid is usually 75% or 80% of your pre-disability income capped at your monthly insured benefit amount.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) and long Covid

To be entitled to claim a TPD benefit, you must be unable to work for either 3 or 6 months and thereafter be permanently unable to work within your education, training or experience (or in some cases in occupations you could be retrained to do).

It is so far unclear if people suffer from “permanent” symptoms (and therefore working capacity) as a result of long Covid. However, if after consultation with your doctors they are of the view that you will be unable to return to work because of the symptoms of long Covid, or if an initial diagnosis of long Covid turns into a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome or some other similar illness and the doctors are saying that you can never work again because of this illness, we recommend that you consider lodging a TPD claim.

Get help

If you’re suffering from long Covid and have been unable to return to work for quite some time (or your Long Covid has led to another serious illness), we can provide you with advice and assistance about your options; and we do this for free so it costs you nothing to find out where you stand.

We can check your insurance policy (or policies if you have more than one) to determine what insurance you have and what you may be able to claim.

Contacting Berrill & Watson

📞 Melbourne: 03 9448 8048

📞 Brisbane: 07 3013 4300

📞 Anywhere else in Australia:  03 9448 8048

📧 or email us:  [email protected]

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.

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