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Working with your employer for a successful TPD claim


Working with your employer for a successful TPD claim

In this blog, we focus on working with your employer to maximise success when you lodge a TPD claim. Along with working closely with your employer, you should also work closely with your treating doctors. You can read more about this in our blog “The importance of your doctors for a successful TPD claim”.

There are also a number of other factors that can maximise the potential of your TPD claim. You can read more about these in our blog “Your guide to making a successful TPD claim”.

Proving your entitlement to a TPD benefit

In most cases, the test which must be satisfied for you to be paid a TPD benefit relates to your work.

That is, you must show (with support from your doctors) that:

  1. you are unlikely to return to work that is within your education, training or experience; or
  2. you are unlikely to work again within your own occupation.

The role of an Employer’s Statement?

Because of the above requirements, when you make a claim, your insurer will ask you what work you have most recently done (and have previously done) and the duties of that work. The insurer will also want to speak to your employer to confirm:

  1. the role you worked in and the duties you performed; and
  2. that you worked continuously up until the time that you stopped work; and
  3. the income that you earned; and
  4. why you stopped working.

The document which is used to ask the above questions is called an Employer’s Statement.

The following are some tips on how to work with your employer when getting the Employer’s Statement completed to give your claim the best chance of success.

Our top 6 tips for working with your employer during your TPD claim

1.  Be upfront and open with your employer about your reasons for leaving work

It is important that leading up to the time that you stop working, and particularly at the time that you cease work, you are upfront and honest with your employer about your illness or injury. We understand that it is not always possible when you are employed (you might get fired!), but it is important that you are open about it, if you can be.

However, if it’s not possible to speak to your employer about your issues, it is important that you list an inability to work due to illness or injury as a reason if you take leave or resign. We have seen many cases where a client has ceased work without letting their employer know that they are struggling, or that they are ceasing work due to illness, and the insurer has questioned whether illness or injury was the reason for ceasing work.

In most cases, this can be addressed and worked around, however it is a problem best avoided, and it can be avoided by simply listing illness or injury as a reason for resigning in your resignation letter.

2.  Record your limitations

If you have conversations with your employer about your work limitations and records are kept, those records can provide a valuable source of information about the struggles you had at work before leaving.

This is particularly important where you have worked reduced hours or modified duties before taking leave or terminating employment.

Not all employers keep good employment records. For this reason, we recommend that you keep your own log or diary of work hours and restrictions/limitations that you may be having due to illness. That way if you have to stop work due to illness or injury in the future, you can use your notes to refresh your memory.

3.  You don’t have to terminate your employment to claim TPD benefits

Many people think that they have to terminate their employment before they can make a TPD claim. This is usually not the case, and it is usually fine to claim TPD while you remain employed.

In some limited situations, you will have to terminate your employment before you can be paid a benefit, but this is not always the case.

4.  Keep your employment-related documents

Payslips, contracts of employment and position descriptions are useful documents when making a TPD claim. They help confirm your work duties, work hours and employment status (ie permanent v casual). We recommend keeping these documents if you can.

If possible, these documents should be included with the Employer’s Statement.

5.  Understand your entitlements

Many people push on with work well after they should do from a medical perspective, due to financial pressures.

Checking and understanding your TPD and income protection entitlements and lodging claims when eligible can help prevent further illness or injury or the deterioration of your existing illness or injury. We can check and advise on these entitlements for free, even if you continue to be employed and working.

Call for FREE advice:  03 9448 8048

6.  Don’t stress!

We understand that things don’t always end well when you leave an employer and/or that employers go bankrupt or simply disappear. If you have left your employment and want to make a TPD claim, it's best if your old employer is available to complete an Employer’s Statement in support of your claim.

However, if this is not possible for any reason, there are options to work around this requirement and the absence of an Employer’s Statement need not be an impediment to successfully claiming TPD or income protection benefits.

Get help from a TPD lawyer

We are highly experienced super TPD lawyers. Our team has run and won hundreds of successful TPD claims. If you’re having any issues with your TPD claim or you wish to discuss your options prior to stopping work and lodging a claim, we offer:

  • Free advice
  • No win no fee claims
  • No upfront fees

In other words, it costs you nothing to find out where you stand.

Contacting Berrill & Watson

📞 Melbourne: 03 9448 8048

📞 Brisbane: 07 3013 4300

📞 Anywhere else in Australia:  03 9448 8048

📧 [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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