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TPD and income protection claims for people with PTSD


TPD and income protection claims for people with PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that impacts many. As the name suggests, it is a psychological condition that usually follows exposure to a traumatic event. We have helped many people that suffer from PTSD to claim insurance benefits for TPD and income protection. PTSD alone can be the sole cause of a work incapacity which leads to a successful TPD claim or income protection claim. However, PTSD, along with another injury or illness (e.g., physical injuries relating to an accident), can be the cause of the claim.

The cause of the PTSD is not important. What is important is that the PTSD and, where applicable, the other illnesses/injuries cause you to be unable to work. If this is the case, you can make a claim for TPD and/or income protection benefits.

Call for free advice Australia wide: 03 9448 8048

How do we approach TPD and income protection claims for people with PTSD?

We understand that PTSD is a complex illness which can be made worse by interactions with lawyers and insurance company staff when making a claim.

For this reason, when you make inquiries about a TPD claim, income protection claim or trauma insurance claim, we try to:

  1. avoid asking you to retell your story (which will often include the details of the event which has caused the PTSD). Instead, we try to get the information which we need to run the claim from your friends and family members or from medical reports;
  2. organise to communicate with others about your claim (e.g., partners, family members, your employer, friends, and your doctors);
  3. work out what the best way to communicate with you is (e.g., email, calls in the morning, calls in the evening, regular mail, in-person meetings) and do our best to communicate only in this way.

Issues that can impact PTSD insurance claims

The main issues that we see with TPD and other insurance claims related to PTSD are:

  • delays in making the claim;
  • delays in getting medical treatment;
  • rejected claims because doctors and/or insurers do not agree about the impact of the PTSD on your work capacity.

The symptoms of PTSD can be a major reason that people delay making insurance claims or getting medical treatment.

Impact of delays in making a TPD or income protection claim

Sometimes these delays can mean that the insurer says you are not getting the right treatment for your PTSD and that it will recover with the right treatment. Other times, delays in getting treatment can result in your insurer saying that you “were not under the care and following the advice of a medical practitioner” until months after you last worked. This can lead to your claim being assessed under a different TPD definition (and possibly rejected) or your income protection benefit being paid at a lower rate.

Impact of delays in getting medical treatment

Also, because of the difficulties treating PTSD and because of the uncertainty about how you will respond to treatment, some doctors are reluctant to say that you have a work incapacity due to PTSD.

This issue can also be made worse by the interplay between an underlying physical injury arising from the traumatic event and the later onset of the PTSD. That is, sometimes the underlying physical injury will have completely resolved (meaning you might ordinarily be OK to go back to work), but PTSD has onset some weeks or months afterwards and is causing you to be unable to work.

This situation can be hard to navigate and getting help to explain this complexity to the doctors and/or insurers is important.

We have had good success on TPD and income protection claims for PTSD

Whilst issues do arise on TPD and income protection claims for people who suffer from PTSD, we can often fix those issues or, using our experience, anticipate and avoid those issues before they happen.

We can do this by making sure that doctors’ certifications support the claim and other issues are avoided. Also, even where issues do arise, we can usually work to get what we need to fix those issues; for example, this might be a further medical report addressing that illness was a factor in you not seeking medical treatment immediately after you ceased work or that the delay in getting medical evidence has not made the condition worse.

Get help from a TPD and income protection lawyer

We are experts in TPD, income protection and trauma insurance claims. We have significant success in winning claims for PTSD. We can work on securing your benefits while you work on your health and well-being.

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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