Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) Claims – Summary

Did you know that you may be entitled to make a lump sum TPD claim for compensation if you cannot return to work (or to your usual role) due to a serious injury or illness? Your eligibility to make a TPD claim will depend on your specific superannuation policy, as decided by the insurer or super fund in question.

Some people have more than one active superannuation fund and can therefore have multiple TPD insurance policies. It is often possible to claim on more than one TPD policy.

In addition to a TPD claim, you may also be able to make one or more of the following claims:

  1. life insurance or income protection claim (no fault required);
  2. a common law claim for compensation (if the injury or illness was due to the fault of another party). The type of common law claim that you can make depends on how your injury occurred. For example, motor vehicle accident, slip & fall, or workplace accident. These claims can only be successful if your injuries were caused by another person or organisation.

Claim for Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) under your Superannuation Policy

Did you know that when you become employed, you join a superannuation fund? By default, these funds have a level of cover for Total and Permanent Disablement.

You can find out your level of cover by contacting your superannuation fund and asking them for their Product Disclosure Statement, which should set out the details of the amount of cover you have under the policy for total and permanent disablement..

Do not worry if your superannuation fund drags its feet or appears reluctant to provide you with assistance. Simply contact us at ROCHE Legal and we can take it from there.

Did you also know that you do not have to show that your injury or illness was caused by the fault of any other party?

If you have suffered an illness or injury that prevents you from returning to work for three months or more, you may be eligible for benefits through your superannuation fund, depending on the level of cover.

Income protection claim

Income protection provides regular payments to you if you are temporarily absent from work due to an injury or illness. We need to check with your superannuation fund to see if the policy contains terms providing for such temporary disability payments. These payments are usually a percentage of your usual wages and not a 100% income replacement. The terms may also contain other conditions about when such payments can be made and when they cease.

You may be able to make a claim for monthly payments if your superannuation fund comes with Income Protection insurance. This is sometimes called Salary Continuation Insurance or Total and Temporary disability (TTD) insurance.

If you also have private life/income protection insurance, you may be able to make an additional claim on that policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a claim for compensation?

This depends upon whether or not you are a member of a superannuation fund, or hold a life insurance policy.  You do not have to prove any fault by anyone under such policies.

For a common law claim, this will depend upon who is at fault, if anyone.

Who Can I bring the claim against?

The claim is made to the Superannuation Fund and, if applicable – your Life Insurance Company.

If fault can be shown, then an additional claim may be made against the party at fault. In this case, the insurer of that party will be responsible for any compensation payable under a court order or an agreed settlement.

What can I claim compensation for?

The level of compensation depends upon the level of cover in the policy.

What has to be proven for my claim to be successful?

You need to prove that it is unlikely you can go back to your employment or any other that you are qualified for – due to your injury or illness.

Are there any important time limits to bring a claim?

Quite possibly. This depends upon the terms of the superannuation trust deed or policy. Some insurance funds place a time limit within which such claims can be made so it is critical that you get legal advice immediately.

Who pays me the compensation?

The insurer of the superannuation fund.

How much compensation can I claim?

This depends on the superannuation policy. Usually you will get a lump sum payment which is specified in your member statement.

How long does a claim for compensation take?

We try to resolve claims for Total and Permanent Disability within six months from the time you consult us.

If the superannuation fund is taking too long to process your claim and you want to make a complaint to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, you have two (2) years to do so.