For many, the insurance policy attached to superannuation is just another long, incomprehensible document which has been (at best) tucked away in the filing cabinet, not knowing what it really means to us personally.  That is until the day comes where you have a serious illness or an accident and are unable to work.  

Many of our clients engage our firm after having an accident to receive advice and assistance about motor accident, workers compensation, medical and professional negligence, travel or public liability claims, but are not aware of the possibility of making a claim under their superannuation policy.

Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance is usually an insurance package contained within your superannuation account that may be paid in a lump sum if and when you meet certain criteria.

The definitions of permanent disability vary from policy to policy. Typically though, in order to be eligible to make a claim for TPD, you must have been absent from work usually for a period of 6 months, and have no prospect of returning to work before being eligible to make a claim. You must be totally and permanently unable to work in either your own, or any occupation, for which you are suited by way of training, education or experience.

The two main types of TPD insurance then are to cover you for either a total and permanent incapacity to return to your “own occupation”, or to “any occupation”. TPD insurance for “any occupation” is the more common of the two, however the threshold is higher than that of “own occupation” as you have to be considered by the insurer to be unable to return to any job for which you are suited by way of training, education or experience, rather than unable to return to your own, pre-injury employment.

This is just one example of the difference one word can make. The definitions and eligibility criteria for making a TPD claim are complex, subject to change, and sometimes difficult to understand. At Stacks Goudkamp, we have a number of dedicated lawyers who are astute to these issues.

If you have had an accident or suffer from an illness, are unable to return to work, call our superannuation lawyers for a free consultation on 1800 25 1800 or make an online enquiry to find out more about your potential entitlements.

Written by Cali Baldwin.

Cali Baldwin is an Associate in Ian Chipchase and Anna Tavianatos’ Practice Group.  Cali assists Ian and Anna with a variety of matters, including superannuation claims.