Superannuation and Insurance Claims/ TPD
In our experience people are often unaware of their rights when it comes to making a claim for benefits attached to their superannuation policy. Details of your potential entitlements can often be found on the annual statement sent out to you by your superannuation fund.
If you are suffering a medical condition and have been forced to stop work you may be entitled to claim superannuation benefits in addition to other forms of compensation.
Stacks Goudkamp can guide you through the complex policy documents, regulations and forms to ensure that you receive the maximum entitlements available to you.
If you would like to find out how we can help with your potential claim please contact us today for a free assessment of your superannuation on 1800 25 1800.
What Is Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD)?
Total and permanent disablement cover may be available to you under your superannuation policy. This cover is separate and distinct from those contributions (or the account balance) made by your employer on your behalf to your nominated superannuation fund.
This policy is in place to cover you in the event you are no longer able to work in your usual occupation for a medical reason.
Who Can Make A Claim For Total and Permanent Disablement?
You may be eligible to make a claim for total and permanent disablement if you meet the following criteria:
- (a) You have stopped work as a result of an injury, illness or any medical condition and;
- (b) You are unlikely to return to your usual occupation for which you are experienced, skilled and have the appropriate training and;
- (c) You were under the age of 65 years when you ceased employment;
- (d) You were a member of a superannuation fund at the time you ceased employment and you held total and permanent disablement cover under that policy.
Please note that it is not a requirement that you resign from your employment or that you are terminated from your employment before you are eligible to make a claim. However, most superannuation funds do require you to have been off work for a continuous period of six months before being eligible to make a claim.
If you meet the above criteria may be eligible to make a claim on this policy and receive a lump sum benefit.
How Much Will I Receive?
The amount you receive from making a claim will depend on the amount you are insured for under your superannuation policy.
If you qualify for a lump sum payment as a result of total and permanent disablement you may also be able to make a claim for the early release of your accumulated superannuation funds.
Do I Pay Tax On Any Amount I Receive?
Any amount received as a result of a total and permanent disablement claim will require you to pay tax as it is considered a source of income. Any amount you may receive will need to be declared to the Australian Taxation Office.
If successful in your claim your superannuation fund will automatically calculate the amount of tax payable on your behalf and forward this directly to the Australian Taxation Office.
Is There A Time Limit To Make A Claim?
Generally speaking if your employment has not been formally terminated there is no time limit in lodging a claim against your superannuation fund for total and permanent disablement.
If your employment has been formally terminated then you are required to lodge any claim for total and permanent disablement within two years of the date of termination.
If the superannuation fund rejects your claim after lodgement you will then have six years from the date the claim is rejected to commence court proceedings.
Income Protection Claims
You may also be eligible to make a claim for income protection benefits if you hold cover with your superannuation fund.
Income protection benefits generally represent approximately 75% to 80% of your wage and are designed to reimburse you for lost wages which you would have earned had you not become incapacitated by way of your injury, illness or medical condition.
Stacks Goudkamp understands that one of the first questions on your mind when considering bringing a claim is what it will cost you.
We understand that if you are suffering from a serious medical condition and are subsequently unable to work the last thing you would want to be paying for is legal costs.
For your peace of mind we will cover the expenses incurred on your behalf in bringing your superannuation claim.
After obtaining the relevant documentation from your superannuation fund if it transpires that we cannot assist you in your claim, or we feel that you do not have any prospects of success, we will not charge you for any work that we have previously performed.
During the administrative stage of lodging the claim and providing additional details the superannuation fund is not liable for your legal costs. Further, the fund is not liable to pay any of your legal costs unless and until we successfully pursue court proceedings.
Our costs agreement carefully sets out and contains fee estimates for the various stages of the claim both pre-litigation and post-litigation.
In the event that your claim is declined or no decision is made and we have to pursue the claim through the Court and you are successful, the Court will order the superannuation fund to pay your legal costs and, for practical purposes, this means we should recover about 60% of your actual legal costs.
Superannuation and TPD Case Studies
Steve is a 51-year-old bus driver.
Three years ago, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident leaving him with significant injuries.
Steve had a TPD policy with an ‘any occupation’ definition. It was not until he engaged our firm to act on his behalf with respect to his CTP claim that he was aware he was entitled to bring a claim pursuant to the provisions of his superannuation policy.
After thoroughly reviewing his CTP file, obtaining evidence and liaising with the fund on his behalf the TPD benefit was approved, and the payment made.
Although his injuries have prevented him from retiring on his own terms, the payment has assisted him in planning for his future.