Superannuation and Disability Claims – We understand that being unable to work, or continue in your occupation full-time, can place extraordinary financial pressure on you and your family. This is why we are committed to making people aware that they may have access to lump sum payments under superannuation and insurance policies that can ease the financial burden.
Superannuation and disability claims – some critical points.
- Many are totally unaware of the insurance cover contained in superannuation funds
- Many are confused by the process in making a claim through their super fund or under a privately paid life insurance policy
- Claims may be lodged on the basis of illness, critical care, trauma or illness
- It does not necessarily mean that you have to be show that you will never ever work again – you may still be able to claim the benefit if you are unable to return to your usual occupation for eg. If you have only worked in labour intensive occupations and you suffer a back injury but some doctors say you may do office work but you have never done office work in your life than you may still claim the benefit.
- Your injury or illness does not have to be work related it can arise out of an illness such as cancer or MS, a motor vehicle accident, medical procedure gone wrong etc.
- You can claim even if it is an old injury or illness so long as the insurance existed at the date when you last worked
- Usually there is no time limitation, even if the fund has paid out your super contributions or after death your estate may still be entitled to claim the disability entitlement. It is always a good idea however to claim as soon as possible.
- Types of benefits include:
- TPD – Total & Permanent Disablement – if you become unfit for you usual job or other suitable work – usually paid out as a lump sum
- Income Protection/Salary Continuance benefits – usually paid at 75% of your wage and can be paid periodically for period of up to two years or more depending on the policy – some are paid to the age of retirement (65 years). Usually payments received from other means such as Centrelink or workers compensation weekly benefits can affect the amount paid or it may stop altogether if you receive a lump sum from other means.
- It may be possible to make a claim on multiple funds or make a claim for TPD lump sum as well as an income protection benefit
- Access to your superannuation contributions (account balance) can be made on the basis of:
- Financial hardship
- Illness or injury
- Need for medical treatment not covered by other means
- Payment of outstanding mortgage payments to prevent foreclosure
- Funeral expenses
- Leaving the country permanently
- Payments under a super fund or other life insurance policy does not affect your entitlements to workers compensation benefits – (Victoria excepted)
- Death Benefits – payable to dependants or estate of the deceased – a disability claim may still be lodged even after death by the estate
- Public Servant employees – such as Commonwealth employees, University employees, Military or Police and other Services employees – these funds have quite generous benefit.
Other Insurance benefits claimable
- Employer or Industry arranged income protection, redundancy lump sum benefits such as Incolink, Protect, IUS, ACERT or Coverforce
- SMSF, Private Life Insurance, Critical Care, Trauma Insurance – may all have lump sum benefits or a premium waiver benefit
- Business Insurance – often covers lost income of the business if the owner unable to work at the same capacity or at all – maybe a lump sum or periodical payments for losses
- Credit Card insurance, Mortgage Cover taken up with banks or credit providers
- Sporting or other club membership cover for sporting injuries
- Travel insurance benefits – if injury occurred whilst travelling overseas
These claims are not usually straight forward and can be quite confusing and difficult if not proceeded in the right way from the beginning. It is always best to seek professional legal advice for the best prospect of a successful outcome.