A permanent illness or injury can make a return to work challenging or even impossible. And Total Permanent Disability Insurance is a safety net to protect your finances and support you with the costs associated with your illness or injury. While you may not realise it, you likely hold TPD Insurance in Super. Most superannuation funds come standard with life cover and total permanent disability in super. However, you can also purchase TPD insurance separately to ensure adequate coverage. 

What is TPD? 

Total Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance is coverage that provides you with protection if you ever suffer from an injury or illness that leaves you permanently disabled. If you are unable to work, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claims to provide you with a financial cushion to pay for your medical care and living expenses. TPD Insurance will pay out a lump sum, but each insurer defines total and permanent disability differently and it can also vary depending on your specific coverage plan. 

For example, some plans cover your own occupation. So, if you are unable to continue in the job you are trained in or studied for, then your insurance will pay out. These plans are typically more expensive and are separate from the TPD in super. The typical cover is for any occupation. So, if your illness or injury prevents you from working any type of job suited to your experience, training or education then the plan will pay out. It is a cheaper coverage option, but the threshold to claim is high. Whatever plan you choose, make sure you know precisely how your insurer defines a total and permanent disability. 

If you are considering permanent disability work cover, you should consider your living expenses, debts, retirement savings, as well as medical costs. Do you have private health insurance that will cover some of those medical costs? Do you hold income protection insurance to guarantee lost income? All of this can be factored into your decision. You can also speak to a financial adviser if you believe TPS insurance is right for you and discuss your options. 

Injuries Under Total Permanent Disability Insurance 

  • Chronic Illness

A chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer can make you eligible for a TPD claim. Cancer is the reason for over 30% of TPD claims. Cancer can cause pain, mobility issues, and fatigue. Heart disease comes second, and can contribute to fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. 

  • Mental Health

If you have a mental illness that prevents you from attending work, whether it’s anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or PTSD, then you may be successful in filing a TPD claim. Mental  illness can affect more than mood, with many people struggling to concentrate and perform daily activities. 

  • Physical Injury

If you have a physical condition, as a result of an accident, then you can claim TPD insurance. This includes neck, back, and brain injuries. 

  • If your parent or partner dies as a result of injuries, you may be able to claim their TPD insurance. 

Can You Claim TPD More than Once? 

The answer is yes. You might hold TPD insurance in your super as well as having a privately secured insurance policy. If you meet the criteria, then you can claim on any insurance policy you have. As long as you had the policy in place when your work stopped, you are free to claim on multiple policies. 

You should speak to a legal expert before you file a claim because it’s the best way to ensure your claim is accepted. The first step is to speak to your doctor for confirmation that your illness or injuries qualify under TPD. The next step is to ensure each policy was in place when you stopped working. Finally, check to ensure you meet the criteria as defined by your separate policies. 

When To Seek Legal Help 

The claims process can be complicated. It’s imperative that you collate all of the relevant information to submit with your claim and you only get one chance. You should always seek legal help before you try to claim against your insurance. An expert can provide you with accurate advice but can also guide the claims process to ensure you receive the best possible outcome. 

Additionally, there are exceptions to the rule and some policies will state that you cannot claim against them if you have received a TPD payment previously. That’s why seeking legal advice is your best course of action. Working with a lawyer will ensure you pursue the best avenue to secure your financial future, whether it’s one large TPD claim or three smaller TPD claims.  Don’t forget you likely have multiple super funds and might have TPD cover on each of them, depending on when you last contributed. 

There are a lot of different factors at play that determines how long a TPD claim can take. If you use a lawyer to guide the process, your lawyer will ensure all of the relevant information is filed with your claim, which will streamline the process. 

How AJB Stevens Can Help 

If you believe you have a rightful claim to TPD Insurance, reach out to the AJB Stevens team. We fight for your rights so you can focus on healing. Once you get in contact, we will assess your case and offer you legal advice about your eligibility and what steps to take next.