How confident are you that your superannuation is working as hard as it should for you? At Evolve Legal, we want to make sure you understand how superannuation and, in particular, Total and Personal Disability (TPD) insurance can protect your future in times of need. In this article, our team delves into the essentials of superannuation and TPD insurance, explaining how they work together to provide comprehensive protection.

The Fundamentals

Superannuation, commonly known as super, is a crucial part of the retirement savings system in Australia. It is designed to ensure that individuals accumulate sufficient savings for their retirement years.

Your superannuation accumulates over time, usually through regular contributions from your employer, which is generally a set portion of your salary—and you can add your contributions, too. This money is then invested and grows over time, ensuring you have funds to support you when you retire.

However, a significant aspect of superannuation that is often overlooked or misunderstood is the insurance cover it usually includes, including TPD insurance. TPD insurance is designed to provide lump sum financial support if an individual becomes totally and permanently disabled, rendering them unable to work and earn an income.

Most individuals are automatically covered by a TPD insurance policy that their superannuation fund takes out on their behalf. There’s often other insurance too, including income protection and death benefits. We often hear that people do not even know of these insurances!

Of course, you can take out private TPD policies outside your superannuation.

What is Total and Permanent Disability Insurance?

TPD insurance provides a lump sum payment if the policyholder is deemed totally and permanently disabled. This definition typically means that the individual cannot work in their usual occupation or any other occupation for which they are suited by education, training, or experience. The specifics of what constitutes total and permanent disability can vary between policies, so it’s crucial to obtain legal advice to understand the terms and conditions of the insurance cover provided by your superannuation fund.

The primary benefit of TPD insurance is its financial security in times of severe hardship that often results from injury or illness. If a person is unable to work due to a disability, injury, or illness, the lump sum payment can be used to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any necessary modifications to living arrangements. It can also help maintain the standard of living for the individual and their dependents by covering ongoing living expenses.

How TPD Insurance Works within Superannuation

Most superannuation funds automatically include a default level of TPD insurance, but the specifics can vary widely. Members can often increase, decrease, or opt out of this insurance coverage based on their circumstances and needs. The premiums for TPD insurance are deducted directly from the superannuation account balance, making it a convenient option for many.

When a claim is made, the process typically involves medical assessments and, in some cases, interviews or other verification forms to confirm that the policyholder meets the criteria for a total and permanent disability. It can require a lot of documents and information and, putting one foot wrong, can see someone’s claim being declined. If approved, the lump sum payment is made to the superannuation fund, which then releases it to the individual.

How We Can Help With TPD Insurance

Dealing with TPD claims can be overwhelming, and getting the best legal advice can be the difference between a successful claim and one that is protracted and may be rejected. We make it simple and stress-free. Here’s how:

  • Initial Review: We review your super fund and insurance policies to determine what you’re entitled to claim.
  • Evidence Gathering: We collect all necessary medical and occupational evidence to support your claim and help you prepare for any medical assessments or interviews you may be required to participate in.
  • Claim Preparation: Our team handles all the paperwork, ensuring your claim is completed and submitted correctly.
  • Dispute Resolution: We stand up for our clients and ensure claims are not unnecessarily delayed or rejected. This can include utilising dispute resolution options and potentially taking court action to ensure a just and expeditious process is followed.
  • Ongoing Support: We stand by you throughout the entire process, advocating for your rights and aiming for the best possible outcome.

How Evolve Legal Can Help You

While generally time limits do not apply to making a claim, other than a waiting period, it’s important to understand that many TPD policies provide for the lump sum benefit to reduce as someone ages closer to retirement age. Therefore, it’s best to seek out advice early on, if you think you may not be able to work in the future due to an injury, disease, or illness.

We help our clients with TPD claims on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.

If you are unable to work due to any injury or illness, contact Evolve Legal for a free, no obligation consultation. We can check what insurance you hold under your superannuation account and provide advice regarding a potential claim. We’ll help you understand your rights and navigate the claim process, so you can focus on your rehabilitation and enjoy what matters most.

If you need assistance with a TPD claim, please do not hesitate to contact our team.