Who Can Claim

Everything you need to know about TPD cover, income protection insurance and more

When things go wrong, you and your loved ones have a right to the financial security you’ve spent years saving for. This section explains the various circumstances in which you may be able to access your superannuation or insurance policies to preserve your quality of life.

Many Australian workers don’t even realise they may have access to their stored super and income protection insurance policies in times of need. Provided you are eligible, you should be able to receive your funds early, along with insurance payments linked to the super account.

Claiming Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) are provided as standard in most super funds. It provides financial benefits to those who are unable to continue working in the position that fits their skills, training or education due to the illness or injury suffered.

To qualify for TPD benefits, you will need to show that you cannot continue working in any position suited to your current skills, training or education. Your inability does not necessarily have to be work related – for example, if you are suffering from a serious illness like cancer and can’t work, you will still receive benefits.

Providing you meet the relevant criteria, you will be eligible to receive these benefits in addition to early payment of your superannuation contributions. These benefits may come as either a lump-sum or ongoing payments.

Claims can be complicated and some super funds and their insurers don’t make it easy to claim. If you believe you may be eligible for this payment, before lodging any paperwork, it is recommended that you consult with a qualified, experienced legal professional.

Free of charge, we will find out if you are covered and advise you on the best course of action. We can even provide you with a free over-the-phone consultation, just call us on 1800 088 677.

Claiming Income Protection (TTD)

If you have temporarily become unable to work due to a disability or illness, you may have a claim. Similar to TPD cover, income protection benefits provide financial support to those unable to work, in the form of usually monthly ongoing payments.

To qualify for income protection benefits, you will need to provide evidence of your illness or disability. Same as with TPD claims, the cause of your disability or illness is irrelevant.
Income protection benefits usually last for a maximum of 2 years, and generally pay up to 75% of your usual wage or salary. They provide valuable protection after you have used up your sick leave with your employer.

This of course varies from case to case, so it is important that you enlist the help of a legal professional or contact your Super Fund and/or insurer to see where you stand.

Claiming Life Insurance / Death Benefit

Life insurance is also referred to as death benefits. All Australian super funds have life insurance or death benefits included in their policy. Terms and conditions of these are set out in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) when you take out your cover. These are also available on your superannuation insurer’s website.
Some government and military super funds pay pensions to surviving partners or children.

When a loved one passes away, the hardship following their death is often compounded if they were a source of income for their dependents.
All Super Funds in Australia offer benefits in the event of a loved one’s death. If you were financially dependent on someone who has passed away, you may be entitled to all or part of their super contributions and connected insurance benefits.

These benefits are designed to ease the burden of financial strife at this difficult time. It is recommended that you act to retrieve these benefits as quickly as possible, with the help of a legal professional, to ensure the Super Fund pays correctly.

Super death benefits are generally paid to the partner of the deceased, their children or dependants. All funds allow written binding nominations that determine who gets the payout, however in most cases it is the super funds trustee that decides this.

Some things you need to know about Superannuation life insurance / death benefits:

  • Any dependant (legally married, de facto partner, children, financial dependants and inter dependant) of the deceased or their estate can claim super death benefits
  • Same sex partners also qualify as de facto partners
  • Children under MOST (not all) super funds include adult children, step-children and children of same-sex partners
  • Financially dependent is defined as someone who is fully or partially reliant on the deceased for financial support

Claiming Financial Hardship

If you are suffering through financial hardship, you may be able to access your superannuation early. The Department of Human Services and Centrelink have systems in place to help those in dire financial need.

If you:

  • Urgently need money to pay for medical expenses, disability-related expenses, palliative care or funeral expenses;
  • Have been receiving Centrelink payments for at least six months and cannot meet your day-to-day expenses;
  • Risk your home being sold by your mortgage lender;

then you may be able to gain early access to your stored super.

If you wish to access funds on financial hardship grounds not related to an disability or illness then you should contact your super fund direct and they will assist you through the process.

If your financial hardship arises from a disability or illness that is stopping you working then call us to discuss your options on 1800 088 677.

We can help

To learn more about your rights, call 1800 088 677 for a free, confidential discussion.