FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Superannuation & Insurance

Below is a comprehensive list of questions that Super Claims Australia is asked the most often by people who may have superannuation and insurance claims. These answers are general in nature and it is important to get help for your specific query and circumstance.

But remember – every case is different, so the information on this page might not apply to you in the same way as someone else. We recommend you call us on 13 43 63 or send us an email if you’d like any more information before lodging your application for benefits.

Who can claim Life Insurance or Death Benefits?

Life Insurance or Death Benefits can be claimed by any dependants of the deceased. Dependents include a legally married spouse, de facto partner (including same sex partners), children, legal personal representative of the deceased's Estate (executor or administrator), financial dependants and inter-dependants. Death benefits can also be claimed by the policy holder prior to them passing if two doctors certify that the person has less than two years to live. This is known as a terminal illness claim.

Can I have more than one TPD claim?

Yes, you can have multiple Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) claims as long as each of your current funds is independent from the other.

Do I have Income Protection insurance?

Many employees are covered for Income Protection or Total & Temporary Disablement (TTD) through their employers, employment superannuation, or industry organisations. Self-employed people often have private income protection. Your benefit statement will list if you have any income protection insurance.

What is Total & Temporary Disability (TTD)?

If you are temporarily unable to work due to a disability or illness you may receive benefits for Total and Temporary Disability (TTD) or Income Protection. This is essentially the same as TPD, the only difference being that it is not permanent. Under this type of scheme, you can receive insurance payments for the period that you are unable to work. In some cases where you have returned to work but are earning less, income protection will top up your earnings. These agreements usually run for up to two (2) years, but can vary from fund to fund. Some can be paid to age 65 and some even to age 99.

Is my nomination for Life Insurance or Death Benefits binding?

Nomination for a binding Life Insurance or Death Benefits must be followed by the Super Fund provided the nomination remains current and valid at the time of death. Some binding nominations can be disputed. For example an ex-wife who met the definition at the time of the nomination when married to the member may not meet the definition after a divorce or separation. It is important to refresh the binding nomination every 3 years or it will no longer be valid.

What forms do I need to lodge for my super claim?

It's always best to make a Superannuation claim as soon as possible especially as time limits may apply in some circumstances. The papers you should lodge with your claim will vary depending on what you are claiming, but generally they will include the claim form from your super company and evidence such as doctors' certificates. Contact Super Claims Australia on 13 43 63 and we can step you through the process.

Am I covered for Disability Insurance?

Most employment super funds include Disability Insurance lump sums for Total & Permanent Disability (TPD), pensions for Temporary Disability or both. This will be printed on the Superannuation annual benefit Statement you receive from your super fund.

What is a Superannuation?

Superannuation is the money paid into your super fund by you or your employer at least every 3 months. There is now also a general super product called 'My Super' which is offered to employees since 2012. If you do not select a specific type of investment, your super policy will be defaulted to "My Super'. Read more about Superannuation here.

What is Total & Permanent Disability (TPD)?

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) is an insurance benefit attached to most Super Funds. It is paid on top of any super you receive early as a result of mental or physical incapacity that prevents you from working permanently.

Do I have a claim?

If you have lost your income or ability to work through illness, disability or a loved one’s passing, you may have a claim. You should enlist legal help as soon as possible to ensure you receive what you are entitled to.

What if I don’t meet these criteria?

The law states that you may also be able to receive your super early if you are suffering from extreme financial hardship, or from some specific compassionate grounds, such as:
  • significant and unexpected medical costs,
  • being at risk of losing your home,
  • paying for palliative care,
  • or for funeral expenses for a dependent.
You should contact the Department of Human Services to see if you qualify.

How do I make a claim?

You will need to contact your Super Fund to obtain all the required application forms. Sometimes they will ask you questions about when your disability commenced and this is not always easy to answer. The answer can, however have a significant bearing on whether you are covered by insurance or not. We strongly recommend that you contact a legal professional before starting the process – not only will they help you determine if you have coverage but they will put your application together and also ensure you make the strongest possible case for yourself. The process can be long and confusing, so it is a good idea to enlist the help of someone who specialises in the field. Contact us for a free consultation.

Will consulting with Turner Freeman Lawyers cost me anything?

Your initial consultation will be free. We will only accept a fee if we launch and successfully win a claim on your behalf. Our fees, to the point of getting the claim decision from the super fund, are fixed to ensure you get your benefits at a known cost.

When can I lodge my claim?

This will depend on your super fund and insurer. While it is sometimes possible to lodge a superannuation claim as soon as you stop work, you might alternatively have to show that you had at least six months off work due to your circumstances.

How long will my claim take?

In most cases, claims are finalised and paid out within 3 to 6 months (sooner for TTD or income protection claims), but this depends on the complexity of the claim, what evidence is available about your condition and whether you have met all the criteria.

How much will I get?

This will depend on the type of insurance cover you have and how much you are insured for. This information is usually included in the fine print of your policy or statements. We will advise you how much you can claim once we have done our investigations for you.

What if I have multiple Super accounts or Insurance policies?

You can have multiple Superannuation accounts or Insurance policies, as long as each of your current funds or accounts are independent from the other. You should be able to claim on any/all of them at the same time.

Will I have to pay tax on the money I receive?

If you are withdrawing your funds before your Preservation Age (the ‘lockout’ age on your super policy – usually 55), you are likely to be taxed on it. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule, such as in cases of terminal illness. It is a good idea to contact a financial adviser for tax and financial advice.

Will my claim affect my other benefits, such as Centrelink or WorkCover payments?

These types of claims do not usually impact on Workcover benefits, but as they count as income, they may affect how much you receive from Centrelink. You should contact Centrelink to find out what impact the claim will have on your benefits.

What happens if my claim is refused?

If you claim is refused or rejected, you can dispute, challenge or contest this decision. Your rights can be enforced against an insurer, super fund trustee or other party in court. In court proceedings you can also claim interest on the benefits that you should have been paid, as well as a contribution towards your legal costs if you are successful. Contact us on 13 43 63 for more information on how to appeal!
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