Superannuation FAQs

What is a Superannuation Insurance Benefit?

Most superannuation funds offer an insurance benefit for individuals who suffer an injury or in the case of a death of an insured individual. Sometimes the insured benefit is automatically provided to a Member of the Fund. However, not all funds do that. In some Funds, the Member needs to apply for the insurance benefit they wish to have.

The most common types of benefits are:-

(a)   Total and Permanent Disability benefit (TPD), which is offered as a lump sum payment;

(b)   Income Protection benefit (IP), which is ongoing monthly payments for a defined period of time; and

(c)    A life claim “Death Benefit” i.e. when a loved one passes away, the Dependants of the deceased may be entitled to a lump sum insurance benefit. 

Do I qualify to make a claim for IP or TPD only if I have a work related injury?

No, your incapacity does not need to be work related if, for example, you have been in a car accident and are unable to continue working; or if you are suffering from a serious illness that stops you from continuing to work, you can apply to receive these benefits. 

What is the criteria I have to meet to be eligible to apply for these benefits?

Funds differ in their criteria and requirements. Whether the member is entitled to claim or not depends both on the terms of the “trust deed” as well as the terms of the specific Insurance Policy.

For example the Insurance Policy of a particular fund, provides a definition of IP and TPD. These definitions can differ from Fund to Fund and Policy to Policy. Usually IP is payable “if a member is unable to do the member’s own job from month to month” and usually a TPD is payable only “if the Insurer determines that the Member has been absent from work due to disability for a period of at least six months and in the opinion of the Trustee of the Fund the Member is unlikely ever again to engage in any profession, trade or occupation for which the Member is reasonably fitted by education, training and experience”.

What information do I need to provide to the Superannuation Team at Zaparas Lawyers in assessing whether or not I have a claim?

Firstly, you need to provide us with your Superannuation Fund Financial Statement dated at the time you stopped work and/or at the time your injury occurred (the relevant time).

This Statement will indicate whether you were insured at the relevant time and the amount of Insurance you held at the relevant time.

You will need to provide us with any medical evidence in your possession that will indicate that you were and continue to be unable to return to work, as per the definition of the Fund (see above). Subject to you authorising us to act on your behalf, we can request medical reports from your treating Doctors and appropriate Specialists regarding your injuries or illness with a view for making a claim on your behalf for your insured benefit.

Where a client is a pre-existing Workcover, TAC or Public Liability client at Zaparas Lawyers, the Superannuation Team are often in an advantageous position to be able to make a better assessment of the likelihood of a successful claim for Superannuation Insurance benefits because we will usually have in our possession vital medical information from your previous TAC, Workcover or Personal Injury case. Our high success rate in superannuation claims is partly attributed to this as well as to the expertise in this area of the law by our dedicated Superannuation Claims Team.

How long does it take for a claim to be processed by the Superannuation Fund?

We cannot give an accurate time frame in the finalisation of your claim as every Superannuation Fund is different in its requirements and every claim is different in its facts. We at Zaparas Lawyers have a dedicated team and each Member of the Team specialises in specific Superannuation Funds to ensure that the requirements of each Fund are attended to methodically and consistently to ensure a speedy finalisation of each claim.

If claims are rejected by the Insurer we are also in a position to appeal the decision and/or initiate court proceedings to have the decision reviewed. This is a rare occurrence and most claims are settled out of Court.

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