If you cannot work through injury or illness, you might be eligible to claim superannuation insurance benefits.
Under your superannuation policy, you might be entitled to receive a lump sum or monthly payments in addition to any WorkCover, TAC or Centrelink payments.
By sharing your story with Zaparas as soon as possible, we can read through the small print of your superannuation policy and identify which of these insurance benefits you might be able to claim.
To be eligible to claim, your policy simply needs to be in force either at the date last worked or the date of injury.
What is a Superannuation Insurance Benefit?
Most superannuation funds offer an insurance benefit for insured individuals who suffer an injury, or for their dependants in the case of death. 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 claim.
What sort of benefits could you be eligible for?
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)
You may be eligible for a lump sum payment if you miss work for 6 months or more due to sickness or injury.
Income Protection (IP)
If you are unable to work, Income Protection insurance could give you a monthly benefit for a defined period of time. This could be up to 75% of your gross income.
When a loved one passes away, a lump sum (a ‘Death Benefit’ ) becomes payable to the policy holder’s beneficiaries, such as a spouse or child. You would be surprised to learn how many people neglect to claim the superannuation fund benefits that are owing to them. A quick chat with Zaparas is all you need to prevent becoming one of them.
Specific injuries and defined medical conditions may entitle you to a lump sum payment, even if you continue to work.
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. For example, if 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.
How do I know if I’m 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 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 (which ever is the most relevant).
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 also 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.
What if I’m already a pre-existing WorkCover, TAC or Public Liability client at Zaparas Lawyers?
In this case, 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. However, we 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.