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What is a claim for total and permanent disability? And how do I make one?

What is a claim for total and permanent disability? And how do I make one?

Published on May 26, 2023 by Kate LathamKate Latham

What is Total and Permanent Disability Insurance?

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance provides for you if you are to become permanently disabled due to an accident or illness that means you are unable to work in any capacity in any occupation based on your previous education, skills, training, and experience.

TPD Insurance provides you with a lump sum payment which can be accessed to assist you meet the costs of living, to be able to access medical and rehabilitation treatment and provide you with financial security for your future.

How do I know if I have TPD Insurance?

Usually, most superannuation funds will have a TPD insurance benefit built into your policy of insurance. To check if you have TPD insurance, check with your superannuation fund. It is important to know that each superannuation fund has a different definition of what it means to be total and permanent disabled. Again, check with them to see how you are covered.

Do I have to have suffered an injury to lodge a TPD claim?

To bring a claim for TPD you do not have to have only sustained an injury; you could suffer an illness that also prevents you from working. If you have sustained an injury or suffer an illness, you may be entitled to bring a claim for TPD because of the permanent impairment that is caused by either your injury or your illness. A claim can be made if the injury or illness permanently prevents you from working in your normal job or being able to undertake any other work by which you are suited by your education, skills, training, or experience.

The injury or illness does not need to be related to your work and can be for several reasons, for example, a cancer diagnosis, an injury you sustained at home or playing sport or even a chronic illness diagnosis. Many people receiving workers compensation payments, motor vehicle accident compensation or that are in receipt of a Centrelink Disability Support Pension can be entitled to make a claim.

Does it have to be physical?

The injury or illness also does not need to be a physical injury. You can also make a TPD claim because of any psychological injury or illness including for example a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder.

To make a successful application for TPD it is important to seek appropriate legal advice early, to ensure that you have obtained the relevant documents required and have properly considered the definition of total and permanent disability that you are required to satisfy under your policy of insurance. Obtaining legal advice will also ensure that you will receive the full range of any benefit you are entitled to and ensure that you undertake the specific steps required to satisfy the superannuation fund to approve your application.

If you have a rejected TPD claim, it is also important to obtain legal advice early to see if the decision can be challenged successfully.

Contact us at Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers on 1800 059 278 or via our Contact Page in circumstances where you think you might have an entitlement to access a TPD benefit or if you need help with a rejected TPD application and one of our lawyers will assist you.

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