An injury or illness is a common occurrence in day-to-day life. If you have suffered from an injury or illness that prevents you from returning to work, you may be eligible to make a claim against an insurance policy held with your superannuation fund.
Most superannuation funds have insurance that may become payable in the event you have an injury or illness that prevents you from returning to work. These types of insurance policies are known as:
• total and permanent disability insurance; and
• income protection insurance.
The eligibility requirements change for each superannuation fund, and the amount paid will depend on the type of policy applicable to you.
The general requirement to claim for total and permanent disability benefits is that your condition prevents you from returning to the field of work for which you are trained by reason of skill or experience.
The nature of the injury or illness must prevent you from returning to your occupation in any reasonable capacity, and to give an example, a tradesperson that loses a finger may no longer be suited to work on tools but may be able to work as a supervisor in the same industry.
If the condition only means that you may require some time off work to recover then you may be eligible to claim against an income protection policy to make regular payments to you.
The duration for income protection benefits usually lasts for two years which means that you may be paid up to 85% of your average monthly wage for a maximum period of two years until you are able to return to work. If the condition means that you can still work but for reduced hours, then the policy may instead pay the difference in pay up to the policy limit.
There are also circumstances in which you can elect to pay a higher premium to increase the duration of the policy however these changes would need to be agreed before the condition occurred.
These types of insurance policies are designed to provide you with a safeguard against financial hardship in the event you are not able to work because of a condition. Unfortunately, insurers do not easily accept claims and there are a number of exclusions that may prevent you from being eligible such as if the condition was pre-existing or you were unemployed for a period before the condition occurred.
On the other hand, if the injury or illness results in the death of a loved one then another type of insurance policy known as a death benefit policy may become payable to you if you are a dependant.
A dependant is someone that is either a spouse, child or someone in a close personal relationship that lived with the deceased and provided the other with domestic or financial support.
You can also nominate with your superannuation fund a particular dependant to receive the death benefit if you prefer, otherwise the fund will decide for you.
Importantly, you should contact your superannuation fund from time to time to update your nominated beneficiaries in the event of your untimely death, or to ensure that your fund has adequate insurance in place.
If you think you might be eligible to make a claim for total and permanent disability, income protection or a death benefit and need assistance, then we encourage you to contact our office on (07) 4721 4638 or 1300 001 665 for an initial fixed price initial consultation.
Level 27 Santos Place 32 Turbot Street, Brisbane, QLD, 4000,
PO Box 12903 Brisbane George Street, Qld 4003
471 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD, 4810,
PO Box 2020 Townsville Qld 4810