Superannuation is something that many of us may not know that much about, especially those of us newer to the workforce. For some of us it is years away before we can even access the funds stored in the account. So why take an interest in it now?

Well, for starters it may be very relevant for those who have been injured or are unwell and are unable to work. Many of you may not be aware that within your superannuation fund you are likely to have attached, and pay premiums for, TTD and TPD benefits.

But what are TTD and TPD benefits and when can you claim? We take a look.
TPD, or Total and Permanent Disablement, is insurance that is designed to provide a lump sum benefit to an injured or sick person who has been medically diagnosed as unable to work again. The definition of TPD will vary among the different insurers, however the two main types and definitions of TPD benefits are:
  • Own Occupation TPD: unlikely to be able to work again in your ‘own occupation’ following an illness or injury; (from 1 July 2014 ‘own occupation’ TPD cover will be prohibited for any new insurance cover issued to a member within a superannuation fund)
  • Any Occupation TPD: unlikely to be able to work again in ‘any occupation’ for which they may be suited to by education, experience, or training, following an illness or injury.
But what if it’s not permanent?
If an injured person has been rendered temporarily unable to work due to injury or illness then they may be entitled to receive TTD payments from their superannuation fund. Total and Temporary Disability benefits (income protection), or TTD, paid from a superannuation fund, are benefits paid to a person who has stopped working due to a medical condition.

Depending on the policy an injured person can receive a weekly or a monthly pay based on a percentage of their current wage which can be up to 75%. In some cases where an injured or unwell person has returned to work but is earning less than they were pre-injury or illness, TTD payments will cover the gap.

These payments are generally made for up to 2 years or in limited cases up to age 65 but it is best to check with the individual fund, as the duration of payments can vary.

Unlike injury or illness in a negligence claim, to be successful in obtaining a TTD or TPD benefits payment it does not matter how you sustained your injury or illness, as the cause of such is irrelevant. To make a claim for TTD or TPD benefits you must be medically certified as TPD or TTD by a doctor.

You will also need to complete the necessary claim forms. In some cases further evidence may be required, including additional doctors’ reports and/or further medical examination with an independent specialist.

If the superannuation fund rejects your claim for TTD or TPD you are able to appeal this decision.

Firstly, you should make a complaint to your superannuation provider. If you are not satisfied with the response, or after 90 days you have not received a response, you may make a complaint to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT). If you are not satisfied with the determination of the SCT then you have the right to appeal this determination in the Federal Court.

You can find out more about these types of injury super claims here.

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