Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance cover pays a lump sum to a person if they suffer from an illness and injury which prevents them from working. This insurance is often attached to death cover which is offered through a superannuation fund. Superannuation is compulsory in Australia and every person who works or has worked at some point in their life will be a member of a superannuation fund which their employer would have contributed to. Many people do not know that they have a TPD policy attached to their super and do not know that they are entitled to make a claim should they be unable to work due to injury and illness.

The amount a person is entitled to claim is often reflected in their end of financial year superannuation statement. A claim for TPD is generally available to people aged between 17 and 59. In order to make a claim the trustee of the super fund must be satisfied that you will never again be able to work in any occupation to which you may be suited (having regard to your training, education or experience). Such a claim is based on medical evidence.

TPD insurance is generally offered by a lot of superannuation companies, including many of the larger firms such as Suncorp, AXA, ING and AMP. TPD is generally a lump sum payout made to anyone who is deemed to be totally and permanently disabled.

Making a claim is relatively easy with the superannuation fund providing a number of forms which will be completed. The superannuation provider will also require information from treating doctors about your medical condition, this will help them determine the level of disability. It is best that legal assistance is sought as dealing with the superannuation provider can be daunting. The solicitor will also know how the forms should be completed and will be able to obtain the correct information from your treating doctors.

There are no time limits on making a claim, even if the superannuation contributions have been paid out, a claim for TPD can still be made. If a claim has already been made and the superannuation has denied the claim. All hope is not lost help from a solicitor may help in having this decision overruled and ensuring your right to a lump sum claim is reinstated. There may be time limits so seeking legal advice is imperative to protecting you and your entitlements.