If you become ill or injured and require time off work to recover, you may still be able to receive a regular payment to help cover your expenses. Income protection, salary continuance or Total or Temporary Disability benefits can be available through your superannuation fund or a separate insurance policy, in addition to your existing superannuation contributions.
What is income protection insurance?
Income protection insurance is cover designed to replace the loss of your regular income. The amount is based on what you earned in the 12 months before you were injured or became ill.
Income protection insurance can be purchased through a bank, insurance company and even through your superannuation provider. You may even be automatically covered through your super fund without being aware of it. Levels of cover can vary a lot, so it is wise to look closely into your policy to know exactly what protection you actually have.
Income protection insurance serves to cover any income you lose as a result of injuries, illnesses or medical conditions, including mental illnesses, which are ongoing and affect your capacity to earn an income and support yourself and your family.
Income protection insurance can be quite complex, with hugely varying inclusions and exclusions from insurer to insurer and vast amounts of fine print. LHD Lawyers can help you navigate the claim process to ensure you receive your full entitlements as quickly as possible, so you can get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Who can claim income protection?
Anyone who has suffered an injury or illness (even if the injury or illness were sustained outside of work) can claim income protection insurance if their condition has affected their ability to earn an income.
To make an income protection claim through LHD Lawyers, you can follow these steps:
- Contact LHD Lawyers: Get in touch with LHD Lawyers and inform them of your intention to make an income protection claim.
- Gather documentation: LHD Lawyers will collect all relevant documentation to support your claim, including your policy documents, medical reports, and evidence of your income.
- Complete claim forms: LHD Lawyers will assist you in signing all the necessary claim forms relating to your income protection claim.
- Submit the claim: LHD Lawyers will review and submit the claim to the Income Protection provider (insurer).
- Receive payment: When your claim is successful, LHD Lawyers will work to ensure that you receive your income protection payments as soon as possible. If your claim is denied, we will work with you to explore any available options to challenge the decision.
No. Claiming income protection isn’t difficult, especially when you have legal professionals like LHD Lawyers to assist you in navigating the process. Completing the required paperwork and returning it to your insurer begins the process.
You can begin your claim for income protection insurance once you have established the severity and nature of your illness or injury. The waiting period for most income protection policies is between 14 days and two years. To be eligible for payments you must still be unable to work due to your illness or injury at the end of the waiting period. Your policy may cover regular payments for a time period of two to five years, depending on your level of cover, or it could provide payments until you reach a pre-designated age (commonly 65).
To file an income protection claim you must contact both your insurer and employer as soon as you ascertain you are unable to work due to illness or injury. From there you will need a report from your GP along with a salary continuance report, a range of identification and proof of your salary over the prior 12 months. This documentation is then sent onto your insurer and your waiting period will commence.
Income protection payments are generally:
- Up to 75% of your regular wage (including superannuation contributions)
- Paid monthly (or possibly weekly)
- Provided for a specific time period (such as 2 years, 10 years, or until you reach retirement age)
There are generally two types of income protection insurance policies available in Australia:
- Indemnity policies: These policies pay you a benefit based on your income at the time you make a claim. The amount of the benefit is usually up to 75% of your pre-disability income.
- Agreed value policies: These policies pay you a benefit based on the income you were earning when you first took out the policy, regardless of whether your income has changed since then. The amount of the benefit is usually up to 75% of your agreed value.
Both types of policies can also vary in their waiting periods, benefit periods, and additional options such as indexation, rehabilitation expenses, and death benefits.
If the insurer does not pay an income protection claim, there are several steps you can take:
- Review your policy: Review your policy documents to ensure that you have met all the requirements for making a claim, such as waiting periods and exclusions.
- Seek legal advice: If you believe that the insurer is wrongfully denying your claim, seek legal advice from an experienced insurance lawyer. They can advise you on your options and help you navigate the claims process.
- Lodge a complaint: Lodge a complaint with the insurer’s internal dispute resolution team. This may lead to a review of your claim by a different claims assessor or a formal investigation into the handling of your claim.
- Contact external dispute resolution schemes: If the internal dispute resolution process does not resolve your claim, you may be able to contact external companies such as the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) who manage external dispute resolution.
- Consider legal action: If all other avenues have been exhausted and you believe that you have a strong case, you may consider taking legal action against the insurer.
Make an income protection claim today
Lodging an income protection claim on your own can be difficult, contact LHD today If your claim has been denied or if you are looking to start a new claim. At LHD Lawyers we provide a free initial consultation to discuss your case in more detail.
Call 1800 455 725 for a no-obligation consultation about your claim.