Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance benefit is cover offered by many Queensland superannuation funds. If you have TPD cover with your superannuation provider then you can file a claim if you become disabled and are unable to work.
Because most workers in Queensland are required to pay contributions into a superannuation fund, you may not automatically know if you have cover for TPD. You must find this out from your superannuation provider first. It is surprisingly common for a victim of a vehicle accident to file a personal injury compensation claim for damages after an accident has taken place, and not know that they are also covered for disability benefit through their compulsory super scheme.
You can pursue both a personal injury claim and a TPD claim at the same time because you may have paid for these rights under your super scheme, which is compulsory. You can also claim TPD with a worker’s compensation claim and for all types of personal injury claims like product liability and medical negligence.
If you find you have TPD cover before you file a TPD claim, you must have the evidence available to show that on a permanent basis you are not fit to carry out your normal employment, or even any other type of employment for which you may be qualified to do based on any relevant training, education or even experience you may have. It does not matter how the illness or injury occurred as long as you are now suffering from a permanent and total disability or a chronic illness.
The process for filing a TPD claim
When you file your TPD claim, the evidence proving your disability to support your TPD claim can be provided by your doctor through a medical report about your disability stating what you are able to do or not do. It can also be supported with other medical evidence, like a full diagnosis and your treatment programme. You may still be eligible for TPD if you have always worked in a manual job and that is all you are able to do you cannot be told to do a more sedentary job such as office work even if your doctor says you have the physical capacity to take on this type of work.
As soon as your TPD is received, despite the doctor’s evidence you have provided, you will normally be asked to see a medical specialist to determine whether there you can return to employment within your education, training or experience. The specialist will have to provide a reason that you are fit to work in an occupation that best suits your education, training or experience.
If your TPD claim is successful, you will be paid as a lump sum payment which can be used to help with medical costs, and to provide you with an income when you are not able to support yourself due to your disability.
Not all claims are successful, so if your TPD claim is denied, it is usually because the insurer or super fund thinks you still have the capacity to work. This is the time to contact a lawyer who may decide to go ahead with legal proceedings if s/he thinks you have a firm case for eligibility for TPD. Going ahead with legal proceedings means an independent judge is given the responsibility of making an enforceable decision.