To be eligible for TPD, you must meet a set of criteria defined by your superannuation fund. These criteria will vary from fund to fund including the level of coverage you might have.
Criteria for Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) coverage
One of the most apparent requirements is that you are a member of a super fund. Membership is not automatically given once you have completed and submitted the application form. You are not considered a member until you receive a written confirmation from the fund.
Another criteria is that you are regularly receiving employer contribution into your superannuation fund. Currently your employer will pay 9.25% of the wages into your nominated superannuation fund. You need to ensure that you are actually receiving these contributions to be considered covered. Just because it is printed on your payslip doesn’t mean your fund has actually received these contributions so you will need to check this. TPD coverage can be dependent on this and coverage doesn’t usually start until your super fund has actually received the contributions.
In most instances coverage starts from when superannuation contributions have been received by the fund, not necessarily when the work was carried out. Your employer needs to advise you of any contribution, which usually appears on your payslips. In addition, always double check that contribution has been received by your fund. Just because these contributions are stated on the payslip, it doesn’t mean contributions have been received.
To be covered for TPD, employees need to be able to carry out their normal tasks free from injury. They must also not be receiving any other income such as Workers Compensation, or any Centrelink benefits for any injury or illness, otherwise the TPD coverage may be limited.
It is best to always notify your superannuation fund if your circumstances change such as changing a job, changing roles, changes in your work hours (including reduction or increases in overtime payments, extended leave, etc)
Case Study 1
Graham is a 40 year old labourer has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. He has been in his current job for 2 years. At the start of his employment Graham was asked where his superannuation contributions should be paid to. He nominated a fund and filled in some forms. Since that time his payslips have shown regular amounts being paid to that fund. After being diagnosed with the terminal illness, Graham rings the super fund to check how to claim only to find there is no fund in his name. The employer has not followed through with the process to open an account and has not paid contributions for the 2 years he has worked there. Coverage is denied.
Case Study 2
Cassie is a 32 year old female employee and a member of a super fund. Her employer has been regularly making contributions to the fund. Cassie becomes sick and has to reduce her work hours as a result permanently. After the reduction of her hours, her superannuation fund enters into new TPD insurance arrangements. The new arrangement includes increasing the lump sums payable on TPD. Subsequently Cassie’s condition declines and she is no longer able to work because of the same illness. Cassie will not be able to claim the increased coverage because she was restricted by illness when the increased coverage started. However, Cassie may still be entitled to receive payments for the lower level coverage.
Are you suffering from injury or illness?
If you cannot work due to an injury or illness, call our Superannuation lawyers on 13 43 63 to find out if you can claim TPD benefits. Our offices are in Brisbane, Logan, North Lakes, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.