What does ‘at work’ mean in your super policy?

Have you ever been told you do not meet ‘at work’ criteria? To be able to claim for TPD in your superannuation policy, there are certain conditions or waiting periods you must meet before you qualify. One of these conditions is that you must be fully covered at the time you have suffered the injury to be able to claim. Another eligibility criteria often is that when you have suffered your disability you were required to be ‘at work’.

Being considered ‘at work’ by your superannuation or insurance policy may be very different to what you may think of being ‘at work’ means. Often the insurance policy defines being ‘at work’ as including a certain timeframe after the end of your employment. In some cases this timeframe can be anywhere up to 12 months or at times, even longer.

‘At work’ may also include to continuing with your normal duties in your workplace.

If you do not meet the ‘At work’ criteria you will not be able to claim or qualify to claim TPD. It may be that you only had limited income protection or TPD cover and often it also excludes any pre-existing conditions you may had before you took out your policy.

Interestingly, what your insurance or superannuation fund may not tell you is that to meet the ‘at work’ criteria you only had to perform your normal duties without any injuries or illness for one day and have not had received any alternate financial benefits from government organisations such as Centrelink.

Always read the fine print in the terms and conditions or product disclosure statement (PDS) of your super fund so you always know what you are covered for. Make sure you clearly understand the eligibility conditions of your policy and what these terms mean. It is also beneficial to seek legal advice if you are told you cannot claim for TPD.