Did you cease work due to injury and/or illness some time ago? You may still be eligible to claim through your superannuation, even if your superannuation claim is now closed or your insurance has since lapsed.

Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance is a common type of insurance cover that many of us hold within our superannuation. This cover is designed to compensate the member if they are no longer able to work as a result of injury and/or illness.

These injuries and/or illnesses do not need to necessarily relate to employment, so that a diagnosis of an unrelated illness such as cancer or multiple sclerosis or an injury outside of work could potentially entitle a member to claim against their insurance.

Each superannuation fund has a unique definition of TPD against which a claim is assessed, including what is referred to as the “date of disablement”. Whilst each fund is subtly different the general position is that the date that is relevant for a claim for TPD insurance is the date that the member ceased work due to injury or illness.

This means that the insurance cover that existed on that date is the insurance cover against which the claim is made brought. This means that if your superannuation account has closed and/or your insurance has lapsed since the date you ceased work you may still be entitled to claim against any insurance that existed at the relevant date.

If you have suffered an injury or illness that has put you out of employment, irrespective of how many years ago, it is always advisable to make enquiries as to your superannuation insurance options. You may be eligible to pursue a TPD claim that you didn’t realise existed.

We recommend that these enquiries be carried out as a matter of priority as some superannuation funds now place limitations on when these applications for benefits need to be submitted.