Sunsuper have now made significant changes to their policy of insurance for Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) Assist insurance cover.

As of 1 July 2016 Sunsuper introduced a significant change to their TPD insurance cover. This is now known as Sunsuper TPD Assist.

This cover meant that if you became permanently incapacitated for employment and were successful in a TPD Assist claim, you were no longer eligible for a lump sum payment of your insurance benefit.

All claims for injury or medical conditions after 1 July 2016 were subject to a new incremental payment system, requiring annual review. Under these provisions, if your TPD Assist claim was accepted you may receive up to six annual support payments over a minimum of five years, on the condition that you continued to meet the definition of TPD Assist at the annual review of your claim.

There were no provisions to pay a lump sum benefit for significantly injured clients that did not also meet the definition for ‘terminal illness’.

Receiving annual benefits in this manner meant that the original benefit amount was broken into six equal incremental payments, which were paid annually (so long as you continued to meet the definition of TPD at each review).

Sunsuper have now made additional changes to their policy of insurance for TPD Assist. These changes are more favourable to the client and in some circumstances will change the landscape of the clients TPD Assist claim from an ongoing benefit payment scheme to a lump sum payment.

Any injury or illness leading to a TPD Assist claim on or after 1 October 2020 will receive an increased benefit payment for the first benefit period. The first payment will be calculated at 25% of the benefit amount and the five subsequent annual payments will be calculated at 15% of the benefit.

Importantly in some limited circumstances the benefit for the TPD Assist application may now be paid as a single lump sum payment. The circumstances where a lump sum payment may be made are as follows:

  • you are diagnosed with a specific long term debilitating injury or illness (specified medical condition), with no chance of recovery as follows:
    • Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
    • Major Head Trauma
    • Motor Neurone Disease
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Muscular Dystrophy
    • Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Parkinson’s Disease
    • Chronic Lung Disease
    • Cardio Myopathy
    • Paraplegia (including Quadriplegia, Hemiplegia and Tetraplegia)
  • suffer loss of limbs or sight
  • suffer loss of cognitive function
  • are over 62 years of age

With better access to lump sum benefits and increased initial benefits for ongoing payments, TPD Assist applications with Sunsuper are now more feasible for clients. On an accepted application clients will now have better access to funds in their time of need.

We can help

If you or someone you know may be suffering an injury and/or illness that precludes them from working it is advisable to take legal advice about your insurance options.

Dealing with superannuation insurance claims can be a difficult and lengthy process. Superannuation insurance claims can often be confusing and onerous without the support of an experienced legal team.

Turner Freeman Lawyers are here to assist with all your superannuation insurance claim needs.