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Superannuation, TPD and Insurance claims lawyer on 2GB – 7 June 2016

Superannuation, TPD and Insurance claims lawyer on 2GB – 7 June 2016

Tuesday, 7 June 2016 


CS – Chris Smith /KB –Kerry Byrnes /C1,2,3, etc – Callers 


CS       I think this could be a very interesting subject today – not that our Turner Freeman Legal Matters segments aren’t – we tend to rotate them from Wills and Estates and we get through to employment law – we talk about family law etc etc but today something that we haven’t covered for several years and it’s an area that I think a lot of people could learn a lot about. Personal injury. We’re going to find out what you can do legally and I don’t think too many people realise this but you can actually make a claim for disability or accident through your superannuation fund – so if you’ve got a legal question in this regard, you can give us a call right now, 131873 on the open line. 131873. And I’ve also got a $100 Westfield voucher as usual thanks to the good people at Turner Freeman – A $100 Westfield voucher which I’ll give to a caller between now and 2:00 o’clock. So jump on the line and from Turner Freeman Lawyers I’m happy to say – she is debuting this afternoon listeners – so take it nice and easy on her – Kerry Byrnes is her name and she’s sitting right next to me in our news studios here. Kerry thank you very much for coming in.

KB      My pleasure Chris.

CS       Good to have you in here. Don’t be too frightened. My listeners don’t bite – not usually. 

KB      Not too hard.

CS       Not too hard and not on Tuesday. Later in the week maybe. What type of insurance is attached to a superannuation fund, we know of course we’ve got death – right – but there are two other areas that people may not be so familiar with.

KB      So the important thing to know about these types of claims is that there are three potential claims that might be attached to your superannuation. The first as you mentioned is death; the second is what we call total and permanent disability or TPD and the third might be one called Income Protection.

CS       So just start with the last one – Income Protection – but what about all of these sales people who call you up at 7:00 o’clock at night while you are trying to cook dinner and send you emails about “oh you’ve got to get income protection – you’ve got to pay your $4 a week for the next 30 years because you never know when you’ll need it”. You’re telling me that through my super fund I’ve already got Income Protection?

KB      There’s a possibility that you may – each superannuation fund is different and there are different insurances attached to each of them but there is a possibility that you already have it attached to your super and you just may not know about it.

CS       And so it depends on what sort of funds you have but you may what have a coverage for 6 months out of action or?

KB      Usually it’s for up to 2 years out of action – there will be a waiting period of somewhere – usually somewhere between 1 and 3 months and then you may be eligible for up to 2 years of income protection.

CS       Right – okay – now total and permanent disability – you’ve got to put a ceiling on these things of course because there’s no bottomless pit – but for most super funds – what is the area of ceiling for total and permanent disability?

KB      Do you mean in terms of how much the claim may be worth?

CS       Yeah.

KB      It’s one of those things that is very dependent upon your age – so generally speaking if you’re a younger person who becomes totally and permanently disabled for work, your claim is going to be worth more than someone who is closer to their retirement age.

CS       So what they….. they gradually reduce as you get older do they?

KB      That’s correct.

CS       Right – okay – that’s interesting. Let’s go to a few callers and I’ve got some other questions I’d love to ask and this is an area as I say we haven’t fleshed out for several years on the program, so it’s a chance for you to jump on that open line – 131 873 – free legal advice – try and find that anywhere else. Steve – go right ahead – Kerry is listening. 

Caller 1 – Steve 

Steve   Um – look I’m permanently employed and my superannuation which was when I first started with the company was compulsory to join their – that particular company – but now it’s not but my question is – that they said that after you reach the age of 60 you are no longer covered while working for injuries or for death.

KB      It depends upon each individual person’s policy – so often it will be that you’re covered for death and/or TPD up until the age of 65 – but if your particular insurance policy says that it’s up until age 60 then that is something that’s likely to be specific to your super fund.

CS       Because the theory is Steve – why should they cover you when you are getting close to the other end?

Steve   Well – you’re working for the company and I figure if I’m 59 I’m covered – if I’m 60 and 1 month I’m not.


CS       It’s a statement rather than a question to Kerry but I can understand what you are saying.  Have you taken this up with your employer?

Steve   No – well we’ve just only found out this information – we sort of contacted the HR and because the head office is in another State and it’s been said they are not real quick to respond – you know – we’ve been trying to get clarification acquired – you know like a – it seems like discrimination and I just thought that a legal side of things – you know – maybe we can take that approach –but if it’s just a fact that we have to change super – then maybe that’s what we’ve got to do, but it just doesn’t seem right?

KB      It might be that having a look at your super fund is a good idea and that might be something that you could raise with a financial planner or someone like that but certainly the insurance that’s attached to superannuation varies very much depending upon the policy that the superannuation fund usually has taken out for themselves.

CS       I had a super meeting with my account this morning and I learn more in one morning than I’ve known at 45 years. But anyway – 131 873 – Tony – you’ve got something to say about your superannuation as well.

Caller 2 – Tony

Tony   Yeah mate – look just to warn people too is when you’ve got your super and you go to a new company and they say you’ve got to join our super and you do join their super automatically whatever and you forget to take that famous little box that says you’re covered. I changed supers – I forgot to tick the box obviously – had an accident – broke my neck in two places and the rest is just history.

CS       So you weren’t covered – you were covered for total and permanent disability but not income protection is that right?

Tony   Yeah and both of them – I forgot to tick both of them because I just – they just said – we’ll take it over and you know – just fill out the forms quickly – so I filled them out and didn’t read the fine print as per usual – ……..

CS       Does that sound right to you Kerry?

KB      I was just going to ask Tony – are you actually – do you still have superannuation with the original fund? Because it might be that if you were still with both funds – because a lot of people as you say – they start a new employer and they forget that they’ve got a super fund already, so then they end up with all these multiple funds – it might be that you still had some sort of cover under the original fund that you were with and that might be something that’s worth investigating to you.

Tony   Ah – I’ve done all of that – I actually did convert everything over – being a nice person and trying to protect everything under the one roof.

KB      You’re one of those organised people.

Tony   And – yes and it’s very sad – I mean I’ve still got to work with my permanent disability I’ve got and yeah I’m lost as it is anyway.

CS       Yeah well I can’t help you out too much apart from giving you a $100 Westfield Voucher Tony.

Tony   Thank you very much – much[ly] appreciated.

CS       That’s okay – stay on the line – thank you very much for being part of the discussion this afternoon. A $100 Westfield Voucher to Tony. I’ll take a break and take a couple of more calls after that break and I’ve got a few questions on issues related to Income Protection within those super funds.  It’s 11 to 2. 

Short Break

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CS       7 and a half minutes to 2 – thank you for your company today. Now we’ve been speaking about total and permanent disability – this is what’s attached to your super fund and something you can use to claim on for that scenario, an unfortunate scenario. But it doesn’t necessarily have to emanate from an accident.  It can be from illness which brings us to Glenys’s call on the open line right now. Glenys – go right ahead – Kerry is listening.

Caller 4 – Glenys 

Glenys       Oh – Hi Kerry..

KB      Hi Glenys – how are you going?

Glenys            Good thanks, as good as I can be. I’m in the middle – I’m in the process of getting claims organised for my son – who has cancer and he’s on a – we’ve done for the temporary disability claim – which I think it can also be called a salary continuance…..

KB      Yes – or income protection – it’s all the same thing.

Glenys      Income Protection yes. Now one has gone through whereby he gets whatever they allow him per month for that. Now he has two funds. So I put the claim through the second one and they have approved it but they are talking about having to make an adjustment on what they will pay because he already gets another payment and I’ve been looking around for ages for someone to ask why can they do that?

KB      Glenys – that’s a really good question. I’m happy to talk to you about it more off air but basically there will probably be a clause in one or if not both of the actual insurance policies that will called an offset – so that usually it’s the case that if you get the full amount that your son is entitled to on one policy then that will kind of be adjusted in accordance with the second policy.

Glenys      Yes – that is what I’ve been told but my question is – if you have two funds you’re paying the insurance premiums relating to each fund – you’re paying two lots – why are you penalised with an adjustment when they ……..

CS       Yes – that’s interesting – that’s interesting.  Why take out two funds in the first place if you don’t get the advantages of two full funds?

KB      That is one of the difficulties that there is with the system and that’s where a situation where it might be a good idea to revise and see which plan works out better for you – possibly get some advice about that.

CS       A financial planner?

KB      A financial planner. And see you know – which policy would be better to keep, so you are not paying the insurance premium on both of those when it’s unlikely that you are going to be able to receive the benefit from it.

CS       Yeah – very very true.  Interesting – it’s such an interesting area and we will get you in again – I’ve got some other calls that I won’t be able to get to but what I can suggest is if you want to contact Turner Freeman – that’s probably the way to go and they can help you with this and of course you’ve no doubt got a unit which can take calls and see if people are eligible in these circumstances – is that right?

KB      That’s correct – yeah.

CS       Okay – good on you – fantastic –Kerry – thank you very much – debut? You’ve been doing it for years – thank you very much for your efforts this afternoon.

KB      Thank you – it was my pleasure.

CS       There you go – an area we haven’t touched as I say for years but do doubt just looking at the number of callers we’ve had to talk with Kerry and ask questions – you can tell that people want to know more – so we will have Kerry return – Kerry Byrnes from Turner Freeman and our Legal Matters Segment.