Legal Guide to Superannuation Income Protection Claims
Claiming income protection through super is a great option for Aussies who are temporarily unable to work or who are living with a temporary disability. A successful claim for short-term injuries or illness provides a monthly benefit that helps pay the bills during a challenging time.
Our helpful guide to income protection insurance in super discusses how it works and how to get the most from income protection cover.
What Does Income Protection Insurance Cover?
Income protection cover is a type of insurance policy that provides financial security when are temporarily unable to work due to an illness, injury or mental health condition. When approved, it pays out a monthly amount that replaces some or all of your lost wages, helping you meet everyday living costs like rent, mortgage payments, bills and other essential expenses.
Income Protection Insurance through Super Fund
Roughly 70% of Aussies have insurance through their superannuation provider, but many don’t understand their entitlements, how much cover they have, or how to make a claim. The three common types of default cover are:
1) Life insurance (death cover)
Even if you have made regular super contributions, you may not have default insurance policies through super. You may have opted out when you joined the fund or have an essential superannuation product with lower insurance premiums and a lower level of coverage. Thankfully, Aussie Injury Lawyers will investigate our circumstances for free if you believe you have a valid claim. For immediate support Call 1300 873 252
Why Have Income Protection Insurance in Your Super Account?
1) Save on Insurance Premiums – in most cases, Superannuation funds get discounts on insurance products they buy in bulk and pass these savings onto their members.
2) Easy payment option – Having your insurance premiums paid out of your super funds means you don’t need to be concerned with when and how to make payments. It’s an easy option.
3) Financially Clever – Insurance policies within your superannuation mean you lower your income tax on insurance charges. Funds within your super account are taxed at 15%, which will be considerably less than your usual tax rate.
What are the Top Australian Super Funds for Income Protection Insurance?
Many Australian superannuation providers supply their members with insurance options, including income protection policies. Our experienced superannuation insurance lawyers help people maximise their IP entitlements for all super funds regardless of where you live in Australia. Some of the ones we commonly assist with include the following:
Claiming Income Protection Benefits
Income protection insurance is also known as total and temporary disability (TTD) insurance or salary continuance benefit. Like life insurance or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance, you receive a payout when you have a temporary disablement due to an injury, illness or mental health condition. The difference is that TPD benefits are paid in a lump sum when you are permanently unable to work again, and TTD pays an income until you can return to work.
Claiming your IP benefit can be challenging. Generally, insurers like to protect their bottom line and sometimes seek to minimise or deny your entitlements. If this is your situation, speak with Aussie Injury Lawyers to understand your options. We provide legal insurance services on a 100% no win, no fee basis. It costs nothing to know your right to claim – Call 1300 873 252
How Do Insurance Benefits Differ?
All types of income insurance coverage have the same purpose, to give you financial protection when you cannot work temporarily (IP or TTD) or permanently (TPD).
Typically, the terms of income protection policies vary considerably in Australian superannuation funds. However, one thing is consistent. Most people who have a successful income protection claim will receive a monthly payment, which is usually 75% of their insured salary, capped at a certain amount (the insured benefit)
Sometimes, your IP benefit could be a pre-agreed figure stated in your terms and conditions, not a percentage of your pre-disability income. The insurance company may also reduce your payments if you receive income from other sources like sick leave payments from your employer, WorkCover or Social Security.
To succeed, knowing your legal rights and policy terms is vital. Our skilled superannuation lawyers have helped many Aussies claim their due entitlements. It’s free to know what you can claim and if you have multiple claims.
What is the Difference Between TPD and TTD Insurance in Super?
An income protection policy is called total and temporary disability (TTD) insurance or salary continuance benefit. Like life insurance or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance, you receive payments when you have a disablement due to an injury, illness or psychological disorder. The difference is that TPD benefits are paid in a lump when you are permanently unable to work again, and TTD pays a regular income until you can return to work.
Claiming your IP benefit can be challenging. Insurers like to protect their bottom line and sometimes seek to minimise or deny your entitlements. If this is your situation, speak with Aussie Injury Lawyers to understand your options. We provide legal insurance services on a 100% no win, no fee basis. It’s free to get. It costs nothing to know your right to claim.
Understanding Claims and Waiting Periods
You will likely have a benefit waiting period when claiming your income protection through your superannuation provider, which means you do not receive monthly payments immediately after you stop working.
Your insurance policy terms and conditions determine your applicable waiting period, the standard one being either 90, 60 or 30 or 14 days. If you have a shorter period, it is highly likely to have higher policy premiums.
How to Claim Income Protection Benefits
Australian superannuation funds often provide their members with financial security by providing insurance against loss of income because of injury or illness. When you are sick, injured or have a psychological disorder and can’t work, income protection insurance is there to help you pay the bills. So, how do you claim your IP insurance benefits through your super? These are the steps:
- Contact your super fund.
- Contact an insurance claim lawyer.
- Collate Evidence
- Complete claim form and lodge
- Claim assessment
- Successful outcome or dispute rejection
Contact Super Fund
Contact your superannuation provider to let them know you will be seeking an income protection insurance benefit and find out how much cover you have.
Ask an insurance claim lawyer
A skilled insurance litigation lawyer will consider your best interests when making an IP claim. Aussie Injury Lawyers regularly negotiate with all the super insurance companies and know their strategies to reduce their liability. An effective solicitor will thoroughly research your policy terms, know how to get a successful payout, address the insurer's concerns, and challenge denied claims if required.
You will need compelling supporting evidence of your temporary illness or injury and how it impacts your work capacity to have a successful outcome. These documents can include medical records and assessments, proof of income, tax file number, tax return, proof of age, employer report and more.
Complete Claim Form & Lodge
It's essential to accurately complete the claim form when lodging your case. Doing this avoids annoying delays and rejection. This form usually requires your policy details, information about your temporary injury or illness, and other supporting details.
Next, the insurance company will assess your case based on the provided information. Please be patient, as this can take some time. If you have lodged an accurate and honest case with all the required facts, you should have an answer within a few weeks.
Successful Outcome or Dispute Rejection
Once approved, you will start receiving monthly payments. If you have a rejected or denied claim, please seek legal advice immediately.
5 Tips for a successful income protection insurance claim
To increase your chance of a successful income protection insurance claim through super, please consider the following tips:
The first step for a successful super income protection claim is to ensure you know the terms and conditions of your policy, including your waiting period, exclusions, and temporary disablement definition.
Keep detailed records of your illness or injury, including your medical history, treatments, and financial documents. These documents help create a compelling claim and prove your income protection insurance eligibility.
Please seek professional legal advice from a litigation lawyer or financial advisor if you are unsure about any aspect of the claims process. They will provide expert guidance, ensuring you make the best decisions to improve your chance of a successful claim.
To keep your claim on track and focus on a winning payout, it’s essential to be proactive and responsive. History shows that people actively pursuing their super fund and insurance company generally have a stronger outcome.
Keep copies of all the documentation you submit as part of your claim and keep them in a safe place. These papers will serve as a record of your claim and can be useful should the insurer seek to deny your income protection benefit.
How Insurance Lawyers Help with Income Protection Super Claims
Dealing with insurers can be frustrating and stressful. Thankfully, our skilled insurance lawyers have been negotiating with all the leading Super funds and Australian insurance companies for many years. Every day, we support everyday Aussie workers’ access to their due entitlements. Our legal team assists with the following:
- Life insurance claims
- Income protection claims
- Psychological illness claims
- Super TPD claims
- Terminal illness insurance claims
- Temporary disability insurance claims
Income Protection Claim FAQs
You can claim TPD insurance benefits if a medical condition progresses from a partial disablement (temporary condition) to a permanent (or long-term) one. A disability claim payout is typically a large amount of money. Some income protection insurance policies stop payments when you are paid a TPD benefit, although this is rare. Your capacity to have two claims simultaneously will rely on your terms and conditions. Our experienced income protection solicitors will give you your options at no charge.
When claiming income through super, it doesn’t matter how you acquired an illness, physical or psychological injury, as with personal injury claims. Some common types of income protection medical conditions include:
- Heart attacks and stroke
- Car accident injuries
- Chronic fatigue
- Back injuries
- A long list of major illnesses
You can also claim income protection for mental disorders like
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
and all other known psychological conditions that stop you from earning income.
If you receive workers’ compensation payments from WorkCover, this will likely reduce the income protection payments you receive through your superannuation fund. The exception is when you receive a lump sum WorkCover settlement or a lump sum TPD payout. If this is your position, speaking with an expert superannuation claim lawyer is best.
You could receive an income protection benefit once you are back at work if you cannot perform all your pre-disability responsibilities. If you receive partial pay because you are below total capacity, you could get a partial payment or “top-up” contribution, which funds the gap between your usual salary and your decreased income.
Your benefit period will vary depending on your income protection insurer, but the typical maximum period is two years. However, some people receive regular payments for up to 5 years. If you still cannot work after this time, you could qualify for a Superannuation TPD claim, which is a large lump sum payout. Generally, payments will stop when you reach 60, 65 or 70 years old, depending on your policy.
Not having an income during the waiting period is difficult when you must pay recurring bills. At this challenging time, you could access income from your employer by using your holiday pay, sick leave or long service leave. During this postponement, your insurer will evaluate your claim and start paying your benefit once it is approved.
Yes, you can claim income protection through super when you have a temporary qualifying medical condition that prevents you from working, as specified in your policy terms and conditions. To claim yours, contact Aussie Injury Lawyers, who will complete a thorough investigation at no charge.