How to Claim TPD Australian Super and Win Your Benefits

Want to make an AustralianSuper TPD claim and get a TPD payout? Follow our guide to claiming insurance benefits from Australian Super.
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For many Australians, the Australian Super TPD claim process is complex and full of obstacles. With so many things to consider and a substantial amount of paperwork to complete, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But worry no more. Our complete guide explains the AustralianSuper TPD claim procedure, including step-by-step instructions for making a successful insurance claim.

If you are temporarily or permanently disabled, our article offers guidance on how to make a claim and receive the financial assistance you need to recover.

A man looking at AustralianSuper TPD insurance cover on a laptop

About AustralianSuper TPD Insurance Cover

AustralianSuper is the largest superannuation and profit-for-member pension fund in Australia. In fact, about 10 percent of Aussie workers are AustralianSuper members with access to their insurance cover for:

  • Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD)
  • Income protection (IP)
  • Death benefits.

TPD cover provides a financial safety net in the form of a lump sum payout when faced with an injury or illness that leaves you unable to work. This sizeable payment ensures you have the support you deserve during this difficult period, helping you cope with the financial burden of a permanent disability, including rehabilitation costs.

Two Types of Insurance Cover

There are generally two types of TPD insurance cover available to AustralianSuper members:

  1. Default Cover: offers age-based insurance that gradually decreases as you age
  2. Fixed Cover: maintains a consistent level of coverage regardless of your age

Understanding these two options is vital for securing the best level of protection when choosing insurance and the amount of cover.

Default Cover and Age-Based Adjustments

Default Cover is an age-based insurance option that provides basic coverage to most AustralianSuper members. The amount of cover you receive varies based on your age and individual work rating, with the cost of insurance automatically deducted from your super account each month. While this option offers a straightforward solution to your insurance needs, be aware that the amount of cover decreases as you age.

There are benefits and drawbacks to choosing Default Cover. On the upside, it provides automatic death, total permanent disablement (TPD), and income protection insurance to most members without requiring health checks. However, the drawback is that you might not have enough coverage for your needs, leaving you underinsured in specific circumstances or for particular occupations. Additionally, default cover may be more expensive than purchasing TPD insurance directly.

Fixed Cover Option

In contrast to Default Cover, the Fixed Cover option allows an AustralianSuper member to maintain a consistent level of insurance coverage, irrespective of age. To establish a fixed cover amount, members must submit an application to the superannuation fund, which will then be approved. In addition to the basic insurance, Fixed Cover offers extra coverage that can be customised to your particular requirements.

While Fixed Cover may seem an appealing choice, bear in mind that it comes with some limitations and drawbacks, such as:

  • No age-based cover
  • A reduction in cover over time
  • The cover amount will gradually decrease each year starting from the age of 61, reaching zero at the age of 65

Weighing the pros and cons of Default and Fixed Cover options is key to making a sound decision about your TPD insurance.

An aged woman using a magnifying glass to view a document about AustralianSuper fixed cover option

Can I Make an AustralianSuper TPD Claim?

To successfully claim a TPD benefit, you must meet the eligibility criteria specified by AustralianSuper, including:

  1. Proving your level of disability
  2. Meeting the waiting period requirement
  3. Providing comprehensive medical documentation to support your claim.

We review these requirements in more detail below, so you can see what is needed to submit a successful TPD claim through super funds. Using this information can increase your chances of getting your due lump sum TPD benefit and help you more easily navigate the claim procedure.

Level of Disablement

The level of disablement is a key factor in determining your eligibility for a TPD benefit. To qualify, you must:

  • Have ceased work as a result of injury or illness
  • Be unable to return to work in any capacity for which you are suitably qualified or trained.
  • Demonstrate that your disability is so severe that it prevents you from engaging in any form of employment, either in your own occupation or in a new role (depending on your TPD definition)

In some cases, the level of permanent disability may also be assessed based on your ability to carry out activities of daily living.

Waiting Periods

Waiting periods are another critical aspect of the TPD claim process. These periods, which can range from 30 to 60 days or more depending on your specific plan, must be met before your claim can be processed. Knowing the waiting period linked to your TPD insurance is critical to planning for any potential payout hold-ups.

Remember that the duration of the waiting period can be influenced by factors such as your employer’s arrangements or the specifics of your TPD cover. Be sure to review your policy documents or contact AustralianSuper directly to clarify your waiting period and plan accordingly.

Medical Documentation

Compelling medical documentation that proves your total permanent disablement and work incapacity is essential for winning TPD claims. One of the common reasons for claim delays or denials in Australia is insufficient proof from your doctor.

For a winning outcome, you must gather comprehensive medical records, including:

  • Medical reports
  • Test results
  • Treatment records
  • Any other pertinent medical documentation that bolsters your claim.

Successful TPD claims rely on comprehensive medical documentation from your doctor, healthcare providers and specialists. So please take the time to build a solid foundation for your case. Of course, an experienced insurance claims lawyer will help you prepare your case.

A woman holding a coffee viewing a TPD claim on a laptop

Steps to File an AustralianSuper TPD Claim

Now that you know the eligibility criteria for AustralianSuper TPD claims, let’s review the steps to make a claim. We will outline the four main steps to file a TPD claim with AustralianSuper, which are:

  1. Contacting AustralianSuper
  2. Seek legal advice
  3. Prepare the required information
  4. Submit your claim

Contacting AustralianSuper

The first step in making a claim is to contact AustralianSuper. During this initial conversation, AustralianSuper will provide you with the necessary member forms and documentation to process your claim.

At this time, the crucial factor is the requirement for meeting your TPD definition, particularly when claiming for a mental illness (which is typically more challenging as the injury is not visible)

Seek Legal Advice

Many Australians find it is not straightforward to seek AustralianSuper TPD compensation or make an income protection claim. That’s because super funds and insurance companies often seek to minimise, delay or deny entitlements. Thankfully, the team at Aussie Injury Lawyers has a 99% insurance claim success rate and offers free advice so you can know your legal rights. Contact us now at 1300 873 252 for your free case review.

Gathering Required Information

Once you have contacted AustralianSuper and have the necessary forms, you can start collecting the required information for your claim. This will include:

  • Policy terms and conditions
  • Evidence of your total and permanent disability
  • Relevant TPD claim forms
  • Detailed health information for the insurer to consider

Be thorough in your documentation and ensure that you provide accurate and up-to-date information to support your case.

Submitting Your Claim

Once you have completed the necessary forms and gathered the documents, you can lodge your AustralianSuper TPD claim. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Send your completed claim to AustralianSuper, with attachments.
  2. Include a letter explaining why you should have an approved claim
  3. Be proactive in your communications with the insurer, regularly following up on the progress of your case.
  4. Promptly address any questions or concerns.

While the claim procedure is time-consuming, being organised and proactive will help ensure a smoother experience and improve your chances of success. You can get the financial assistance you need when permanently disabled and maximise your TPD benefits by filing an accurate claim and working closely with AustralianSuper.

Income Protection Benefits from AustralianSuper

Besides TPD insurance, AustralianSuper also provides its members with income protection benefits. Once approved, these insurance benefits provide income when a temporary illness or injury stops you from working. Understanding how income protection claims work, including waiting periods and payment calculations, helps AustralianSuper members protect their financial future.

Income Protection Waiting Periods

Income protection waiting periods are important in determining when your payments will start. Depending on your income protection policy terms, waiting periods can range from 30, 60, or 90 days.

Remember that factors like your employer’s arrangements can influence the duration of your waiting period. Before lodging a claim, please review your policy documents or contact AustralianSuper directly to clarify your waiting period so you can play accordingly.

Income Protection Payments: Calculation and Duration

AustralianSuper calculates income protection payments based on 75% of your pre-disability income, with an additional 10% contribution to your superannuation account. This calculation helps you have a reliable source of income during your unemployed period, so you can remain financially stable.

Income protection benefits are provided for up to 2 years by default, subject to the policy terms and conditions. However, you may be able to extend the duration of your benefits in certain circumstances, such as by requesting a longer benefit payment period of up to 5 years or until the age of 65. We recommend you review your policy documents and consult with AustralianSuper to find out your duration options.

A man talking to an AustralianSuper representative on a mobile phone

Managing the TPD Claim Process: Top Tips and Strategies

There is no doubt the TPD claim process can be complicated and a hassle, particularly when coping with the challenges of a disabling injury, illness or mental health condition. Successfully managing the process requires organisation and a proactive focus on your lump-sum entitlements. Here are some top tips for the AustralianSuper insurance claim procedure.

Get Professional Legal Support

To maximise your chances of winning a TPD insurance claim, consult knowledgeable TPD insurance and income protection lawyers. Legal experts like Aussie Injury Lawyers regularly negotiate AustralianSuper benefit payouts so they understand the insurer’s expectations.

When choosing a TPD specialist lawyer, consider these factors:

  • Experience: Select someone knowledgeable and proficient in managing TPD claims with a winning track record.
  • Communication skills: It’s important to have clear and effective communication with your legal team throughout the claim process.
  • Fee structure: Understand their legal fees and what you will pay when you win or lose.

Be Organised and Proactive

When making a TPD claim through AustralianSuper, being prepared and proactive will help to minimise the stress and inconvenience that typically come with this process. Start by keeping comprehensive records of your medical treatment, employer documents, insurance policies and super account statements. 

Successful TPD claims also depend on chasing the insurer following claim lodgement. AustralianSuper will likely have questions, regardless of how well you prepared your case. Promptly addressing their concerns will help you get the settlement you deserve.

Centrelink and Tax Implications

Many Australians due to receive a TPD payout are concerned about the tax implications and impact on Centrelink benefits. Here are some key considerations:

  • TPD payouts are generally not considered taxable income, depending on how you manage the funds.
  • Taxes will apply when you withdraw the payout from your superannuation account, unless you are past retirement age.

Additionally, your TPD payout may affect your Centrelink benefits, particularly if you withdraw the funds from your super account.

Australian Tax on TPD Payouts

TPD payouts are not deemed taxable income in Australia and are tax-free when the funds remain in a superannuation account until retirement age. However, withdrawing the payout from your super fund is typically subject to a superannuation lump sum withdrawal tax. The current tax rate for TPD payout withdrawals in Australia is 22%, but you will likely have a tax-free component.

Since your pay depends on these factors, it’s best to meet with a financial advisor, accountant, or tax agent to understand your individual tax liabilities and devise a plan to reduce the impact on your TPD benefit payment.

More about tax on TPD payments >

Impact on Centrelink Benefits

In addition to tax implications, knowing the possible impacts of your TPD payout on your Centrelink benefits is crucial. While the payout typically does not affect your benefits, withdrawing the funds from your superannuation account will usually affect your eligibility for certain Centrelink payments. This is because Centrelink assesses both your income and assets when determining your benefit eligibility.

Before deciding to withdraw funds, ask a financial expert or Centrelink staff about your best approach. Doing this will mean keeping more money in your pocket while still getting the support you need from Centrelink.

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AustralianSuper TPD FAQs

What is the average AustralianSuper TPD payout?

An average AustraliaSuper TPD payout ranges between $30,000 and $500,000, with some fortunate people eligible to make multiple tpd claims worth millions.

How many months does a TPD claim take?

It usually takes 6-12 months to receive a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) lump sum payment from your insurer or superannuation fund. Complex cases will take longer, but you can ensure your claim is processed as quickly as possible with the right approach.

How much tax do I pay on a TPD payout?

Depending on your TPD payment amount, you will be taxed at a special rate ranging between 18% and 1%. Your superannuation provider will calculate the tax-free component.

Does AustralianSuper offer TPD insurance?

Yes, AustralianSuper provides eligible members with Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance, as part of its basic insurance cover.



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