If you live and work in Queensland, your employer will contribute to a Superannuation fund on your behalf. But what exactly are Super Funds and how can they assist with disability claims or your personal injury claim?
In a nutshell, Superannuation in Australia refers to a program or scheme designed for compulsory long-term savings for workers to support their retirement. Superannuation in Australia is government-supported and compulsory for employers to contribute to.
Superannuation is money invested for a person's retirement, so strict government rules prevent early access to preserved benefits except in very limited and restricted circumstances, including severe financial hardship or on compassionate grounds, such as for medical treatment not available through Medicare, although such access is being more and more restricted in recent times.
Important claim information is often “hidden” in the fine print, and most people are not aware that their Super Funds contain an insurance policy. This policy can be very handy in the event where you have been injured and have become incapacitated, as you may be able to claim monetary or disability benefits.
Benefits You Can Claim with Super Funds
Apart from the well-known pension benefits, workers with Super Funds are entitled to disability benefits when they are deemed no longer fit to work due to an illness or an accident suffered at work (or on their way to or from work). There are six types of claims you can make:
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)
If your sickness or injuries have sidelined you and prevent you from going to work for six months or more, you may be eligible for a TPD insurance benefit. All TPD insurance claims are different, containing varying policy terms, and they are assessed depending on your personal circumstances. If you are able to make a successful claim, you will receive a lump sum payment, regardless of your wage or salary.
Total and Temporary Disability (TTD)
You can qualify for a TTD claim if you have stopped working due to a medical condition. As part of the benefits it offers, you can receive weekly or monthly payments based on a percentage of your current pay. This percentage can go as high as 75%. Payments, on the other hand, may be continued for up to two years or even up to your retirement age of 65.
Partial and Permanent Disability (PPD)
Often when a person does not qualify for a Total and Permanent Disability Claim, they will be relegated to this lesser disability insurance payment. When a person's injury is assessed by medical experts as not being sufficient to totally and permanently exclude employment under the policy, then it may be considered to meet the criteria of partial disablement which is permanent in nature. You may be entitled to a lump sum payment if you are considered to be PPD. PPD insurance is a separate insurance policy and is not simply a fall back payment if you fail to achieve a TPD payment.
Similar to TTD, this is available for those who can no longer work after falling ill. It offers coverage for about 75% of your pay before you develop your medical condition. Many policies exclude payments whilst an injured worker is on workers' compensation benefits however.
If you have been diagnosed with a defined medical condition or are suffering from a specific ailment, such as cancer, heart problems, stroke, or surgery, you will be entitled to receive a lump sum benefit regardless of whether you can go back to work or not.
If you (being the member of the super fund) meet an untimely death, your spouse or beneficiary may be eligible to receive a lump sum.
Claiming your benefits
It most cases, you won’t be able to get your Super Funds until you reach the retirement age (which is 60 years old for anyone born after June 30, 1964). To ensure that you will be able to get the compensation that you rightfully deserve, it is very important that you make superannuation disability or personal injury claims as soon as possible.
To claim your benefits, you must be able to prove that:
- You have previously worked and your employer has contributed consistently to your superannuation fund
- You have a superannuation fund or have entered into a private contract or insurance for income protection or disability insurance.
- You are under 60 or 65 years old; or
- You are the nominated spouse, dependent or beneficiary of a member who dies.
How can you be sure your Super Funds come with an insurance policy or disability benefits?
If you have been injured or developed a medical condition due to the nature of your work and you want to access your Super Funds, one of the most important things you need to do is make sure that your Super scheme does indeed come with an insurance policy. If you have the details of your Super scheme, you can check this yourself as they are often indicated on one of your Super statements.
Also, if you had Super Funds in the past that you have forgotten about, it certainly helps to check them out. You can visit the website of the Australia Taxation Office for this purpose. It has a very useful online tool that allows you to determine if you have old or lost Super Funds or not.
Let The Personal Injury Lawyers help you!
The process of lodging a claim for superannuation benefits can be a tough nut to crack as they are not like your ordinary compensation claims. To get the best result, it’s highly recommended that you talk to an expert and discuss your options.
The Personal Injury Lawyers provide you with the assistance you need, so you can easily access your Super Funds. By enlisting our services, you can get the right information regarding the requirements and procedure for claiming superannuation, insurance, and disability claims. Contact us today for a free injury claim info pack on how you can access your Super Fund to help with your Personal Injury Claim.