TPD Insurance and Your Superannuation – Your Safety Net

TPD Insurance and Your Superannuation – Your Safety Net


We all like to hope for the best, however sometimes it pays to plan for the worst. Even though you may be in the prime of your life, the unfortunate reality is that you could be just one illness or injury away from not being able to work again.


The good news is that you may be more protected than you think, thanks to your superannuation.  The bad news is, there are usually stringent conditions attached to you being able to make a TPD claim based on whatever insurances you hold within your super.


So, what do you need to know before you make a TPD claim?


Give me the basics

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. The key insurance to learn about if you have an accident is Total and Permanent Disability insurance or TPD.

TPD might sound scary, but it’s really important. The way TPD works is that, generally, you’ll be paid a lump sum benefit in the event of an illness or injury that prevents you from working permanently. Of course, like any insurance, there are certain terms and conditions that need to be met.


TPD insurance is usually included as a benefit of your superannuation policy. Super funds will usually charge a monthly premium from your super balance to pay for the insurance (when was the last time you checked that, by the way?).


Do your own research

While you may have TPD insurance as part of your superannuation, it never hurts to check and make sure. That’s because if you’re going to make a TPD claim, there’s usually some pretty strict eligibility criteria you’ll have to meet before you can receive your lump sum benefit.


One such eligibility criteria is that, to make a TPD claim, you need to have had TPD insurance at the time you were totally or permanently injured. For example, if you’re employed in a job that requires you to do a lot of walking and you have a car accident that inhibits your ability to walk, you can’t call your super fund and suddenly take out TPD insurance in the hope you’ll receive a payout. It needs to have already been effective.


Additionally, you can’t just cancel your TPD as soon as you become ill or injured, you will likely need to retain your TPD insurance cover for the duration of your claim.


Gather supporting evidence

While you may have done some excellent due diligence, it’s highly likely your super fund will do some of their own, should you submit a claim. This usually means you’ll need to submit evidence along with any claim you make, and the evidence sought by the super fund will differ depending on the provider.


What is often required, is that you provide copies of your medical and employment records as well as reports from your treating medical specialists. Income documents will also be required. You may even need an independent medical specialist to assess your situation.


Additionally, most super funds will have a nominated waiting period during which you have been unable to work. Sometimes this can constitute having been unable to work for at least 3-6 months.  Importantly, this period often commences as soon as you are unable to work and can include the period where you are seeking medical assistance and diagnosis.  So, make sure you remember to record when your accident took place.


Lastly, your disability can’t be a pre-existing condition from when you took out your policy. For example, if you have a permanent hand injury that inhibits your ability to carry heavy objects, and you are then in an accident where you hurt your hand, it’s highly unlikely such an injury would be eligible for a TPD benefit.


Some general advice

  • Check the fine print. When signing up to a superannuation fund, always read what you are signing. In fact, it’d be good to call your super fund and ask them to send your insurance terms and conditions so you can see the real story.
  • Injuries don’t have to be physical. You may have undergone workplace bullying or suffered a traumatic life event. These can have significant impacts on your mental wellbeing and limit your ability to go back to work, which could make you eligible for a TPD benefit.
  • Don’t put your life on hold. Even though you may be unable to return to your previous job, this doesn’t need to stop you from retraining for another job. If you begin work in a new career doing a new task, it may not impact your current TPD claim. So don’t say no to new opportunities because you’re worried about your benefit.
  • Seek legal advice. Super claims can be tricky, and each fund can have very different terms and conditions. Engaging an expert to help you through your claim can not only give you peace of mind, but may also increase the chances of your claim being successful.


If you have sustained a permanent injury or are suffering from a permanent illness, you may be eligible to claim TPD through your superannuation fund. Claimify may be able to assist you. Get started online today and we’ll conduct a free claim check, no strings attached.

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