As a member of the workforce you have superannuation that is funded by contributions from your employer. What you may not realise is that you may be able to access a range of benefits that form part of your superannuation fund membership if you are injured or ill.
Generally, most people have insurance cover attached to their superannuation fund. You may be eligible to claim in the event that you suffer injury or illness and are unable to work.
Insurance lump sums can range from a few thousand to $1m depending on the policy. These insurance claims can be complex. Our dedicated insurance team can assist you in making a claim to access a range of benefits available through your superannuation fund.
Between May 2017 and May 2018 we obtained over $129m in insurance payouts from superannuation funds and insurers for our clients.
There may be a range of different claims available to you
Depending on your situation, there may be a number of different claims available in most superannuation policies, including:
Waiting periods apply before a claim can be lodged with your super fund. For an Income Protection claim, the waiting period can vary between 14 and 90 days and for a TPD claim, either 3 or 6 months from the date of your disability.
Find out if you're eligible
You might have a superannuation claim if:
- You were working and your employer was paying compulsory superannuation and you suffer an injury or illness that has prevented you from working for 3 consecutive months
- You have entered into a private contract of insurance for income protection or disability insurance
It does not matter how your injury or illness came about
Many people on workers compensation, motor vehicle injury compensation, Comcare or the Centrelink Disability Support Pension can claim as well as people who suffer an unexpected illness that prevents them from working.
If you've been injured and are unable to work, you may be entitled to the following benefits under your superannuation:
A monthly income payment
A lump sum payment from one or more super funds
Payment of a terminal illness lump sum
Your benefit does not come out of your hard-earned super
If you receive a benefit for an injury or illness as part of your superannuation, the money you receive does not come directly out of the funds you've worked hard to earn for your retirement. The benefit comes from a separate insurance policy that is attached to your superannuation fund - meaning you don't need to worry about your nest-egg.
We can help you understand your policy
Each insurance policy definition differs slightly. Typically, you need to prove you've been off work for a period of 3 or 6 consecutive months due to an injury or illness and are permanently unfit for your usual employment, or any other employment for which you are reasonably suited based on your education, training and experience.
A recent member statement from your superannuation fund will likely tell you what current Income Protection or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance cover you possess. If you have a private policy, a policy schedule document will confirm your cover.
TPD claims will need to be assessed on your personal circumstances in order to establish how much you can claim.
We can advise you on the specific definition criteria that you need to satisfy.
Free online Superannuation Benefits Assessment
Slater and Gordon has developed an easy to use, obligation free, superannuation benefits assessment which can assist you in determining whether you may have an entitlement to a superannuation disability insurance benefit. This tool will ask you a brief series of questions about your circumstances to determine whether you may be entitled to a potential Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance benefit.
What to do if your claim is rejected
Our experienced and caring lawyers can review and assist you in challenging the fund or insurers decision by requesting an internal review or if necessary, by taking court action on your behalf. Strict time limits may apply to disputing IP and TPD decisions so you should contact us for advice as soon as possible.
We'll take care of your legal needs, so you can take care of yourself
Your first appointment with us is obligation and cost free. During your first appointment our skilful law clerks and lawyers will be able to give you a comprehensive analysis of your circumstances and determine your eligibility to proceed in a claim. We'll ease your apprehension and give you peace of mind, providing clear expectations and recommendations around your options.
Funds and insurers are making it increasingly difficult for their members to access insurance benefits that they're entitled to at law. A lack of awareness in the area can lead to substantial delays and unnecessary information being acquired from the fund. Having our experts represent you will mean that you'll have a team who will go above and beyond to try and hold these insurers accountable.
We will guide you at every step
Right from your initial contact with our office, to the conclusion of your claim, you'll be provided with straightforward advice and be expertly navigated throughout the duration of your claim. Having a clear understanding of the process will give you the assurance that we will aim to offer you the support you need in what is a very difficult period in your life.
We take pride in fighting hard to get your benefit
We have an experienced and dedicated team who are committed to assisting you in the process of obtaining insurance entitlements from your superannuation fund. We understand the significant financial difficulties and stress that our clients are under and are exhaustive in our efforts to help you get the insurance payout that you're entitled to at law.
Our team is one of the largest in the country
We have a team of over 40 lawyers and law clerks who are available to meet with you across a number of our offices nationwide. Having such a large team at your disposal will give you the confidence that our wealth of knowledge will be utilised in handling the complexities of your claim.
Free Social Work Services
We understand that obtaining the correct legal entitlements is only one of the many issues people have to face on their journey through life-changing incidents. As a caring and community-minded firm, we've long recognised the value of providing free social work services to address these issues to help improve clients’ wellbeing. In fact, we were the first, and are still the only law firm in Australia to offer this service. We're here to help you and your family get back on track in times of difficulty.
We offer a No Win - No Fee* arrangement. Basically what this means is legal costs are only payable if we obtain a successful outcome for you. We do not charge on a percentage basis and will only charge for the work performed on your claim.
If we do not obtain a positive result for you, then you will not be charged any legal costs.
Our simple legal cost agreement has been designed to provide you with an estimate of our legal costs, which will be communicated to you up-front at your initial appointment. This will enable you to have a realistic idea of the likely costs at the outset, before you make any decisions.
From time to time, you may incur additional costs throughout your case. For example, we may need to gain access to your medical records or obtain expert reports. These are called disbursements. You can choose to pay these costs yourself as they occur, or we can cover these in some circumstances. Generally, disbursements are minimal on superannuation insurance cases and can range from $100-$500. Other options are available to assist you with these costs as well.
What to expect
Every case is different. Generally it takes approximately 6-18 months for a decision on a Total and Permanent Disability claim to be reached, but this can vary. A claim for Income Protection benefits can take between 6 weeks to 3 months. No matter the length of your case, there are a number of steps you're likely to go through during the life of your case. Our knowledgable and caring team will guide you every step of the way.
Get in touch
We'll listen to your story and gather details from you so we can begin investigating your policy.
We'll investigate your policy
We'll send you our initial pack which will request details of all your super fund memberships so we can investigate your entitlements.
Attend your free initial appointment** to understand your entitlements
You'll talk to one of our law clerks or lawyers about your entitlements. We'll also gather detailed advice from you about your injury or illness. At this stage we'll also explain the entire process, as well as our cost agreement.
We'll obtain evidence
Once you have signed our cost agreement and are happy for us to act for you, we'll begin obtaining evidence from third parties such as Income Tax Returns, WorkCover/TAC claim files or Centrelink claim files.
You'll need to visit your doctor
We will then provide you with a specific Medical Attendant Questionnaire for your treating practitioner to complete.
We'll submit your claim
When all supporting evidence has been obtained from third parties, we will commence drafting detailed legal submissions to the fund and insurer in support of your claim. We'll also complete all claim forms on your behalf and will send these to you for signing.
You might need to attend an independent medical examination
This isn't always mandatory.
Your case will be resolved
If we obtain a successful outcome on your claim, we'll have the funds made available to you as soon as possible.
In the event that your claim is declined, your claim will be reviewed by a lawyer and we'll talk to you about further action you can take.
Meet the team
When you work with us, you'll be allocated a professional team consisting of a law clerk and their legal assistant who will act on your behalf throughout the course of your claim under their supervising lawyer. Our experienced team will introduce themselves to you and work closely with you to achieve a positive outcome. Together, our wealth of knowledge will be put to use in fighting for the best outcome possible.