Employment Law

Can an injured person claim through their super fund?

Tindall Gask Bentley Personal Injury Lawyer Tim White says people who are seriously injured may be able to claim significant payments through their superannuation fund.

Adelaide injury lawyer Tim White says people who are seriously injured may be able to claim significant payments through their superannuation fund.

It’s important for injured people to be aware that their superannuation fund could provide monetary benefits, because this avenue is often overlooked.

Under superannuation insurance policies, a person might have cover for income protection and also Total and Permanent Disability (TPD).

To claim income protection, the injuries must be serious enough to have kept the individual away from work for a prolonged period of time. Typically, a policy will cover a person for up to two years of lost wages.

For a TPD claim, the injured person must be assessed as unlikely to ever be able to return to work.

Some people do not even realise that they have this insurance cover, and it can certainly be valuable to those who are unable to work but still must provide for their family, while also trying to fund medical expenses and rehabilitation.

Individuals should check their superannuation policy and see whether income protection and/or TPD insurance has been taken out in their superannuation fund. Finding out this information is not always straight forward, which is why it is important to contact a lawyer, who will also tell you if you have a claim.

The lawyer will review the policy definition and see if your circumstances fit the required criteria, and importantly are supported by the medical evidence.

Income protection payments are usually about 75 – 80 percent of a person’s average income, and mostly stop after two years. TPD payouts vary, depending on your insurance cover, but are usually considerable payments.

Superannuation disputes:

If there is a dispute with the superannuation fund, this can be resolved through the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. If you go down this path, you should certainly seek legal assistance. There is no cost to have your matter heard at the Tribunal, and it’s normally a quick process.

The Tribunal’s decision is binding on the superannuation fund but not on the individual, so if it is a good result for the injured person the super fund has no avenue for appeal. On the other hand, the injured person can contest the Tribunal’s decision if it is not favorable to them.

Does a superannuation fund payout impact other compensation options, such as Workers Compensation?

Importantly, an income protection and TPD claim does not usually reduce other compensation claims that a person may be entitled to. Accordingly, payments made under superannuation funds are usually in addition to any workers compensation or motor vehicle accident claim payments.

You can also claim under these policies even if you were at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, or if your injury did not arise from an accident.

For further information or a free initial interview contact your nearest TGB office.