Chronic illness in the age of a pandemic

7 September 2020
According to research, just under half of all Australians will experience a chronic condition at some point in their lives.

Chronic illnesses are the leading cause of death, disability and illness and account for over a third of all hospitalisations. At Maurice Blackburn, a significant number of our clients have at least one chronic illness, often exacerbated by stress and other psychological symptoms.

Over the past few months during COVID-19, many people with chronic illnesses unrelated to the pandemic are experiencing significant employment issues. Many workers are concerned about being targeted for redundancy or having their employment conditions and hours restricted after they disclosed their medical condition. This problem is likely to grow as the Government’s Jobkeeper wage subsidy comes to an end from March 2021.

The good news is that the disability insurance provided automatically to superannuation fund members may provide financial relief when needed most.

Many people with chronic illness do not realise that they may have Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance available to them. Usually paid as a lump sum of tens or thousands of dollars, TPD benefits is often used to help cover medical treatment costs, manage debts, or to invest for a dignified medical retirement.

Because many Australians are members of multiple super funds, they might be able to claim multiple TPD insurance payouts.

The requirements for accessing TPD insurance varies across super funds, but generally required the member to be unable to return to work within their education, training or experience due to a medical condition.

We’ve successfully helped clients obtain TPD payments for a wide range of chronic conditions, including:

  • Alzheimer’s & dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental health conditions
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s

Because many TPD benefits are only payable if the reason for ceasing is ‘solely’ due disablement, we recommend that your clients who are at risk of or have already ceased active work get legal advice, preferably before their employment ends. We will ensure they get their full insurance and other legal entitlements which can make all the difference to their financial outlook.

At Maurice Blackburn, we will check entitlements for free so that clients understand what their rights are. If your client has a claim, we’ll guide them through the process while they focus on managing their condition. Call us today on 1800 196 050.

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