Who can make a claim
Income protection claims are also known as Total and Temporary Disability (TTD) or salary continuance claims. You can make a claim for income protection if you've suffered an injury or illness that is holding you back from earning income from your regular job.
The injury or illness doesn't have to be work related and can include a psychological condition. A heart attack, cancer, mental illness, chronic fatigue, injuries sustained at home, on a sporting field, or in a car accident can all be reasons for your income protection claim.
Income protection can provide you with financial support during this stressful time. We're here to ensure you receive everything you're entitled to.
It’s also important to know that if your injury or illness is likely to prevent you from permanently returning to your normal work duties (rather than just temporarily), you may also be eligible to make a claim for a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) lump sum.
Our experienced income protection lawyers can help you understand which type of claim will give you the best result for your situation.
You may be covered for income protection insurance:
- through your superannuation fund membership
- under a private insurance policy
- through your employer or memberships you hold with unions and other organisations
- through loan insurance including cover attached to your mortgage or credit card.
Always be wary of tricky exclusion and eligibility clauses in the insurance policy's small print that can be used to deny your claim. Our specialist team will help you understand the fine print in your insurance policy and work with you to ensure you get every dollar and benefit that you’re entitled to.
Time limits for making a claim
There are time limits that apply to income protection insurance claims, so it's best to claim as soon as possible. Some exceptions may apply if you make a claim long after you were injured. Seeking expert legal advice as soon as possible following your injury or illness is the best way to ensure your claim is successful.
Compensation and benefits
Generally speaking, income protection covers you for about 75% of the salary you were receiving before you were injured or fell ill. It may also top up your superannuation contributions.
There will likely be a 30 to 90 day waiting period before you can start receiving monthly payments from your income protection cover.
- Terms and conditions
- Duty of disclosure
- 'Disability' defined
Terms and conditions
There are some key terms and conditions that will affect your payout, including:
- Whether you've returned to work on a limited basis with reduced earnings, in which case you may be entitled to a partial benefit or ‘top up’
- Whether you're receiving other income replacement payments such as workers' compensation weekly payments, sick leave or Centrelink
- Whether you've reached retirement age
- Whether your employment has been terminated
- Whether you're eligible to claim or have been paid a TPD insurance benefit.
Following a successful claim, you'll receive income protection payouts until the end of the benefit period. This period depends on your policy terms. Usually two years or to age 65 or until you're able to return to work (whichever is earlier).
Many insurance policies also require that you:
- Cease work ‘solely’ due to your injury or illness which can be a contested fact, especially where the employer formally terminated employment on some other ground such as redundancy or performance
- Be under the care and treatment of a registered medical practitioner.
We're experts at anticipating these issues during the claim process and overturning claim denials.
Duty of disclosure
Under some income protection insurance policies you must tell your insurer about any pre-existing health problems or other relevant information it asks for in your application. You also have to truthfully answer any questions they ask you. Otherwise your insurer might try to avoid paying out your claim - but often with our help we can make sure you receive your full policy entitlements.
It depends on the policy wording but ‘disability’ in income protection usually means you are unfit to do some or all of the duties of your regular job.
Process for making a claim
Contact us as soon as you think you have a claim. We'll work with your super fund/s to determine your eligibility and the size of your claim.
We'll keep you informed throughout the whole process and provide you with expert advice that is easy to understand.
We request all the documentation you need from your super fund or insurer.
We'll help you complete all the documentation and submit your claim.
Your claim is assessed and your insurer makes a decision.
We’re here to help. Get in touch with your local office.
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Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.