TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY LAWYERS

If you’ve sustained a physical or psychological injury or illness you may be entitled to a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) pay out from your superannuation fund. TPD insurance coverage provides you with a lump sum in circumstances where it can be established that you are unable to engage in your usual employment or similar occupation based on your education, training or experience. Advantage Legal are expert TPD lawyers who will spend time with you to understand your personal circumstances, review your policy documentation and resolve your claim in the quickest time possible. We’ll make sure we keep you informed at all times, answer all of your questions and be available when you need us. At Advantage Legal, we believe that compensation should be all about you.

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Understanding TPD claims

Unlike other forms of personal injury insurance, your entitlement to TPD compensation depends on the terms of your policy document. Usually, TPD insurance is provided by your superannuation fund, although it is possible to purchase standalone TPD policy from an insurance company as well. TPD policies have pre-determined maximum financial benefits which are payable in the event that a claim is made.

Although all TPD policies are different, common requirements do exist in the claim process. These include:

  • You must be a member of a superannuation fund with a valid TPD policy or hold a current standalone TPD policy.
  • You must not have reached the retirement age specified in the policy at the time your injury or illness which prevents you from working. Typically this is 65 years of age.
  • You must have sustained either a physical or psychological injury or illness.
  • Your injury or illness must prevent you from working in your usual employment or employment of a similar nature based on your education, training and experience.
If you’d like to know more about whether you qualify for a TPD payout based on your personal circumstances, get in touch with our senior TPD team for a free initial consultation..

Frequently Asked Questions

The complexity and uncertainty associated with pursuing a TPD claim can be stressful which is why you should pursue your claim with a law firm who appreciates what you’re going through and who has the experience to answer all of your questions. To assist you understand more about the TPD process, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions that we receive from injured people at initial consultations. As all TPD policies are unique, this information should be considered general in nature rather than legal advice. This information does not take into consideration your personal circumstances or the TPD policy wording which will determine your actual TPD entitlement.

Anyone who has a valid TPD policy and fulfils the policy criteria is entitled to bring a TPD claim. Your eligibility to claim will depend on factors such as:

  • If your TPD policy is tied to your superannuation fund, the fund may require a minimum superannuation balance in order to make a claim.
  • Your age at the date of incapacity. Typically TPD policies cease coverage at age 65, however a claim may still be permitted to be lodged after retirement age in many circumstances.
  • Whether you have sustained a physical or psychological injury or illness that prevents you from working in your usual employment or employment of a similar nature based on your education, training and experience.

To find out more about your TPD entitlements, get in touch with our senior team for a free initial consultation .

The benefit that you can claim under your TPD policy will be outlined in the policy or policy schedule. Your superannuation company can provide you with a physical copy of your TPD policy and schedule or made it available to you through their website or client portal.

If you are unable to obtain a copy of your policy online, our team will inform you of the process to obtain it from your superannuation fund or insurer. Upon receipt of the policy documentation, our expert TPD lawyers will advise you on your benefit and whether you are eligible to claim.

All superannuation funds and TPD insurers have slightly different processes for making TPD claims. There are however commonalities in the process which apply:

  • You’ll need to obtain a copy of your policy documentation and claim form from your insurer. If you are having difficulty obtain the documents, you can give us a written authority to obtain them on your behalf.
  • We’ll review your policy documentation and advise you on your eligibility to claim.
  • We’ll assist you to prepare your claim documentation and request all medical evidence necessary to ensure that your claim is accepted.
  • You may be required to attend one or more medical examinations for the purposes of determining the extent of your injury or illness.
  • The insurer will issue a decision regarding your entitlement to claim. If successful, you will be paid a lump sum benefit.
Typically a TPD claim will take between 6 - 9 months to resolve. Factors which can increase the claim duration include:

  • The internal processes of the fund or insurer.
  • The experience of the staff member dealing with your claim.
  • Any legal complexities associated with your injury, illness or capacity for employment.
  • Whether any delays like the global pandemic have disrupted a fund or insurer’s operations.
  • If your claim is denied and reviews or litigation are required.
Our expert team will ensure that you are kept up to date throughout the entire claim process and will do everything possible to efficiently resolve your claim.

In most cases, there is no time limit associated with lodging a TPD claim. However, as every TPD policy is different it is important to consider the terms of your policy to ensure that any policy specific time limits are complied with.

If you have more than one superannuation fund it is likely that you have more than one TPD policy. Generally speaking it is possible to lodge more than one TPD claim and receive more than one TPD payout if you meet the policy conditions applicable to both.

Personal injury lawyers are permitted to charge in any manner not prohibited by legislation or regulation to assist you with your TPD claim. Typically law firms will charge hourly rates, staged fees or fixed fees and will offer to represent you on a no-win, no-fee basis. At your initial consultation or after a law firm has reviewed your TPD policy documentation, you will be provided with a document called a ‘cost agreement and disclosure’ which will outline how a law firm proposes to charge. The cost agreement and disclosure will also contain an estimate of the lawyer’s professional costs and disbursements in circumstances where a fixed fee has not been specifically agreed.

At Advantage Legal, our clients enjoy the benefits of our no-win, no-fee promise. This means that if we take on your case, you’ll only need to pay our professional fees and disbursements on the successful conclusion of your TPD claim. For more information ‘on ‘no-win, no-fee’ please see our FAQ What does No-Win, No-Fee mean?

Before signing a law firm’s cost agreement and disclosure document, injured people wanting to make a TPD claim should check:

  • Does the law firm offer you a no-win, no-fee agreement ; and
  • The coverage provided in the no-win, no-fee agreement.

There is no industry standard definition of no-win, no-fee in NSW. Generally speaking, no-win, no-fee means that a law firm will represent you on your TPD claim and only request payment of professional fees when the claim is successful. If for some reason your claim was unsuccessful, a no-win, no-fee agreement would minimise the amount of costs you have to pay.

At Advantage Legal, our no-win, no-fee promise means that we’ll pursue your TPD claim and only request payment of our professional fees and disbursements when we win your claim. Many law firms do not include disbursements in their no-win, no-fee agreement. At Advantage Legal, we include disbursements because we’re confident that our TPD experts will succeed with your claim and have your benefit paid out.

For too long, we have seen injured people treated poorly in NSW by large law firms and insurance companies. At Advantage Legal, we believe that compensation is personal and requires a tailored approach. Our clients trust us to know them personally, be available when they need us and to get the best possible rehabilitation and compensation outcomes for them. We take this trust seriously.

Leigh Davidson 
Principal Solicitor​

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