Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)

What is TPD Insurance?

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance pays out a lump sum of money if you’re permanently disabled. This means that if you have been injured or have an illness that prevents you from returning to either your usual occupation or any occupation (depending on your chosen policy), you get a payout.

You can take out TPD with your Life Insurance policy, or as a standalone product.

You may not be aware that most superannuation funds by default are required to provide TPD insurance cover. Many people have several superannuation funds that may each include TPD Cover which they can claim against.

What is covered under a TPD policy?

TPD cover is generally defined as insurance that pays out a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to work again. This general definition is further 'qualified' by your insurer, who will have their own definition of TPD. The three main definitions are below:

  1. Any occupation

This pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to work in  any occupation to which you are suited by education, training or experience.

  1. Own occupation

This pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to work in your own occupation. Because the terms are quite specific and a payout is more likely, this is the most expensive form of TPD insurance.

  1. Living expenses / Non-working

This ignores your occupation and pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to independently conduct two or more of the five listed Activities of Daily Living (i.e. eating, bathing, dressing etc). Given that you would have to be severely disabled to qualify, this is the hardest form of TPD insurance to claim on.

It is important to check the product disclosure statement (PDS) which includes details of what is covered and what is excluded.

Can I make a TPD claim if I can’t work in my usual job, or any job?

TPD policies will generally insure either ‘any occupation’ or just your ‘own occupation’. What does this mean? Say, for example, you are an electrician who has lost one of your hands.

  1. Own occupation: You could claim against TPD Insurance because the injury prevents you from carrying out the duties of your own occupation of being an electrician.
  2. Any occupation: You, the electrician, may be able to carry out another line of work that doesn’t require both hands. Therefore, you may not be eligible to claim against your TPD Insurance.

Firths are experts in TPD claims and challenge the large insurance companies every day. If you are unsure if you qualify to make TPD claim, contact Firths on 1800 631 888 and our team of experts will provide a you free TPD claim assessment.  

What about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

The NDIS provides any Australian under 65 with reasonable support to live their lives. You must have a permanent disability and be a permanent Australian resident to qualify for the scheme. The NDIS has many benefits, but it may not cover all your expenses and needs. If you have TPD insurance, you are required to claim on your TPD policy when making an application for the NDIS.

Contact Firths if you are considering applying for the NDIS as our team of experts can assist with your application and make claims on any TPD policies that you may hold.

I have more than one TPD policy, can I make multiple claims?

Yes, you can make a claim against each of the TPD policies. Many Australians have multiple superannuation funds that include separate TPD insurance policies. In fact, Firths have had instances where people have been able to make 5 successful TPD claims.

If you are unsure if your superannuation policies include TPD cover, contact Firths and we can find out for you.

I have a workers’ compensation claim; can I also make a TPD claim?

Yes, your TPD claim will not affect your worker’s compensation claim. Workers compensation is a statutory benefit and your TPD insurance is not conditional on you only receiving compensation from one institution. However, any income protection/replacement benefit (distinct from TPD) you receive from your super insurer may be impacted by workers compensation claims.

I have a motor vehicle accident compensation claim; can I also make a TPD claim?

Yes, CTP insurance is a state-based insurance scheme for motor vehicle accident injuries and is not affected by claiming on other insurance policies such as TPD or income protection.

How does TPD differ from Trauma or Income Protection?

TPD pays a lump sum, while Income Protection pays a regular benefit (e.g. monthly) of up to 75% of your income, although some do pay a lump sum benefit. Your Income Protection has a set term, at which point the insurer will cease payments. This term could be anything from two years to a nominated age (e.g. 65), depending on your policy.

Trauma Insurance is different again. It pays for traumatic, critical illnesses and incidents in a lump sum. It is not concerned whether you are left permanently disabled.

How can I ensure a successful TPD claim?

Making a TPD insurance claim can be complex, stressful and time consuming if you do not have expertise in making insurance claims. The insurers usually have in house lawyers working for them when assessing TPD claims, so why wouldn’t you?

Firths have built up an enviable reputation as the leading firm, as recognised by insurers in this area. As a consequence of our leading judgments and expertise, this results in obtaining decisions from the superannuation funds and their insurer in a timely manner to pay out our client claims, or to proceed to a court hearing in appropriate circumstances.

Read our client testimonials and see how we have been able to help our clients successfully fight the large insurers and recover payouts for TPD and superannuation claims.

If we believe you have a TPD claim worth fighting for, we will act on a No Win No Fee basis, which means we make no charge until the end of your case and then only from the result, but we also make it a priority to recover as much of your legal costs as possible from the insurance company if litigation is required. This maximises the amount of compensation you receive.

Call the Firths The TPD & Superannuation experts on 1800 631 888 and receive the best legal advice and representation to provide you the best chance of winning your TPD claim.

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Where do I start?

At Firths, we understand that your situation can be overwhelming and we want to help you however we can. Choose from the options below to help you get started or call us today for a free consultation at 1800 631 888.