What You Need to Know about TPD Claims


Know about TPD Claims

Many of our clients at Bourke Legal visit us to seek advice about a workers’ compensation claim. However, they don’t realize they may also be entitled to other monetary compensation, such as a Total and Permanent Disability claim. In this video, Associate Melissa Arndell explores this claim and its possible entitlements.


Hi, my name’s Melissa Arndell, and I’m an associate at Bourke Legal. Many of our clients come to see us to seek some advice about a workers’ compensation claim. However, they don’t realise that they may also be entitled to some other monetary compensation through a total and permanent disability or TPD claim.

In this video, I’ll explain how Bourke Legal can assist you in lodging your TPD claim. So what is a TPD claim? Most people have some TPD insurance in their superannuation fund, often without even knowing it, you may have been paying these premiums for years.

This TPD insurance entitles you to potentially tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re unable to return to work because of an injury. The next question most people ask me is whether they are eligible to make a TPD claim. The lawyer’s answer is it depends.

It depends on things like the superannuation fund that you’re a part of, the TPD policy itself, and it’s itself and its definitions, whether you’ve been paying premiums, and also what kind of injury you have had, and whether you’re unable to work because of that injury.

All superannuation funds and TPD policies are different. Sometimes waiting periods will apply, these could be around six months. But again, it really depends on the policy and fund that you are with. There are generally two different types of TPD policies.

The first and probably most common is own occupation. This, for example, means that if there is a builder who injures his back on the job and is unable to return to work as a builder the occupation that he was undertaking prior to his injury, he would be eligible to make an own occupation TPD claim.

The other type of TPD policy is an any occupation policy. This is more broad and means to meet the definition, you must be unable to return to work in any occupation whatsoever. An example of this might be a police officer who has severe PTSD because of everything that he or she has seen on the job.

This police officer may be unable to return to work in any capacity and therefore will meet that any occupation definition. Once you know you meet the TPD definition and it’s clear that you’ll be unable to return to work at the time of lodging your claim, you can commence the TPD claims process.

This process can be quite time-consuming and tricky. There are normally a lot of documents that you need to fill in, your Superannuation Fund may request your medical records, they may request information from your employer.

Lately, some of our clients have been asked quite difficult questions from the superannuation funds. Depending on how you answer those questions could actually be the difference on whether or not your TPD claim is approved.

This is one of a number of reasons why we recommend you obtain some legal advice in relation to your TPD claim. A TPD claim is all or nothing, meaning you receive the entirety of your TPD benefit or you receive no money at all. It’s potentially a life-changing amount of money.

It could be enough to pay for some renovations, pay off your mortgage, pay for your children’s education. Because of this, we want to ensure that you get it right, you only get one chance. One final thing to note, a TPD claim is a point in time assessment.

If your claim is approved, it has no bearing on your capacity to work in the future. As long as you are honest at the time of your assessment and your TPD claim is based on correct and accurate medical evidence, you will not have to pay any money back to the Superannuation Fund if you do decide or are able to work in the future.

We’re already helping you with your workers’ compensation claim. Let us help you with your TPD claim too.