What is the difference between ‘any occupation’ and ‘own occupation’ TPD definitions?

Quick answer

There are two main types of Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) policies: ‘any occupation’ and ‘own occupation’. The primary difference is how they actually define TPD.

An ‘any occupation’ usually requires you to be permanently unable to work before you can make a TPD claim. This means your injury or illness is so severe that doctor’s think you’re unlikely to ever recover.

With an ‘own occupation’ policy, you may only need to prove that your injury keeps you from doing your old job or a similar one in your field. As a result, it may be possible to claim TPD and then retrain for a completely new job. Exactly what you’re entitled to will vary depending on the terms of your policy.

Below, we explain the different policies in more detail, including how to find out what kind of policy you have and its effect on your TPD claim.

In depth answer

If injury or illness has left you permanently unable to work, you need help — fast. That’s where TPD insurance comes in. A TPD benefit can provide lump sum compensation to help alleviate the financial pressure that comes with not working. Unfortunately, securing a TPD benefit is not as simple as having your policy and making a claim. You must meet all your policy requirements, including its definition of TPD. 

‘Any occupation’ vs. ‘Own occupation’ TPD definitions

‘Any occupation’

Under an ‘any occupation’ policy, you can usually only claim a TPD benefit if you’re unlikely to ever work again. To make a successful claim, you must provide strong evidence of your ongoing inability to work. This can include:

  • Permanent care requirements.
  • Inability to travel.
  • Continuous mobility issues.
  • Living too far away from suitable work.

‘Any occupation’ policies are notoriously strict, and without sufficient evidence your claim may be denied. If your super fund or insurer has already rejected your claim, our complete guide to rejected TPD claims has all the information you need to appeal the decision. Alternatively, call us today for free advice on your TPD claim.

‘Own occupation’

An ‘own occupation’ policy means you may be eligible for a TPD payout if you can no longer do:

  • Your pre-injury job.
  • Any job within your education, training and experience.

With this type of policy, it may be possible for you to make a successful TPD claim and then retrain for a job outside your education, training and experience.

Say, for example, you’re a lifelong labourer who has injured their back. Doctors say you cannot return to labouring, but you’re still able to work in an office. If you have an ‘own occupation’ policy, you may be entitled to claim TPD and then retrain for an office job, or any job that is not within your education, training and experience.

What is my policy’s definition of TPD?

Take a look at your policy to find its definition of TPD. Each policy defines TPD slightly differently, so it’s important to know the exact definition that applies to your claim.

If you’re not sure about your policy type (or need some help figuring it out), our TPD lawyers are here to assist. In a free consultation, we’ll investigate your policy, it’s definition of TPD, and outline all your legal options.

Can I have more than one TPD policy?

Yes, it’s possible to have multiple TPD policies if you hold cover with more than one super fund or insurer.

In fact, you may not even realise you have multiple TPD policies. This most commonly happens if you’ve changed jobs over the years and haven’t ‘consolidated’ your super into one account.

If you do have multiple policies, you may be able to claim with each fund or insurer for the same illness or injury. However, it’s important to remember that every policy has its own conditions and definitions. Success with one claim does not automatically mean you’ll be successful with other claims.

If you have more than one TPD policy, speak to a specialised lawyer before starting your claims. Managing multiple claims can be challenging, and without the right legal advice you might not get the payouts you deserve.

Can I return to work after receiving a TPD payout?

Generally speaking, you cannot return to work after receiving a TPD payout. However, some policies may allow you to resume work in special circumstances. This can include:

  • Your condition unexpectedly improving.
  • Finding a job outside your education, training and experience (most commonly found in an ‘own occupation’ policy).

It’s absolutely vital that you do not return to work unless your policy allows you to. Resuming work without a valid reason can put your TPD benefit at risk. To find out more, check out our comprehensive guide on returning to work after a TPD claim.

How we can help you

To make a successful TPD claim, it’s essential to understand how your policy defines TPD. This involves more than just reading the policy: you’ll need to interpret its terms and meet all your super fund or insurer’s requirements. It’s a complex process, but we’re here to make it simple for you.

Our TPD lawyers have the experience to fully investigate your policy and ensure you fit within its definition of TPD. We’ll also compile strong evidence supporting your claim, handle all negotiations, and challenge any evidence from your fund or insurer.

Plus, with our No Win No Fee guarantee, your claim is completely risk-free. We cover all upfront costs, like doctor’s visits and expert reports, and there’s nothing to pay until we win your case. If we’re unsuccessful, you will never get a bill from us.

Speak to us today for free, comprehensive advice on your TPD claim. Find out what type of policy you have and how to secure your full benefit as quickly as possible.

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