Total and Permanent Disability claims

Unable to do your regular work because of injury or illness? We can help you claim TPD through your super fund or insurance policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is TPD or “Total and Permanent Disablement”?

TPD is an insurance benefit attached to your super fund, which you are able to claim if you have an illness or injury that permanently affects your ability to do your job.  Most likely you have been paying for this insurance without being aware of it.

The specific terms of your TPD benefit will be set out in a contract between you and the insurance company. You may have never even seen or signed this contract, but it exists as part of your superannuation policy. Our lawyers can help you clarify what your TPD policy sets out and give you free advice on how to proceed.

Am I eligible for TPD?

If you have an illness or injury which permanently affects your ability to do your job you may be entitled to TPD. However, your eligibility will depend on the terms of your particular insurance policy.

Some policies define TPD as the inability to do all work, while others allow you to claim TPD even if you can still do some work. This distinction might not seem like much, but this difference alone can easily defeat your claim unless handled by an expert in TPD law.

I can still do some work, can I still make a TPD claim?

You don’t necessarily have to be in a wheelchair or bedridden to make a TPD claim. Depending on your policy, you may only need to prove that you can’t to do your regular job, or any other job you’re qualified for. So, if you’ve spent your life working in construction, you may still have a TPD claim even if doctors say you’re well enough to work in an office.

I wasn’t injured at work, can I still claim TPD?

It does not matter where your injury or illness happened or began. You still have a TPD claim even if you were injured outside of work. If it did happen at work, we will also advise you of your workers compensation and other benefits you are eligible for.

No-one was at fault, can I still claim TPD?

Yes. You don’t have to prove that someone else was at fault to make a successful TPD claim. It really doesn’t matter how your illness or injury came about.

What sort of injuries and illnesses are considered “total and permanent disability”?

Anything that stops or limits you from doing your normal work permanently is included.  Common conditions we see frequently include:

  • Back injuries
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Cancer
  • Auto-immune conditions
  • Heart conditions
  • Psychological conditions, including anxiety, depression & mood disorders .

This is not a complete list, so if you’re not sure contact us and one of our TPD lawyers can advise you.

How long will my claim take?

This depends on your insurance company and the legal complexities of your claim. If your claim is not prepared properly in the first instance, the insurer will often use delaying tactics which means some claims can drag on for years.

Over the years, we have developed procedures to fast-track our clients’ claims. The result is that most of our claims take between 3 to 6 months from the lodgement date to completion, with some claims approved in less than a month.

How much will Monaco Solicitors charge for managing my TPD claim?

We offer a No Win, No Fee guarantee, which means it costs you nothing if your claim is not successful.

We offer a fixed fee for our work, so you know exactly how much it will cost from the start. We will always let you know our fixed legal costs upfront before we begin work on your claim and there will be no hidden or unexpected costs.

Our professional costs vary depending on the complexity of your claim. However, they will never be disproportionate to the amount of your benefit.

Why do I need a lawyer for a TPD claim?

TPD claims are like an obstacle course – if you don’t know the course, it’s very difficult to make it to the finish line. Bear in mind, the insurance company has experienced lawyers on the job, and you are coming fresh to this area of law.

Here are some of the examples of where legal representation can make a difference:

  • Delay: if you are unrepresented, in our experience insurers take significantly longer to finalise your claim. Many of our clients come to us having waited years for the insurer to approve their claim.
  • Medical Evidence: an expert lawyer will assess the particular requirements of your case and gather the specific medical evidence that clearly substantiates your claim.
  • Analysis of your TPD Policy: like any contract, your TPD policy is open to interpretation. For example, there is more than one definition of what it is to be “permanently disabled” for work. Some definitions are more restrictive, whilst others are less so. A TPD specialist will be able to tease out the finer legal detail to prepare a case that fits within the definition of your policy.
  • Legal Hurdles: the law around TPD is becoming increasingly complex, making it more for difficult for unrepresented individuals to be successful. Some recent court decisions are set out in the question below.

What are some recent court decisions relevant to my TPD claim?

Below are some recent court cases which highlight how difficult it has become for people to prepare TPD claims without legal representation.

  • Sargeant v FSS Trustee Corporation and Metlife Insurance Ltd v Hellessey: the court ruled that an insurance company does not have to accept your doctor’s opinions about your medical condition. Your insurer has the right to challenge your medical reports and obtain their own medical evidence that favours them.
  • Newling v FSS Trustee Corporation and TAL Life Limited v Shuetrim: the court decided that it’s up to you to prove your disablement and raised the bar for what is required. It is no longer enough to simply provide existing medical records: you need to submit detailed and persuasive medical evidence to prove disablement.
  • Newling v FSS Trustee Corporation: The court decided that you can only challenge an unfavourable decision if you prove that the insurer acted unreasonably. This means it’s so important to get it right the first time.
  • Carrol v United Super Pty Ltd and Board of Trustees v Gomez: Your insurance company can decline your claim if they show you could retrain for a new job - even if this job is completely unrelated to your previous occupation. If we think there is a risk of the insurer declining your claim on this basis, we get in ahead by getting specific medical evidence to address this issue.

Can Monaco still help me if my TPD claim has already been rejected by my insurer?

We will provide a free second opinion on how to dispute the decision. We have a solid track record of successfully challenging and overturning unfair determinations made by super funds and insurance companies.

Strict time limits may apply to disputing TPD decisions, so talk to our lawyers as soon as possible. It’s never too late to find out where you stand.

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98% Success Rate

We achieve successful outcomes for most of our cases. This doesn’t just happen. It’s hard, diligent work that gets these results. We leave nothing to chance in preparing your claim, so you get the result you deserve.

Why choose our team of TPD Lawyers?

On the surface, the process of lodging a TPD claim appears straight forward. You don’t need a lawyer for a home insurance or a car accident claim, so why would you need one for TPD?

However, unlike other forms of insurance, TPD involves complex legal and medical questions. Specifically, what does it mean to be “totally and permanently disabled” and what evidence will I need to prove it?

The insurance companies understand how complicated TPD is, so they employ teams of lawyers and their own doctors to dispute TPD claims. Without a lawyer yourself, you’re at a significant disadvantage.

Our team of expert TPD lawyers has the experience to steer your TPD claim through the minefield of medical and legal issues. Many of our team have worked for insurance companies, so they have inside knowledge of the tactics that might be used to decline claims like yours.

With $62 million in successful payouts in 2020 alone, when you put our experience in your corner, your chances of success are that much greater.

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Award-Winning Lawyers

We have been recognised as leaders in TPD law. In 2020, we were awarded “Compensation Law Firm of the Year in Australia” by Global Law Experts and “Superannuation Law Firm of the Year” in the GBM Awards.

TPD Law Specialists

We have an expert team that deals exclusively with TPD, headed by Law Society Accredited Specialists. No matter how complex your claim, we have the expertise to handle it successfully.

We Consider All Your Legal Entitlements

You may have valuable untapped benefits both inside and outside your superannuation policy. Our point of difference is that we investigate all your legal options, which often leads to additional benefits being recovered you might not have been aware of.

Our Unique Perspective

Many of our lawyers worked for insurers before joining us, so we have inside knowledge on how to tackle the strategies insurance companies will use to delay or decline your claim.

Fast-Tracked TPD Claims

Claims prepared without legal representation and expertise can result in significant delays. Our approach is to put in the hard work before your claim is lodged, which means most of our clients’ claims are approved within 3 to 6 months of the date they’re lodged.

27 Offices Australia Wide

With offices across Australia, we can help you wherever you are. If you are too sick to travel, we can organise video conferencing or come to you in person. If you need an interpreter, we can organise this as well.

What to expect during your TPD Claim Process

You might feel daunted by the idea of making a TPD claim. But don’t worry, you’ll have your own lawyer to guide and support you through the process from start to finish. We’ll handle everything, so you can focus on your recovery.

  1. Get in touch Get the ball rolling by telling one of our lawyers what happened. It’s most likely this lawyer will be your main point of contact and see your claim through to its successful completion.
  2. We investigate your claim Your lawyer will identify and obtain all the relevant documents so we can advise you about your case. This is all obligation free.
  3. We explain your entitlements to you You will then get free advice about what you’re entitled to and the best way to proceed. Your lawyer will also let you know if you have other possible claims, in addition to TPD.
  4. We gather evidence and prepare to submit your claim We collect the required evidence from third parties to support your claim. This will include doctors, medical specialists, the ATO, WorkCover and Centrelink and any other relevant source. We then fine tune your case by preparing detailed legal submissions, completing your claim forms and sending these to your super fund.
  5. Your TPD claim is successful You tell us how you want to receive your benefit and we make sure that you get the money as soon as possible.

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