Super funds have death payments which are usually made up of contributions in addition to any insurance benefits attached to the policy. Superannuation death benefits are paid to the deceased’s estate, a surviving partner, children or dependants. The super fund trustee decides how the payment is distributed, but some funds have existing and binding nominations. It is also possible for the policy holder themselves to claim, if they have been diagnosed as terminally ill.
Many – but not all - employment super funds include disability benefits. These include total and permanent disability (TPD) lump sum payments and total and temporary disability (TTD) monthly payments.
You’re eligible for a TPD lump sum payment if you can show you’re not able to do your normal job or any other work related to your training and experience. That doesn’t mean you’re unfit for all work – just the work that fits your skills and experience.
For example, a bad back that stops you from working in your normal mechanic job allows you to make a TPD claim, even if your doctor says you’re still fit for office work.
If you’re not able to do your normal job for some time – from a few weeks to two years, you may be entitled to monthly TTD payments.
These payments are usually up to 75% of your normal income, and are payable for two years, or up to the age of 65 after a waiting period of 60-90 days. TTD payments may be offset against any worker’s compensation, motor vehicle or Centrelink payments, and might stop if your employment is terminated or if you receive a TPD lump sum – but that’s not always the case.
Your disability need not be work related – for instance, a car accident injury, mental illness, cancer or a heart attack can all be reasons for your claim.
You can have multiple claims (TPD and TTD or combinations of both) if you have more than one super fund and it usually doesn’t matter if you had the injury or sickness prior to joining the fund.