Depression and TPD claims

In recent years, it has been heartening to see improvements in the way society and key institutions respond to, treat and support people with mental illnesses. ‘Stigma’ around mental health is being progressively broken down. However, people with mental illnesses know better than anyone that there is still work to do. Depression is a case in point. Depression is a mental illness which is widespread in Australia and around the world. The impact of depression is different for each person. Some people are affected temporarily and some in the long term. Sadly, we know that some are unable to continue to work as a result of this condition. If you have been diagnosed with depression and can no longer work due to the illness, you may be entitled to insurance held in your superannuation. This could include TPD and income protection benefits.

 

Read: “I have a mental illness and cannot work. Can I make a TPD claim?

 

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14. More information is available at www.beyondblue.org.au and www.lifeline.org.au.

 

What do we know about depression?

Thanks to advances in mental health, and people opening up about their mental health experiences, we know more and more about depression, how it manifests, and the ways it impacts those who suffer with it. People who suffer from depression describe symptoms including, among other things:

· a lack of motivation

· lethargy

· intrusive and overwhelming thoughts

· self-doubt

· feelings of guilt

· irritability

· frustration

 

Treatment options vary, and may range from setting up a mental health plan with your GP, to counselling with a psychologist, to regular therapies with a psychiatrist.

I can no longer work due to my depression. What do I do?

We know that people who suffer from depression often try to ‘push through’ and continue working because of financial necessity, despite the severe impacts on their health. However, they often realise, in consultation with their treating doctor or healthcare professional, that they need to cease work for a period of time to focus on their health and well-being or they have to cease work entirely. If you can no longer work due to depression, it is essential that you know there are a range of options available to you. This includes income protection and TPD benefits through your super fund. These benefits can be paid in addition to WorkCover payments and even when the depression is caused by a particular workplace or situation.

Read: “I am making a workers compensation claim. Can I also make a TPD claim?

These disability insurance benefits can provide a person who is suffering from depression with the financial security to engage with appropriate treatment or take time away from work to focus on their health.

I haven’t been able to see a psychiatrist yet. Can I still make a TPD claim?

Managing mental health conditions like depressing can be challenging and expensive. We understand that for those people living in regional, rural and remote areas, accessing appropriate mental health treatment can be difficult because it is simply not available. Finding care in the appropriate setting

(for example, in a hospital) can be almost impossible in some areas, and extremely costly. We also know that mental illnesses and conditions manifest in different ways, and that as a result, you might only have irregular or sporadic contact with health professionals. Some people rely heavily on their GP and mental health treatment plan. At Littles, we know that everyone manages their mental health differently. While obtaining expert treatment and care from a psychologist or psychiatrist is important, you may still be able to make a successful claim. What’s important is that you have sought help. Get in touch with Littles today. We can assess your individual circumstances, and help you understand your options.

I’m worried that the process of an insurance claim will make my depression worse.

We understand. As experienced TPD experts, we know that people who suffer from a mental health illness or condition work hard to manage their condition and keep working. Our clients tell us that they’ve heard ‘horror stories’ about how insurers treat TPD claims based on mental illnesses or conditions, and are scared that this might negatively impact their mental health. when they are considering lodging any insurance claim. There’s no doubt that the insurance industry needs to do better when it comes to how it treats mental illness. You shouldn’t need to worry about wading through complex policies and responding to letters and demands from insurers. At Littles, we are TPD experts. Starting with our free super claims check, we can manage the process of making your claim to ensure it progresses effectively, allowing you to concentrate on your health.

Don’t delay – seek advice now

If you have a mental illness or condition that prevents you from working, you might be worrying about how you are going to pay your bills and put food on the table. Don’t put your mental health at further risk. You might be entitled to receive a TPD lump sum, as well as other insurance benefits. Get in touch with Littles for a free super claims check. We can help you understand what you’re entitled to, and manage the process efficiently and sensitively. Know where you stand, and get peace of mind.

Free advice and no upfront fees

Not only do we offer a FREE claims check – we handle most insurance claims on a no win, no fee basis. Our Head of TPD and General Insurance, Rowan McDonald, is an insurance law expert. If you think you might have a claim, get in touch with Rowan and his team for high quality legal advice.

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