Littles’ TPD mythbuster – the depression and mental health edition

For many of us, the last couple of years have been pretty tough on our mental health, thanks to  lockdowns, financial worries, health concerns and being separated from family. However, one of the positives is that this has helped to bring discussion of mental health issues out into the open,  and normalise seeking help to address them. These issues can include anything from ‘burnout’ and just being plain ‘over it’, to severe mental health illnesses and conditions. Whereas previously it seems that people were expected to ‘toughen up’ or ‘power through’, we now have a much better understanding of the impacts of mental illness, including on our ongoing ability to work. If you have been diagnosed with  a mental illness or condition and can no longer work as a result, you may be entitled to insurance held in your superannuation. This could include total and permanent disability (TPD) and income protection benefits. Surprised? The stigma’ around mental health is being progressively broken down, but there is still a lot of misinformation out there about what your rights are. This blog deals with some common myths!


Read more here: 

Depression and TPD claims – Littles

I have a mental illness and cannot work. Can I make a TPD claim? – Littles

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

1. Myth: Making a TPD claim for a mental health illness or condition is too hard, and there’s no point bothering

…busted! Unfortunately, there’s still a way to go in recognising the impacts of mental illness and conditions on people, especially in their ability to work. The insurance industry needs to do better when it comes to recognising the importance of mental health. However, while TPD insurance claims for mental illness and conditions are harder, they are not impossible. If you have sought and obtained regular treatment from your GP and a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist, you can make a successful claim. 

If you have a super fund, chances are you have TPD insurance. If you can’t work because of a mental illness or condition, get the facts about what you might be entitled to. Let Littles help – we are TPD experts, and can help you make a TPD claim. Get in touch for a free super claims check today. Call us on 1800 548 853.

2. I am not eligible for the Disability Support Pension so I can’t make a TPD claim.

…busted! No. What matters is that you can no longer work due to your illness or condition. There is greater recognition now of different kinds of mental illnesses and how they affect people. This means that you might be able to make a TPD claim if you are suffering:

  • depression
  • anxietbi-polar disorder
  • post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • schizophrenia
  • schizoaffective disorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

or a number of other mental illnesses or mental health conditions.

We know that some government programs and other insurance products provide different frameworks and criteria for eligibility. These might require an assessment of your level of ‘whole person impairment’. By contrast, the primary consideration when claiming a TPD benefit is that you are no longer work due to your illness or condition. Accordingly, if your illness causes you to permanently cease work, you are most likely entitled to a TPD benefit. Even if you have been refused eligibility for disability support benefits or workers compensation, you should consider making a TPD claim.

Let Littles help – we have supported many clients with mental illnesses and conditions to successfully claim TPD benefits. Contact us here!

3. The insurer’s doctor is always right

…busted! Sometimes the doctors are simply unable to agree about whether you will work again. Usually, what we see is your treating doctors saying you will never return to work and supporting your claim, whilst doctor/s engaged by the insurer says that you will.  Your insurer will usually prefer the opinions of their doctors over the opinions of your treating doctors. This can seem unreasonable and frustrating when:

  • you have only briefly consulted with the insurer’s doctors
  • the insurer’s doctors don’t know your situation or circumstances well, or have got many of your details wrong in their report, or
  • all of the above!

 

At Littles, we’ll fight for you. This means ensuring that the insurer properly considers all of the available medical evidence, including reports from your own doctor or independent medicolegal doctor. If your claim has been rejected due to conflicting medical opinions, Littles can help. Contact us on 1800 548 853 today.

4. I can’t make a successful claim TPD claim for a mental health illness or condition unless I see a psychiatrist regularly.

…busted! Managing mental health 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. Depending on your illness or condition, 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.

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. You could 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 your rights are. 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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