The world as we knew it has come to a grinding halt for a lot of people over the last few weeks. Thankfully the Government has some excellent information about what help and assistance they can provide for you.
What hasn’t been so clear is what people who were already injured, and out of work for medical reasons prior to the COVID-19 situation can do. This is an article directed at this group, who might be feeling a little bit forgotten at the moment.
If you were injured at work, in a car accident or in some other manner and you aren’t able to work, here are three things you should know.
1. Chances are you have insurance to cover you for times like this
Whether you know it or not, most superannuation accounts have Total and Permanent Disability Insurance, and a large number have Income Protection insurance built in as standard features.
This means that if you were in a serious car crash, and you cannot work, you might be eligible for two different types of payments. One, a weekly benefit type payment, which will cover up to 85% of your notional weekly earnings – through your income protection. The second, a lump sum payment which you are entitled to (regardless of your degree of permanent impairment) if you are unable to return to the work you are trained, qualified, or experienced in.
2. The threshold to claim your insurance isn’t as high as you would think
As noted above, in most cases, the threshold which you must meet to be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability lump sum payment isn’t that you must be totally and permanently disabled in the common sense of the words.
Our experienced team will tell you from experience, you don’t have to be wheelchair bound in most cases. Relatively innocuous injuries to major parts of your body such as your neck, shoulder, knee and ankle which are caused at work or in a car accident may be enough to qualify you for a Total and Permanent Disability payment. The real test is whether the injury is preventing you from returning to work that you are:
- Educated to perform;
- Trained to perform; or
- Experienced to perform.
For example, imagine you were a career truck driver, injured in an accident while driving for work. Your shoulder was injured to the point that you could not return to truck driving. However, you could go into other work. In our experience you would still be likely to meet the definition, and receive a payment.
If you are on the fence about your eligibility, we advise contacting our team for an opinion.
3. There may be other ways we can help
Even if our expert team do form the opinion that you would not be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability payment, it might be that we can help with Income Protection, or with issues relating to WorkCover.
Ultimately, while the world is in shutdown, there is no better time to obtain some obligation free advice. At the moment we are in a position to offer both telephone and video conferencing (via Zoom and other platforms). Speaking from experience, it is a call worth making.