Can your family claim your super if you become paralysed?

PUBLISHED 30 Dec 2019

When someone falls victim to any form of paralysis, it can be a debilitating occurrence for the entire family. It might mean loss of job, structural modifications to the home, and a more difficult time performing simple everyday tasks. It can also become a significant strain on the family’s resources. There’s a variety of causes for paralysis, such as a spinal cord injury, stroke, surgical mistake, nerve disease, and more.

You might be wondering if your family can claim your super if you become paralysed? In most instances, the answer to this question is yes. However, there are limitations and exemptions.

If you experience paralysis, you can file a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claim if it is included inside your super fund. This claim provides financial support for those unable to work because of an injury.

What makes you eligible for a TPD claim?

Several different criteria will be assessed to determine your eligibility for a TPD claim. Simply having weakness or numbness of a limb or muscle group will not suffice.

The first criteria for eligibility involves the level of your paralysis, and how likely you are to recover from it.

A TPD policy inside of superannuation will only cover an ‘Any-Occupation’ disability. ‘Any Occupation’ disability means your paralysis prohibits the likelihood of you ever being able to perform a job suited to your experience or education. The ‘Own-Occupation’ means you are unlikely to ever return to full-time work in your previous occupation.

A minimum work history will also play a factor in qualifying for TPD compensation. Typically, a successful claimant will have at least 12 months’ working history, and will have to provide documentation showing whether it was full- or part-time work as well as calculate hours worked at the time of the paralysis.

If you are unable to perform basic living activities such as eating, bathing, and walking, you might receive additional compensation depending on the TPD payment.

Limitations and exemptions

While in many instances, your family can claim your super if you become paralysed, there are moments when this is not allowed. One of the main instances involves self-inflicted injuries that caused the paralysis. This typically won’t be covered by a superannuation dispute.

Another example has been if you’ve been playing extreme sports, such as skydiving, base jumping, or another type of activity with a high chance for injury.

If you or a loved one suffers from paralysis and need to claim superannuation, reach out to experienced superannuation lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.