If you receive Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) benefits, you may be wondering if you can return to work. Learn more before speaking to our TPD claim experts at Masselos & Co.
A common question asked by many people receiving TPD benefits is whether they will be able to return to work in the future. There are many myths out there, but to put matters straight, making a successful TPD claim does not prevent you from entering the workforce at a later point. However, you will need to meet certain criteria and it may mean you stop receiving certain benefits. To help you understand the implications of returning to work after a TPD claim, let’s first define total permanent disablement.
What is total permanent disablement?
To be eligible for a total permanent disability pay out, you must usually show that you are unable to work in any suitable employment. It is usually received as a lump sum to your superannuation fund, which you can withdraw at any time.
Total permanent disablement may involve any injuries, from loss of limbs to major depression, which prevent you from working. It is based on a medical opinion that you are unsuitable for employment, there are no further treatments you can undergo, and your injuries will not improve over time.
Returning to work after a permanent disability
Not being able to work again is an intimidating proposition, yet many people receiving TPD cover do consider returning to work. For those who have received a lump sum payment for TPD, you are not usually required to repay that amount if you do return to work.
You will need to look closely at your TPD cover as definitions amongst insurance providers can vary considerably. It’s not always easy to understand these policies, which is why it is wise to obtain specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
Changes in medication or medical advancements
Medicine is advancing all the time, with new and effective treatments becoming available for different injuries. This may mean that the injury you sustained for a TPD claim becomes treatable at a later point in time due to advances in medicine and technology.
If this is the case, don’t be alarmed, you will not normally be expected to return any of your TPD payments. This is because a TPD claim is assessed at the time of the claim and not according to likely future medical advancements. If you receive treatment before obtaining your TPD payout, the impact on your claim will largely depend on the effectiveness of the treatment and whether you will in fact be able to return to suitable employment.
A TPD legal specialist will be able to provide you with the appropriate advice for your situation.
Retraining in your previous industry
When you are successful with a TPD claim, it means you have proven that you are unable to return to work in the role that you have experience in or received training or education to undertake.
For this reason, it may be available to you to retrain, even if a doctor says you will never work in your original industry in any way. For instance, if you were trained as a mechanic but now are looking to acquire skills to become an IT support worker, you may then be in a position to obtain these.
Every case is different and demonstrating the level of retraining or education can vary. To ensure you receive the appropriate TPD cover and avoid unwanted complications, speak to one of the TPD claim specialists at Masselos & Co.
Navigating TPD policies and what you can and can’t do can be confusing. Definitions vary across permanent disability insurance providers and making any decisions that will impact your TPD benefits is best done under the guidance of a legal specialist. The lawyers at Masselos & Co are experts in TPD claims and will ensure you receive accurate and timely advice. Book your free consultation today.