(i) National Super
- State and Territory public servants have been covered by super schemes for many years.
- All States and Territories have generous defined benefit funds, for example State Authorities Super (NSW, Emergency Services Super (ESSS) (Vic), QSuper (Qld), Gold State Super (WA), the State Pension Scheme SA, the Retirement Benefits Fund (Tas), and the NT Government and Public Authorities Superannuation Scheme.
- These defined benefit schemes usually pay lifetime pensions or lump sums on resignation, retirement, disability or death. they include pensions or lumpsums if you are permanently unfit for work or temporary pensions if you can’t work in the short term.
- Some government defined benefit schemes are now closed to new employees. They are in accumulated contributions funds. for example, First State Super (NSW), VicSuper (Vic), some divisions of GESB (WA), Super SA, and AGEST (NT).
- These funds pay lump sums on resignation or retirement and usually include total and permanent disability (TPD) and death insurance lump sums and temporary disability insurance payments.
(ii) Commonwealth Super Schemes
- Most Commonwealth public servants are members of generous defined benefit schemes – CSS, PSS or the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme.
- The schemes pay lump sums or pension on resignation, retirement, disability or death.
- They include invalidity benefits usually paid as lifetime pensions if you are permanently unfit for your usual job or any other suitable work.
- Under the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme, the rate of the invalidity pension depends on the severity of your disability.
- Some Commonwealth government employees are members of AGEST, an accumulated contributions scheme, which pays lump sums on resignation or retirement and includes total and permanent disability and death lump sums and temporary disability insurance payments for up to two years.
- Many Commonwealth government employees are now members of the Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan (PSSAP), an accumulated contributions scheme which pays lump sums on resignation or retirement and includes TPD and death insurance lump sums and temporary disability insurance payments for up to 2 years.
- The claims process for government disability benefits is basically the same as for other super schemes.
- There are claim forms to fill in, medical reports to supply which support your claim and written submissions to make. You might have to go to a few medical/rehabilitation appointments and sign authorities.
- However you only have to give them reasonable information that is relevant to the claim and usually go to no more than 1 or 2 medical appointments.
- It’s important to give the right information/reports to help your claim-particularly medical reports and written submissions supporting the definition of disability. If you are too involved in the claim that can be used against you.
- A decision will take approximately 3-12 months.
- If your claim is rejected you can lodge an internal complaint followed by an appeal to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) – or to the courts or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for some Victorian state super schemes.
- Time limits apply. In some schemes a disability claim must be made within a strict time limit and in others, resigning might affect a claim.
(iv) Important Note – Get help
- There are time limits for appeals to the courts and the SCT.
- Get advice and help with claims and appeals. See ‘Free Super and Insurance Advice Service’ fact sheet.
Next Section: How Can I Get New Insurance Or Superannuation?