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Superannuation, Insurance Case Studies

Alice’s Story

Alice was employed in the transport industry but stopped working after she was diagnosed in 1992 with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Ten years later in 2002, Alice heard through the Chronic Illness Alliance that she may be able to make a claim on her superannuation fund.  She contacted a superannuation lawyer who lodged a Total and Permanent Disablement [TPD] claim on her behalf.  Initially the claim was rejected by the superannuation fund and on two occasions an appeal was lodged but as a result of Alice and her lawyer’s perseverance the claim was finally accepted in 2005 and she received a six figure payment. After not working for 13 years, Alice was finally able to secure her financial future.

William’s Story

William lived in country Victoria and worked in the irrigation industry. After many years of having Meniere’s Disease he had lost his hearing. He also had some mental health issues. He engaged a superannuation lawyer who lodged a disability pension claim on his behalf. Initially the claim was rejected by his superannuation fund. His lawyer organised for William to have more medical tests and then appealed using the new, additional medical evidence. His claim was then accepted and he received a fortnightly pension for life.

Brian’s Story

Brian worked for a major national retailer. He was in his twenties, married with a mortgage, a young child and another baby on the way. At work he began feeling very tired and began displaying symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis although his supervisor incorrectly thought he was lazy. When he was finally diagnosed many months later he was advised to leave work. His supervisor was glad he was leaving and wasn’t very sympathetic. He was given a termination pay from his employer but no one mentioned to him that he may also have been entitled to a disability payment from his superannuation fund. By chance at a MS Society social gathering several months later, Brian learnt that other people in his situation had successfully made claims on their superannuation fund. He then asked his social worker to help him make a claim. It was accepted and he received a payment which was enough to pay out his mortgage making life a lot easier for him and his family.

Susan’s Story

Susan worked as a nurse for the Department of Veteran Affairs for several years. From time to time she had supplemented her income by working on weekends as an agency nurse.

At 54 she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Her diagnosis was good but following months of treatment and discussions with her doctor, she decided that her health would be better preserved if she took early retirement and focussed on caring for herself instead of others.

Susan was covered by the Government Superannuation Scheme and was entitled to take early retirement at age 54 years and 11 months. To optimise her superannuation benefit, Susan sought advice from a superannuation expert. After discussing her situation at length it was decided that Susan would claim her $250,000 lump sum. The expert also picked up on Susan’s comment that she had worked as an agency nurse. Experience had taught him to check other superannuation funds for employer contributions and sure enough, Susan also had money in the HESTA super fund. It was not very much but it was enough to entitle her to income protection insurance until she was 60 years old. A claim was made and in addition to her $250,000 lump sum, Susan also received $730 a month for the next five years from the income protection policy.