Seymour Furlong Lawyers

Last updated on August 29th, 2023 at 09:49 am

You may consider filing a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claim in Queensland if injury or illness has left you permanently unable to work. 

A quick glance at any TPD claim form reveals there are three parts. While you complete one section, alone or with your personal injury lawyer, your doctors and (most recent) employer are responsible for the remaining sections.

Getting your employer on board maximises your chance of a TPD payout — and that starts before you even make a TPD claim. Honest and open communication and meticulous documentation can ensure your future financial stability. 

We’ll show you how to collaborate with your employer on the road to a successful TPD claim here.

While this overview is primarily intended for people considering a TPD claim, HR professionals and managers who were asked to complete the employer statements for TPD claims can use this post to learn how to support their (former) employees during a challenging time.

Understanding TPD Claims

TPD coverage gives working-age adults financial security and peace of mind when an injury or illness leaves them permanently unable to work. 

Some TPD claims result from serious workplace accidents or long-term illness caused by occupational hazards. However, your current or most recent employer still plays a role in the TPD claim process if the injury or illness that left you unable to perform your duties had an unrelated cause.

This can be explained by the nature of Total and Permanent Disability as robbing you of a chance to enjoy gainful employment. 

Insurance claim forms require an employer’s statement, whether you’re still employed and have been on sick, left your role, or were dismissed. This allows Claims Assessors to form a complete picture of your current abilities and challenges.

The Role Your Employer Plays in Your TPD Claim

Your employer plays a critical role in your TPD claim process. Unfortunately, the professionals responsible for completing the employer’s statement and supporting you through your claim won’t always know what to do.

Claimants can help their employers through the process — and sending them this link is a great start!

Employer’s Statement

TPD claim forms consist of three distinct parts, all of which Claims Assessors consider when reviewing a case. Employers represent the third part of this triad, alongside claimants and doctors.

An employer’s statement confirms your most recent employment details. It also allows your current or last employer to detail the progression of your injury or illness and share how it has impacted your ability to work.

While much of the required information is purely factual, your employer’s chance to share “additional comments” holds significant weight in proving you can no longer perform your duties.

Confirming Employment Details

The first section of the employer’s portion of a TPD claim asks for factual information. This includes:

  • Your job title and the scope of your duties.
  • The income you received in your role.
  • Your reasons for ceasing work or your employer’s reasons for terminating employment.
  • Any history of working in a reduced capacity before ceasing work.

The employer statement, to be completed by an HR professional or payroll manager, holds significant weight. Employers can also forward supporting documentation to your TPD claim move forward.

Tips for Collaborating with Your Employer

Your employer is an essential ally during the TPD claim process. Ensuring healthy collaboration is in any future TPD claimant’s best interest.

Open Communication

Before realising the permanent nature of an injury or illness originating outside the workplace, many employees “push through” and hide their struggles in the hope of recovering. 

Being upfront about your limitations and diagnosis helps your employer document your limitations, however. This documentation often proves to be helpful when you make a TPD claim. 

We encourage employees struggling with a new diagnosis to openly talk to their employer about the challenges they face in their day-to-day work. Should you need accommodations to continue working, get this in writing wherever possible. If these accommodations aren’t sufficient, and carrying out your duties remains impossible, it is prudent to share that.

Documenting Limitations

Regardless of the cause or nature of your injury or illness, documenting your employment-related limitations in a personal log can be helpful during the TPD claim process. If your workplace has an HR department, sharing your challenges can lead to a helpful paper trail.

Understanding Employment Status

TPD claims are filed for various reasons, including:

  • Physical injury
  • Mental illness
  • Chronic illness (often progressive)
  • Terminal illness

The nature of your disability may be such that you can still work but will become unable to carry out your duties in the near future.

Not everyone who resorts to making a TPD claim is currently unemployed. Some are on extended sick leave or work in a reduced capacity. Others have a supportive workplace where colleagues temporarily cover their duties, and some can still work but won’t maintain this ability for much longer.

You don’t have to prove you are currently unemployed or were dismissed to lodge a TPD claim. Claimants who remain employed can clarify their situations through the employer’s statement.

Importance of Employment-Related Documents

Not all employers meticulously keep records. Holding onto key employment-related records can help your TPD claim. Being able to provide the following documents can increase your chance of getting a TPD payout:

  • Payslips
  • Employment contracts
  • A detailed job description

Understanding Your Entitlements

Many Queenslanders have automatic TPD and Income Protection coverage through QSuper, while others are covered through private life insurance policies:

  • People who are temporarily unable to work (for up to two years) due to injury or illness may be eligible for Income Protection payouts.
  • Individuals not expected to recover to the point where they can resume their duties or find other gainful employment may file a TPD claim.

Understanding the difference between Income Protection cover and TPD payouts is critical.

Overcoming Challenges with Employer Collaboration

Not all employers understand how to navigate the TPD claim process — and some may be unsupportive or unwilling to provide documentation and statements. 

In these cases, you can:

  • Seek legal advice. An experienced personal injury lawyer can walk employers through the TPD claims process.
  • Gather documentation to prove your income, employment status, job title, and the scope of your duties.
  • Reach out to colleagues and others willing to confirm your disability-related employment struggles.
  • Rely on the doctor’s statement to document the extent of your disability.

Seeking Professional Help

A qualified and experienced TPD lawyer can help you navigate the TPD claim process by:

  • Giving you advice on how to proceed with your case.
  • Helping you gather relevant evidence. 
  • Assisting your employer in completing the TPD claim form accurately and fully, using appropriate language.

Should your TPD claim be rejected despite being eligible, a skilled lawyer specializing in TPD cases can further guide you through the appeals process, advocating for your needs every step of the way.

Applying for TPD cover is a last-resort measure. Legal advice is invaluable during the process — because, unable to work, you’ll depend on your TPD payout for continued financial stability.

How to Help Your Employer Get the TPD Cover You Need

Total and Permanent Disability claims are designed to help you make the most of your life even after a serious injury or illness permanently leaves you unable to work. 

The TPD claim process requires an employer’s statement, which clarifies your previous role and your inability to continue in your duties. 

While large workplaces may be familiar with TPD claims, small workplaces don’t always know how to handle the forms or provide supporting documentation. Yet, this portion of your TPD claim is crucial. 

The experienced TPD lawyers at Seymour Furlong Lawyers can guide you through your TPD claim in Queensland — including by providing your employer with relevant advice that ensures your TPD claim form offers an accurate picture of your current limitations.

Our no win, no fee model makes a legal consultation accessible to everyone who needs help getting the TPD payouts they need for a stable future. Call today and arrange a meeting to discuss your case — and get the advice you deserve.

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