Well, some good news, for those poor injured folks – like me- put on starvation by their workcover insurer. You can unlock superannuation early if you are injured or ill and, as a result, are unable to work!
Can I access my superannuation when I am injured and on workcover?
All Superannuation schemes will release early accumulated funds and many also offer disability insurance and income protection up to 2 years (24 months). Many people are unaware of this!
Unlike WorkCover claims, it also does not matter how or where you were injured, what matters is whether or not you are able to work!
How can you access your superannuation fund?
There are several ways in which you may be able to unlock your superannuation fund.
1. Permanent incapacity
If an injured worker is – because of their workplace injury or illness- no longer able to return to work, and this is likely to be “for the foreseeable future” (permanent), you should be able to unlock your super fund. The fund includes your employer contributions as well as your own (if you made any).
The best part is that when your claim is approved you are allowed to use the funds immediately.
Note that taxation applies to super, however injured workers can withdraw their ‘benefits’ taxed at a concessional rate and some (or all) of the disability benefit is tax free. [But just check with your super fund.]
2.Total and permanent disability or death
Many injured workers may also be entitled to an insurance payout on the grounds of disability. Again, many workers are unaware of the ‘built-in” benefits of many Super funds, and a very common one is disability insurance. This means that you may be able to get your super account balance as well as the extra amount for which you are inured (by the premiums you paid through the fund!). Go check out your super!
Also, many super funds include insurance extras such as death benefits to family member – so if a member of your family passes away, check out with your super whether you are eligible for a “death benefit” [lumpsum].
What’s more, the insurance extras often include payment of lump sum death benefits to a family member. So if a member of your family passes away, you should find out from their Super fund whether you can claim a Death Benefit.
Tips of how to look for superannuation cover
Superannuation funds vary in their approach and coverage. Not all funds offer insurance but many do.
You can search for Superfunds to which you have contributed during your working life (if you don’t know them) using the SuperSeeker tool on the Australian Taxation Office website.
Best is to contact your super fund and check the “fine print” and see whether you are covered for extra insurances. You may also want to discuss the “fine print” with your solicitor.
I certainly know what I will be doing today