Income Protection and Disablement Claims FAQs

Can I make an income protection protection and disablement claim?
If you have an injury or illness which prevents you from working, you may be able to claim for income protection or disablement benefits. Similarly, if someone close to you has died, it may be possible to claim life insurance.
 
This sort of insurance cover is often organised and provided by your superannuation fund.  You might not even know you have the cover. Alternatively, you might have taken out a policy yourself.
 
We can assist you to determine whether you have insurance and, if so, help you to make a claim for benefits.
 
How do I make an income protection and disablement claim?
An application needs to be made to the relevant insurer.  Time limits can apply – you need to get expert advice now about the time limits which might apply to you.
 
What can I claim in an income protection and disablement claim?
It is impossible even to estimate the amount of your claim without knowing a lot more about you and your policy.  Benefits might include:
  • Loss of income
  • A lump sum payment for total and permanent disablement
  • Life insurance
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Nursing expenses
Do I need a lawyer to make an income protection and disablement claim?
No, you can handle the claim yourself.
 
However, insurers have extensive experience in defending income protection and disablement claims and will often instruct lawyers to act on their behalf.  Insurers cannot provide you with independent advice.  You may find yourself at a disadvantage if you do not have legal representation.
 
Will the insurer pay my legal costs in an income protection and disablement claim?
Only if you need to take action in court to enforce your right to benefits.  Otherwise, no.
 
Even if the insurer is required to pay something towards your costs, it will not cover your entire costs.  The difference will be paid from your settlement or judgment monies.  We will discuss this with you in detail when we give you our initial Costs Agreement and before you instruct us to act on your behalf.
 
How long will an income protection and disablement claim take?
This is impossible to say without knowing a lot more about you and your claim.   Some relevant factors include:
  • the type of insurance policy you have.
  • the severity and extent of your injuries or condition – it is unlikely an insurer will make a decision about disablement insurance until your injuries or condition are stable and stationary.
  • whether the insurer disputes liability for your claim.
 
Will I need to go to court for an income protection and disablement claim?
It may be necessary to issue court proceedings if the insurer rejects an application for benefits.  Claims are very rarely decided by a judge.  Even if proceedings are issued in court, claims frequently settle before reaching trial.
 
How am I charged and how much do I have to pay to make an income protection and disablement claim?
If we think you have reasonable prospects of success, we will usually agree to act on a speculative basis.  That means we will not charge for our professional fees unless and until your claim is successfully finalised.
 
We do require payment of any costs or outlays (eg. medico-legal reports from a specialist) incurred on your behalf, even if your claim is not successful.  We will not incur significant outlays without first discussing it with you.  An estimate of outlays will be provided in our Costs Agreement. 
 
Our costs will be reasonable – we will discuss them with you in detail before you instruct us to act on your behalf and will enter into a Costs Agreement with you.  We strongly recommend you seek independent legal advice about the Costs Agreement before you sign it.