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Have you been seriously injured?

Normally superannuation entitlements cannot be accessed until retirement age. However, where an injury or illness is such that a member of a superannuation fund is unable to work in an occupation which that person is suited by reason of training, education and experience, it may be possible to access superannuation benefits by reason of total and permanent disablement.

Often (especially with industry superannuation funds) the trustee of the superannuation fund will have taken out insurance cover in the event that a member dies or becomes totally disabled. The amount of this benefit is usually disclosed on the members Member Benefit Statement which is sent to members on an annual basis.

Whether or not a member is able to access total and permanent disablement benefits depends on the severity of the illness or injury and satisfying the definition of “total and permanent disablement” in the superannuation fund’s trust deed.

Please note that care needs to be taken in accessing superannuation benefits where an injured worker is in receipt of weekly payments. In these circumstances, it is necessary to roll over any superannuation benefits into an approved deposit fund. If the member accesses the superannuation entitlement directly the member may be precluded from receiving weekly payments.