Income Protection Claims

As the name suggests, income protection insurance is to ‘protect’ you from lost income following certain events that result in you having to stop work, at least temporarily, due to injury or illness and being unable to earn your income. 

Workers with income protection cover will either have it sitting in their superannuation policy or will have paid a premium for a policy that they have taken out, not attached or associated with their super (usually self-employed or higher income earners will take out separate insurance policies).

But whether you have a policy inside super or a separate policy outside your super, the law that applies to determining whether you are entitled to be paid any income protection benefit under a relevant policy is essentially the same.

What benefits are paid through income protection

Any income protection benefits payable will depend on the individual policy. Payments are usually made monthly. Some policies will have a default amount, and some will have an amount selected by the policyholder, where they may have purchased insurance at a higher level.

A common income protection policy will pay you 75% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, plus super. 

Most, if not all policies will have a waiting period before any benefit can be claimed. This period varies depending on the policy and could typically be 30,60 or 90 days. Notably, the shorter the waiting period, the higher the cost of the insurance.

Benefits will typically be paid for a period of up to two years but again, this may differ depending on the individual policy and some can make payments through to 65 or even 70 years.

Tricks and traps with income protection claims

The catch with income protection policies, like all insurance policies, is that it’s up to the insurance company to determine (initially anyway) whether they’re going to pay you the benefit (loss of income) or not.

The claim’s process can appear straightforward to many workers, however, if you lodge your claim with the wrong kind of supporting evidence or insufficient supporting evidence, you are increasing the likelihood of your claim being denied.

So, if you’ve lodged an income protection claim and it’s been rejected, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer experienced in insurance law.


It’s also important to note that if you are in receipt of, for example:

  • worker’s compensation weekly payments after a workplace accident; or 

  • motor vehicle accident weekly payments; or

  • Centrelink benefits (which you may have sought whilst waiting for a determination of your income protection claim or for your waiting period to pass);

there may be complications with an income protection claim and some payments will be offset. It is crucial to seek legal advice before lodging any claim if this applies to you.

Get help from an income protection lawyer

At CHC Lawyers we can help you with your income protection claim, whether to fight the insurer who has denied your application, or to give you some general guidance about how to go about making a claim with the insurer to avoid some of the typical pitfalls that might result in the insurer rejecting your application.

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