Sometimes the unexpected happens. Here are a few tips on how to be prepared and how your super can help if you face illness.
Employers are obliged to pay super contributions for employees who are at work or on most types of paid leave, including sick leave, long service leave and annual leave.
But what happens if you run out of paid sick leave?
This is where salary continuance comes in. Salary Continuance insurance (also commonly called Income Protection) is a type of insurance you can apply for. It’s not usually automatically included with your legalsuper account. If you’re unwell and unable to work, Salary Continuance insurance can pay you a monthly benefit – just like your salary – while you’re unable to work. It can also keep your super on track while you can’t work. The money is paid by the insurer, not from your super.
Total & permanent disability
Total and Permanent Disability Insurance (TPD) is a type of insurance cover you can access through your super. It’s designed to help take the pressure off you financially if you suffer an illness or injury that leaves you totally and permanently disabled. The lump sum benefit paid is often used to eliminate debts, pay for medical expenses or fund permanent lifestyle changes.
You can access your super money if you have a terminal illness.
Terminal illness for the purposes of accessing super benefits is defined as a ‘terminal medical condition’. The definition is as follows: “a terminal medical condition exists if two registered medical practitioners have certified jointly or separately, that the member suffers from an illness, or has incurred an injury that is likely to result in the member’s death within 24 months of the date of certification. For each of these certificates, the certification period must not have ended. Further, at least one of the registered medical practitioners must be a specialist practicing in an area related to the illness or injury.”
Accessing your super early
Super is a long-term investment for your retirement, so you normally can’t access it until you’ve reached your preservation age. However, there are some special circumstances where you may be eligible to access your super early.
Becoming a carer
When you become a carer, your day to day routine and financial situation can change dramatically. It's important to look after yourself and keep an eye on your finances.
Ensure you're getting the assistance you're entitled to:
If you're unable to work because you are caring for someone, you may be entitled to a government payment. The Department of Human Services can help you work out what you are entitled to.
From your employer
Check with your employer to find out how much paid carer's leave you are entitled to. To find out more about your rights at work see the Fair Work Ombudsman's Sick and carers leave information.
Keep an eye on your super
If you're earning less money from paid work your super balance will be affected. If you can afford it, contribute to your super while you are not working. Make sure your super is working well for you by consolidating any super accounts you aren't using, checking your super fund is right for you and ensuring your super investment option suits you.
Let us help you
If you’re unsure if your super is on target, we can help you check in on and manage your super, to help you reach your goals while caring for those who matter most.
Each state and territory has a carer's association that provides advice and support: