How TPD can cover mental health and illnesses

Health & Wellbeing -

TPD insurance can provide cover for a number of different mental health conditions, giving you the time and support you may need to focus on yourself. 

Developing a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) can weigh heavily on a family, both financially and emotionally, particularly if that person is the main provider for the family.

But it’s not just physical injuries or illnesses - such as a major accident, cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders - that come under the TPD category. Certain types of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), permanently disabling depression and severe anxiety may also be covered by TPD insurance. 

What mental health related conditions could be covered by TPD insurance?

A mental health related condition generally means a mental health illness, disorder or condition diagnosed by a medical practitioner that interferes with someone’s cognitive, emotional, or social abilities to such an extent that the condition is totally and permanently disabling. 

TPD insurance may provide a lump sum payment for a number of different mental health conditions that could permanently prevent you from being able to work including: 

PTSD

PTSD is most common amongst people who are regularly exposed to traumatic events, such as those who work in emergency services and the military, but it can also be experienced by people from other walks of life who go through a traumatic incident, such as suffering an assault or witnessing a distressing event.

Anxiety

Severe and permanently disabling anxiety can cause breathing difficulties, sweating, dramatic fluctuations in heart rate and agoraphobia.

Depression

Depression in its severest forms can make it impossible for a person to function properly, hold down a job, or even leave their home.

Our 2019 claims data shows that of all TAL insurance claims paid for a mental health related condition, a quarter of these (25%) were for TPD. Sadly, these figures demonstrate how major an issue our nation’s mental health has become and how debilitating mental health conditions can be.

How to make a TPD claim for a mental health condition

TPD insurance can be tailored to meet your individual needs giving you the choice to include accident, illness or sports cover, or to bundle all three. To make a claim on a mental health condition you need to have included illness cover within your TPD insurance at the time of application. You can also choose whether you want to be covered if you are unable to work in any occupation or just in your own field of work. And if you’re maintaining the family home, TPD insurance can also help support you and your family so you can focus on yourself. When making a claim the first step is to check what you’re covered for by reviewing your policy.  

If you’re managing a mental health condition the idea of making a claim may seem stressful and daunting but you needn’t worry. At TAL we’ve taken steps to make the claims process as simple as possible by providing a dedicated claims manager to answer your questions and support you every step of the way. 

Your claims manager will get to know your unique circumstances and let you know what documents or information are needed to assess your claim. Be prepared that this may require you to share medical details or financial information relating to your employment. You can feel confident though that your claims manager will only ask for information they need to make your claim as streamlined as possible. 

It’s good to talk

If you’re struggling with a mental health condition it’s important to talk to friends and family or seek help from a professional.

If you suffer from a mental health condition and need help, please speak to a reputable support service, such as Beyond Blue, who have various helplines available 24/7. It’s good to talk. 

What to do if someone you know may be struggling with their mental health

Mental health used to be something that was rarely, if ever, discussed in public. Thankfully that has changed in recent years, with a number of organisations and initiatives such as R U OK? both encouraging these conversations and providing guidance on how to actually approach them in four simple steps:

  1. Ask are you ok?
  2. Listen with an open mind
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

This openness is critical in removing much of the stigma attached to mental illness, and thankfully so, given that at least 20% of all Australian adults are affected by a type of mental illness every year, and at least 45% of us will experience a mental health related condition at some point in our lives.

Shining a light on mental health and opening avenues of dialogue around it is really helping to save lives.

 

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