How do I know if I qualify for a TPD claim?


The short answer is you'll likely qualify for a TPD (Total and Permanent Disability) claim if you have TPD insurance and a serious illness or injury that permanently prevents you from working.

Let's unpack this further to make sure you have all the information you need.

Understanding TPD Insurance

TPD insurance pays a lump sum if you become totally and permanently disabled. Many Australians have this type of insurance through their superannuation fund, but it can also be a standalone policy.

Important Note: It is crucial to check your superannuation policy or standalone TPD insurance cover to understand the specific terms and conditions.

Two Main Types of TPD Insurance

  1. Own Occupation: This means your policy covers you if you can no longer work in your specific job or profession due to your injury or illness. This type of coverage tends to be more expensive and is often found outside of superannuation.
  2. Any Occupation: This is the more common type of TPD insurance within superannuation. It covers you if you can no longer work in any job that you might reasonably be suited to based on your education, experience, and training.

What Does "Total and Permanent Disability" Mean?

Though specific definitions may vary slightly between insurers, the general criteria are usually:

  • You have a significant illness or injury: This could be a physical injury, mental health condition, or a combination of the two.
  • You're unable to work in your usual job (for "own occupation" coverage) OR any job you are reasonably suited for (for "any occupation" coverage).
  • Medical evidence supports that you're unlikely to ever recover enough to return to suitable work.


  • Construction Worker: A severe back injury leaves them unable to perform any heavy lifting or manual labor. They might meet the TPD criteria, especially under the  "any occupation" definition.
  • Accountant with Depression: A diagnosed mental health condition prevents them from concentrating or handling the responsibilities of their profession. Depending on the policy, they might meet the TPD criteria.

What if I Only Meet Some of the Criteria?

Insurance policies can be complex. It's important to seek expert legal advice about your individual situation. You could still have a claim, even if you don't seem to fit the exact definitions.

How Smith's Lawyers Can Help

  • Free Initial Consultation: We'll review your policy and your circumstances to give you clear advice on whether you have a potential claim. Phone us at 1800 960 482.
  • No Win, No Fee. No Catch®: We know financial stress is the last thing you need. That's why we operate on a ‘No Win, No Fee, No Catch’ basis, meaning you won't pay a cent if your claim is unsuccessful.
  • Experts at Getting TPD Claims Approved: Our lawyers have decades of experience successfully navigating complex insurance claims. We'll fight for your right to the compensation you deserve.

Don't delay; contact Smith's Lawyers today and find out if you qualify for a TPD payout.

Last updated:
May 15, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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