Labourer who injured back in his own business receives $800,000 in Total and Permanent Disability Benefits

Published 19 Sep 2014

Mr MLC had been a labourer most of his adult life. He had only received an education to year 10 level before he commenced an apprenticeship as a bricklayer and concreter. By the time he was aged 35 he was already experiencing difficulties in relation to his lower back. Although most labourers who suffer from that nature and condition deteriorations and onus and would therefore be entitled to a workers compensation claim. He had been a subcontractor since the age of 20.

For the balance of the 15 years that followed, he had been a subcontractor to many different suppliers which meant that he was not a deemed an employee of any of the contractors that he had performed duties for.

It was for this reason that he was not entitled to workers compensation and he also did not have his own work compensation insurance.

Due to our clients limited education and training he had very little transferable skills as all of his job xperience was in relation to heavy blue collar labour work.

One thing MLC did have that was in his favour was a self-managed super fund which had very high premiums and included benefits for income protection as well as total and permanent disability.

Total And Permanent Disability

His insurance policy had a benefitted amount of $800,000.00. Although it was evidently clear that our client was unable to perform any heavy labour jobs, the insurer and trustee provided medical evidence as well as occupational therapy and vocational functional reports which stated words to the effect that in fact he would be able to perform sedentary work in excess of 15 hours per week and therefore did not meet the criteria of being a total and permanent disabled person.

This would have been true if it were not for the fact that he had never performed any jobs of a sedentary nature. Medical evidence later revealed that the reason why he had performed so poorly whilst he was at school was because he actually had a learning disability.

The matter was filed in the Supreme Court of NSW Equity division. Through the diligent investigations conducted by Gerard Malouf and Partners, we were able to provide an extensive submission prior to the matter being heard in Court which led to the acceptance of the claim in total which meant an early and speedy resolution for our client.

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