Published 27 Jan 2015
A former NSW police officer has slammed an insurance company for delaying payouts on a total and permanent disability (TPD) claim for several years.
The ex-detective sergeant, who was a 22-year veteran of the NSW Police Force, was discharged from his duties in 2011 after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and extreme anxiety.
Talking to the Illawarra Mercury, he explained that he'd suffered a series of strokes in 2007, and doctors confirmed job stress and tension had been a major contributing factor.
The man saw a number of traumatic events during his years on the job, which included positions on the force's major drug and armed robbery squads.
Insurance firm delays
However, since leaving his job, he has had problems with the insurance company paying out on his TPD claim. The organisation, MetLife, has also put the ex-policeman under surveillance in order to legitimise his case.
The man said he was recorded smiling at his son's football game eight months after the insurance firm had already argued it had enough evidence to make a recommendation on the claim. This was also three years after the original claim was submitted.
"There's no logic other than they wear you down and hold onto your money as long as they can," he said.
"While they do that, though, they're stopping you from getting well. You get paranoid about everything, you check your mirrors everywhere you go, every time you leave your house you think people are following you. It just exacerbates [the stress]."
The ex-detective sergeant was also asked to undertake a vocational assessment to judge whether or not he was healthy enough to work.
Yet, the final report said the recommended job options did not take into account the man's physical or psychological functional capacity. In other words, it ignored the symptoms of his illnesses.
Making a TPD claim
Mental illnesses such as PTSD are considered disabilities under many insurance policies, meaning if a medical practitioner deems someone unable to return to work, the sufferer could receive a lump sum payment and the early release of superannuation.
However, the claims process can be complex and time-consuming, which is why many people turn to specialist TPD claims lawyers to ensure they have the best representation against insurance companies.
No-win, no-fees firms will give you the information and guidance necessary to proceed with your disability claim, without you having to worry about the costs until the case is ruled in your favour.