Mental illnesses and TPD claims in NSW

Published 22 Oct 2014

While some people assume total and permanent disability (TPD) claims are solely for physical injuries, they actually encompass a wide range of ailments, including mental health.

This is why it’s important to seek expert legal advice to check your eligibility for a TPD claim, otherwise you could risk missing out on financial compensation when unable to work due to a disability.

Psychological illnesses have already been in the spotlight this month, with Mental Health Week running from October 5 to 12. The annual event highlights the obstacles many Australian employers and staff face when dealing with such issues.

In fact, recent PricewaterhouseCoopers research estimated the financial cost to businesses of failing to create mentally healthy work environments at nearly $11 billion annually.

NSW focus on mental health

Despite this, charity beyondblue recently applauded NSW on its mental health focus, claiming that a new government strategy sets a “clear vision” for improving the state’s services in this area.

The ‘Living Well, Putting People at the Centre of Mental Health Reform in NSW’ report highlighted the importance of encouraging greater participation in society of those with mental illnesses.

Jeff Kennett, beyondblue chairman, said people with depression, anxiety and associated disorders have a wide range of needs, including housing, steady employment and strong relationships.

“This document puts people and families first – not bureaucracy and processes – and focuses on people, rather than systems and services,” he explained.

“There is a vital need to invest in early intervention programs to make and keep people well, not just patch them up until the next time, and this report is welcome news for everyone in NSW.”

Making a TPD claim

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Health Survey 2007-08 showed 1.8 million people in the country reported a mental illness, with 43 per cent of these saying it was classed as a disability.

According to the ABS, labour market participation for people with a disabling mental health problem is significantly lower than the general population – 51 per cent compared with 81 per cent.

This could be due to prejudice towards those who experience mental illnesses, making it difficult for affected individuals to secure and retain jobs. However, anyone who must take extended periods away from work due to a mental health problem may be entitled to compensation through a TPD claim.

If successful, a lump sum payment and the early release of superannuation money may be possible. Want to learn more? Contact a no-win, no-fee lawyer today to see whether you are eligible to make a TPD claim due to mental illness.

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