Budget Direct recently spoke with Rachael*, a woman who received a Total and Permanent Disability Cover (TPD Cover) payout after a life-changing workplace accident.
We would like to thank Rachael for sharing her personal story with us. This was an original interview, however, Rachael requested her name be changed to protect her privacy.
Rachael trained and worked as a chiropractor. It was work requiring strength and manual dexterity. She was successful at her job and found it rewarding, which made it all the more difficult for her to cope when she found herself too injured to work.
While Rachael doesn’t like going into the details of how she got her injury, it was not only life-changing for her, it affected her family as a whole, as she was the breadwinner.
It began with a single piece of faulty work equipment and led to an injury that left her unable to work for three months.
As it was a workplace injury, the initial cover she received was income protection to supplement household bills and rent, as well as her stepson’s basketball and schooling expenses.
She recovered enough to return to work, only to further exacerbate her injury. And that’s when her real troubles began.
Rachael was then diagnosed with vascular thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition that left her with pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in her arms and hands. She suffered C4 nerve root compression, among a series of other physical and mental injuries (including anxiety).
She continued to claim on her income protection policy, which covered her inability to work.
She continued to claim on her income protection policy, which covered her inability to work and was based on her initial pre-injury income, her current work capacity and any current income.
As a chiropractor, Rachael had to be able to use her arms and hands to treat her patients. She fatigued quickly and experienced severe aching throughout the day. She found herself too tired to work.
Rachael emphasises the devastating effect it had on her life and her family.
“Considering how important my income was, and given that I spent eight years at university to get where I was in my professional career, I felt like the responsibility of supporting my family fell on me,” she said.
Before the injury, Rachael and her husband were aware of how important her income was for their family. They had actively sought an insurance policy to protect the family.
“We realised if anything happened to me, the consequences would impact the whole family,” Rachael said.
It was only when she was looking for insurance cover for her husband after her diagnosis that Rachael wondered about her own insurance policy.
When she made her initial income protection claim, the company had not mentioned any Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover. But once her injury worsened, she called up the company and learned she could be eligible for a TPD payout.
But once her injury worsened, she called up the company and learned she could be eligible for a TPD payout.
Within a month, Rachael had completed the initial forms and was sent to a doctor and a vascular surgeon who confirmed the diagnosis that she had a permanent disability which would prevent her working again in her own occupation. The day her claim was approved, she received her lump sum payment.
“The TPD payment has been an absolute blessing,” Rachael said.
“The process was simple and uncomplicated. The staff were exceptionally helpful. And it took a big weight off our shoulders by helping put a deposit down on our own home.”
It has taken some time for Rachael to adjust to her new circumstances. From a busy life as a successful chiropractor, Rachael has had to learn to readjust her lifestyle, including staying away from gardening, vacuuming or heavy-duty work.
Today, Rachael is finding new ways to use her skills and is considering going back to university. With the help of her TPD payout, Rachael and her family are looking ahead, able to concentrate on their future without the burden of past events.
“Being a chiropractor, life insurance is not necessarily something someone would think about, but given my experience, I’d wholeheartedly recommend it,” Rachael said.
Life insurance is not necessarily something someone would think about, but given my experience, I’d wholeheartedly recommend it.”
What is Total and Permanent Disability cover?
Totally and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover is an additional life insurance feature aimed at protecting your lifestyle if you’re diagnosed with a permanent disability that prevents you from either ever returning to work in your occupation or ever returning to work in any occupation. Some policies offer you the choice of ‘Own’ or ‘Any’ occupation cover and others will only provide one of these types.
While traditional life cover provides your loved ones with a lump sum payout upon your death, it will not provide any protection in the event that you become permanently ill or disabled and are no longer able to work.
That’s where TPD cover comes in. It’s a way to help preserve your family’s lifestyle if you suffered a debilitating injury that prevents you from being able to work or manage your home.
*Name changed for privacy
This post was brought to you by Budget Direct Life Insurance