Planning for illness


Falling ill can be a very stressful and traumatic time for you and your family, particularly if you are the main financial provider for your household. Taking the time to become prepared and evaluating your financial situation can help you to future proof in the event you are temporarily out of work. It is important to ensure you know of every entitlement available should you become sick.

Income protection:
Income protection is a form of insurance that pays you a regular cash amount if you are unable to work as a result of a sudden illness, covering up to 75% of your income for a set period of time. You can insure your income through agreed value, where you decide the amount you wish to receive each month, or indemnity, where you prove your income at the time of claim rather than during application. You can generally claim part or all of your income protection insurance premiums that are taken outside of your super as a tax deduction, helping you save more on your tax bill. However, you are not entitled to deductions for a policy that compensates for a physical injury. Other insurance policies include health insurance, trauma cover or total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance.

Sick leave:
Sick leave lets an employee take time off to help them deal with personal illness, caring responsibilities and family emergencies. Employees that take time off to care for an ill or injured family member will have their leave taken from their personal leave. The National Employment Standards includes both paid and unpaid leave entitlements. To determine the amount of sick leave you are entitled to, refer to your employment contract.

Early release of super:
There are very limited circumstances in which you can access your super before you retire. These situations include if you suffer incapacity, on compassionate grounds or if you have a terminal medical condition. You may apply for early release on the grounds of:

  • Incapacity – if you suffer permanent or temporary incapacity.
  • Severe financial hardship – if you have received Commonwealth benefits for 26 continuous weeks but are still unable to meet immediate living expenses.
  • Compassionate grounds – to pay for medical treatment if you are seriously ill.
  • Terminal medical condition – if you have a terminal illness or injury likely to result in death within 2 years, as certified by two registered medical practitioners, at least one of whom is a specialist.

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