Guest NewInOz

Critical Illness Insurance Cover

    Did you iknow about Critical Illness Cover?  

    1 member has voted

    1. 1. Did you iknow about Critical Illness Cover?

      • Did you know about ciritical illness cover with your superannuation?
        1
      • Have you suffered a critical illness in SA?
        0
      • Were you able to claim or did you leave it too late?
        0


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    Guest NewInOz

    I thought I should warn anyone coming to, or already in, South Australia, about the necessity of either taking out critical illness cover when you arrive, or at least being aware of the terms and conditions of the critical illness cover under your Superannuation Fund if you are already working or find a job, should you be unfortunate enought to suffer a critical illness, as my wife was, after entering Australia. I and my immediate family came to South Australia in August 2010 on a permanent visa which we were all granted as my wife was, in England, a Health Visitor for ten years after previously being employed as a District Nurse. She very much wanted to continue is this line of work but was only able to get a job as a stand-in kindergarden nurse when another nurse was on maternity leave. She was told that if she took this job, which was some distance and an hour's drive from our home, that she would be taken on in the southern suburbs of Adelaide as a Child and Family Health nurse which is the Aussie equivalent of a health visitor. She underwent two weeks' retraining, out of a scheduled two weeks and three days, when she was diagnosed as having breast cancer. She was advised to hand in her notice which she did but which turned out to be very bad advice indeed. She was promised that she would be taken back on as a child and family health nurse when she felt fit enough to return to work, after two lots of surgery, chemotherapy and then radiotherapy. Nothing could have been further from the truth and she was told she was no longer needed, some eight months after being diagnosed. She was also then told that she should have claimed under her superannuation with Super SA, which apparently would have entitled her to 75% of her salary as she was suffering from a critical illness. However this needed to be done within six months of diagnosis so she did not receive a cent. She has now managed to find employment with RDNS as a vaccination nurse but only as a casual. She is now two weeks into an advised six weeks off work as she is now recovering from reconstructive surgery. She is receiving no pay as she is only casual at the moment but will be taken on as a permanent part time nurse with RDNS in a month or so when she has hopefully recovered from her surgery. My wife has met one other nurse who has suffered from breast cancer at a support group she joined who also was not aware that she had critical illness cover and left it too late to claim. My wife also met one other lady, who had again had breast cancer, and again had not been aware she was covered for critical illness under her superannuation fund which was, because of her occupationi, again probably with Super SA. I don't know if there is a conspiracy of silence regarding employees being advised of their rights and entitlements with Super SA but I have my suspicions. On another note if anyone reading this knows of a good lawyer who would work on a no-win no-fee basis to help my wife get some recompense for the shabby, disgraceful treatment she has had to endure, on top of everything else, please let me know. There is a concept in law of duty-of-care and I think someone has been woefully lacking in this area.

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    Thanks for this thread. I am really sorry to hear of your very tough times. I think that I might have been told about this "Critical Illness Cover" when I first started work but I always seem to forget to claim on insurance policies and then afterwards I think that I should have claimed for that and then don't bother. Possibly because they seem to make it difficult when you do need to claim. When I have tried to claim they have found some sort of loophole and then it has become a huge drama to get a "win" situation. I remember a few years ago having a car accident and the car was "written off". The "insurance assessor" assured me they were "independent"....how independent I asked them, given that the insurance company was paying them for their work. They underestimated my claim by $3,000 and when I went to the insurance ombudsman and got advice to complain to someone higher up in the insurance company I got what I considered to be a fair "replacement" cost for my car. I did mention the insurance ombudsman to the manager of the insurance company. I don't particularly like having to make a claim, I really liked my car and preferred not to have had to claim - but the circumstances meant that they were trying to pay me a lot less than what it was worth and I wouldn't have been able to replace it for that.

     

    I think that the employer did have a duty of care to remind your family of this cover but it is only as good as the staff that work in those jobs and what they know about it themselves. I'm not sure that you would have much recourse on that topic. The employer is the one that "pays the contribution" for your superannuation. I don't think you should accept the outcome. Contact the Insurance Ombudsman http://www.ombudsman.sa.gov.au/links/useful-ombudsman-links and have a chat to them about it. They are usually pretty straight about what is right or wrong and will pose some questions to you and they are very likely to tell you if you have a good case. If they think it is within their guidelines they will take it up for you as it is part of their job to do.

     

    If you are a member of the union then you are also entitled to one telephone legal consultation with a lawyer of 30 minutes and also one face to face visit (these are both free) if you are a member of the PSA. If you are not a member of the union then try the http://www.lsc.sa.gov.au/ (Legal Services Commission of SA) - they also provide limited legal advice.

     

    I hope you get some compensation. It is hard enough having to go through a serious illness and all the emotional issues that go with that and to have a non-supportive workplace/superannuation etc just adds to it.

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    I thought I should warn anyone coming to, or already in, South Australia, about the necessity of either taking out critical illness cover when you arrive, or at least being aware of the terms and conditions of the critical illness cover under your Superannuation Fund if you are already working or find a job, should you be unfortunate enought to suffer a critical illness, as my wife was, after entering Australia. I and my immediate family came to South Australia in August 2010 on a permanent visa which we were all granted as my wife was, in England, a Health Visitor for ten years after previously being employed as a District Nurse. She very much wanted to continue is this line of work but was only able to get a job as a stand-in kindergarden nurse when another nurse was on maternity leave. She was told that if she took this job, which was some distance and an hour's drive from our home, that she would be taken on in the southern suburbs of Adelaide as a Child and Family Health nurse which is the Aussie equivalent of a health visitor. She underwent two weeks' retraining, out of a scheduled two weeks and three days, when she was diagnosed as having breast cancer. She was advised to hand in her notice which she did but which turned out to be very bad advice indeed. She was promised that she would be taken back on as a child and family health nurse when she felt fit enough to return to work, after two lots of surgery, chemotherapy and then radiotherapy. Nothing could have been further from the truth and she was told she was no longer needed, some eight months after being diagnosed. She was also then told that she should have claimed under her superannuation with Super SA, which apparently would have entitled her to 75% of her salary as she was suffering from a critical illness. However this needed to be done within six months of diagnosis so she did not receive a cent. She has now managed to find employment with RDNS as a vaccination nurse but only as a casual. She is now two weeks into an advised six weeks off work as she is now recovering from reconstructive surgery. She is receiving no pay as she is only casual at the moment but will be taken on as a permanent part time nurse with RDNS in a month or so when she has hopefully recovered from her surgery. My wife has met one other nurse who has suffered from breast cancer at a support group she joined who also was not aware that she had critical illness cover and left it too late to claim. My wife also met one other lady, who had again had breast cancer, and again had not been aware she was covered for critical illness under her superannuation fund which was, because of her occupationi, again probably with Super SA. I don't know if there is a conspiracy of silence regarding employees being advised of their rights and entitlements with Super SA but I have my suspicions. On another note if anyone reading this knows of a good lawyer who would work on a no-win no-fee basis to help my wife get some recompense for the shabby, disgraceful treatment she has had to endure, on top of everything else, please let me know. There is a concept in law of duty-of-care and I think someone has been woefully lacking in this area.

     

     

     

    Hi

     

    Firstly, really sorry to hear about what you and your Wife have had to go through.

     

     

    Just in relation to the Super SA insurance. The insurance is actually known as salary continuance/income protection and covers up to 75% of salary whilst someone is unable to work.

     

    Was your Wife casual with these employers at the time? With Super SA insurance if someone is casual generally they are not given the default insurance cover and have to apply.

     

    Also, with Super SA, the moment that someone ceases working with the employer the insurance ceases, so whoever gave the advice to resign potentially jeopardised any chance of claim also. Certainly though having to make a claim within 6 months is quite normal with personal risk insurance companies.

     

    I have heard that DBH Lawyers offer no win no fee http://www.dbh.com.au/ always worth a chat.

     

    Good luck

     

     

    Andy

    Edited by Andrew from Vista Financial

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    Regarding lawyers, you need to look for a plaintiff firm. There are several in Adelaide. One well known firm is Duncan, Basheer, Hannon. Another is Johnston Withers. A third is Tindall, Gask, Bentley.

     

    I don't know if your wife is or could be a member of the ANF - https://www.anmfsa.org.au/guest/member/mem.asp - but they may have some info.

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    Guest NewInOz

    Hello Kris, thanks for your comments and the information you have given. I will follow this up. Thanks very much.

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    Guest NewInOz

    Hello Andy, my wife was permanent part-time with the job. The advice to resign was disgraceful and ill-considered at best, positively evil if given to just get her out of the job. I will be exploring every avenue over this and I am grateful for your input.

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    Guest NewInOz

    Thanks Royd for the information. I will be following this up.

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    Guest NewInOz

    Just an update, Super SA have agreed to consider allowing an appeal from my wife regarding critical illness cover on the 28th September. If allowed, they will consider her claim for critical illness cover from April to July which was when she hander her notice in, on the advice of HR.

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