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Topic: TPD for depression

  1. smith2
    smith2 avatar
    2 posts
    1 May 2015

    Hello All,

    I've been off work with a major depressive disorder for 20 months, my employer (a well known multinational) instructed me to attend an Independence Medical Examination, based on the examination report my employment will be terminated.

    Depressed, alone, out of work and with a mortgage is not a good place. I'm about to start a TPD claim in the hope that I can keep my home.

    Does anyone have experience with TPD claims, I've read they can be difficult to prove ?

    Any advice ?

    Regards

  2. geoff
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    3 May 2015 in reply to smith2

    dear Smith, welcome to the site, and your post concerns claiming for a 'total and permanent disability' which I haven't actually had to claim but had to go through all the doctors mostly organised for my benefit by my solicitor and only one by the opposition, as a MRI shows the blood clot I received from an assault at work, never the less it does go on and on.

    The injury that you received at work will cease your employment from what I can read, which isn't what you want nor do you want to be sustained with this injury for life.

    Insurance companies will easily take our money with no hesitation at all, but when you want to claim, well that's another story, as they find anyway to not pay out.

    Before I continue have you claimed any payments from centrelink which can carry you through, and if your mortgage payments are behind then contact your bank and explain the situation.

    Google ' Independence Medical Examination' as there maybe some useful information for you, but normally these doctors are organised by the Insurer, but I do hope that you have a lawyer who will help you with this, especially one who deals in these types of claims.

    Please let me know what happens and if you want to talk about it. Geoff.

     

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Doolhof
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    8014 posts
    5 May 2015 in reply to smith2

    Hi Smith2

    I don't know anything about TPD claims, but I do know a bit about depression.

    I would just like to know if you are receiving help and assistance with your depression as it sounds like you are going through a rough time and life may become even more "heavy" with the avenue you are about to walk down.

    Do you have friends you connect with or family? It is important to keep in touch with people and to do things that you enjoy.

    Geoff has given you some good advice on how to proceed from here, so I hope you are able to find the assistance you need to get everything sorted.

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools (Lauren)

    2 people found this helpful
  4. smith2
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    2 posts
    5 May 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello Lauren and Geoff,

    Yes Geoff, you are correct the illness will result in my employment being terminated. Up until now I've received an income through my Super insurance scheme and been able to keep up. That ends with the job, therefore the TPD claim to make ends meet.

    Haven't claimed from centrelink todate.

    Lauren I have been getting weekly medical treatment for depression for near on two years, not sure that there's been any great progress.

    Looking like I will have to engage a TPD lawyer on a win no fee basis

    Cheers

    Smith2

  5. John.
    John. avatar
    4 posts
    26 May 2015

    Hi Smith2, I am new to this site and in no way an expert but have about 5 years of personal work place bullying and harassment and work cover experience that sounds like it could be similar to yours. If there is one thing I have learnt and been told by numerous Lawyers is that there is NO justice only money on this side of life. Justice only comes in the next life. Make sure you get a law firm on a no win no fee before you fill any forms out for your TPD. As Geoff has said "Insurance companies will easily take our money with no hesitation at all, but when you want to claim, well that's another story, as they find any way to not pay out." They will twist and squirm their way out if at all possible. I have just engaged Lawyers to take up my case with my private income protection company who have accepted my claim and have paid some but are now trying to restrict what they pay me. They are also looking into my Superannuation for a further claim there including TPD. I said to my wife that I was not going to attempt this myself due to my past hassles and it is not good for your health. Give it to an expert and let them do it so you can work on your health and keep your home and family. Generally the Law firm will investigate so far for free and then give you an upfront figure to do the work and you will only need to pay if they are successful. I will be very happy to pay when they are successful for me. There are many other law firms so check them out.  

    God Bless and good health.

    PS. get your wife to go to her GP and get a mental health plan organised not that she needs it but just to keep her sane while this is going on. Make sure her Dr Notes that she is well but that this is only as a precaution due to the stressful situation. This note on her file may be beneficial for her in the future if any medical investigations of her health for whatever comes up.

     

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8014 posts
    27 May 2015 in reply to smith2

    Hi Smith2

    I don't have anything to add regarding your work and financial situation.

    I am sorry to read though that your frequent sessions to help with your depression do not seem to be having a positive effect from what you have written.

    Maybe they are a little more effective than you think, but with everything that is going on, you will no doubt be feeling quite over loaded.

    Are there some activities that do increase your sense of peace and calmness? I suppose the person you are seeing has offered all kinds of ideas to you, have you found any that work?

    I find that just taking a half hour out of a crazy day for a walk helps me.

    Thinking of you, from Lauren

     

  7. Turkeyman
    Turkeyman avatar
    95 posts
    28 May 2015 in reply to smith2
    Really sorry to hear about your situation and I sympathize with the mortgage thing. Be mentally prepare for a long fight, TPD claims even through superannuation can take years, mine is in it's second year now after being rejected once by the insurer but being given a second chance thanks to the superannuation company. If it is a worker's comp situation, it isn't likely to be any easier either so I agree you need a no win no fee lawyer helping. Keep up the good fight, if we don't fight for what is rightfully ours, what good is insurance in the first place?
    1 person found this helpful
  8. newbie218
    newbie218 avatar
    4 posts
    24 June 2015 in reply to smith2

    Hi Smith2,

    I have just successfully won my TPD claim!

    I would definitely encourage you to seek the assistance of a lawyer, on a 'no win, no fee' basis to assist you. 

    It's extremely important that your treating doctors (ie. Psychiatrist, GP, Psychologists etc) are supportive of your application as they'll be required to complete a medical report to support your TPD claim. So I would encourage you to have a chat to them beforehand.

    My claim took 18mths, so it's a long process & hopefully you're in a position mentally and financially to endure the time it takes to process a TPD claim.

    As you may read elsewhere on other websites or forums, the insurance companies will try their best to reject your TPD application by sending to their so called 'Independent Medical Examiners (IME)' or find some inconsistencies in your medical history from your doctors reports etc. But don't let this scare you! If your claim is rejected, the insurance company are required to outline their reasons for declining your application & you'll be able to appeal their decision.

    In my particular case, my insurance company didn't send me for an IME or reject my claim. They based their decision to approve my TPD claim purely on the extensive medical evidence that was provided, which included 3 Workcover IME reports, 3 Medical reports from my Psychiatrist & 1 report from the Medical Panel. I sincerely believe that my psychiatrist's very detailed & supportive medical report, had the biggest impact in me winning my claim. 

    My age (36yo) & my payout amount, were my biggest hurdles to overcome. My lawyers kept telling me that my insurance company would try to use my relatively young age to reject my claim. They were of the belief that the insurance company would try their best to say that I could retrain or that there was no way I could be 'indefinitely' incapacitated with MDD bc I'm so young. Fortunately, my lawyers were able to justify in their submission letter why I wouldn't be unable to retain & return to work. 

    It took me 15mths to finally have the courage to lodge a TPD claim & my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. So I really hope that you don't make the same mistake that I made.

    If I can be of any further assistance, if you have any other specific questions about the process, please feel free to ask. 

    I hope this reply has been of some help to you & I wish you all the best. 

     

    7 people found this helpful
  9. Lcw
    Lcw avatar
    3 posts
    24 November 2015 in reply to newbie218

    Hi newbie218

    I have been off work for 9 mths originally diagnosed with adjustment disorder with extreme anxiety and depression. I have had 3 independent reviews and see my psyc fortnightly. I feel like my head will explode sometimes  trying to find out how long or what it will take to either recover or get a TPD diagnosis. I am flat out getting out if bed I push myself for those around me sake. My prognosis has gone from 3 to 6 months now out to 6-12 months. I am under extreme financial pressure I was wondering what your journey was like and hope you are keeping on top of things regards Lcw

    1 person found this helpful
  10. newbie218
    newbie218 avatar
    4 posts
    28 November 2015 in reply to Lcw

    Hi Lcw,

    I'm sorry to hear that about your circumstances. I can totally relate to how your currently feeling and the experiences that you've been through. In regards to my personal journey, like yourself, I was originally diagnosed by psychiatrist in 2011 to be suffering from an adjustment disorder. That changed about year later to major depression and anxiety and this continues to be my current diagnosis. Since 2011, I have tried over 16 different types of medication without any real success. Actually, several of the anti-depressant caused severe side effects that I required emergency medical treatment. I have also had 5 inpatient psychiatric admissions, pretty much one every year!. Other treatments I've tried include, attending weekly psychotherapy groups, psychological counselling, sleep therapy, hypnotherapy, graded exercise therapy, herbal medication. Most recently, I had ECT, with no success. Like yourself, I have undergone several IME appts arranged by my WorkCover consultant. My treating psychiatrist has also sent me to about 5 other psychiatrist for "second opinions", mainly for advice on medication interventions. I can empathise with you, your frustrations regarding your journey to recovery; not knowing how much longer it'll take to feel better is difficult to deal with. Similarly, the financial pressures you're experiencing I believe adds a lot of undue stress and hinders your progress to returning to good health.

    If you're considering lodging a TPD claim, I would strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of a lawyer. Generally speaking, the definition for TPD is that you'll need to be assessed as being "unable ever again to work for reward in any business, occupation or regular duties for which s/he is reasonably qualified by education, training or experience". I also found that having the support of my treating doctors to be extremely helpful. My treating doctors report was so detailed and supportive that I really feel that it lead to the success of my TPD claim.

    I hope my reply has been helpful. If there is anything else that you'd like to know about the TPD process, my journey or anything that may assist with your recovery, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Take care x

     

    4 people found this helpful
  11. minki
    minki avatar
    2 posts
    10 December 2015 in reply to newbie218
    Hi, i got mucked around by work cover for over a year , i was bullied out of my job was there for almost seven years, workcover used the old reasonable management excuse, then also said because i had a claim once before for sexual harassment over 10 years ago , i was denied as they got me an appointment with a dodgy IME and he just added his own wording , then i was discriminated  against as im  on a part dsp pension which was given to me after the sexual harassment case. i got well and  in remission for my panic attacks and depression and got a job took no time off was always reliable for 7yrs  up until last year when i was bullied and tormented by my boss and her daughter as she needed a job and her friends so my hours were cut . i stood up for myself with grievances put in, but that made it worse . so now im trying for my TPD insurance just sent the forms yesterday and am only hoping i dont get the stress like i did from workcover .
    1 person found this helpful
  12. Lcw
    Lcw avatar
    3 posts
    11 December 2015 in reply to newbie218

    Thank you for your reply and apologies for not acknowledging sooner. Since my post I have had quite a rough patch...not better now but have pulled on a suitable mask. I have been in touch with the lawyers referred to in this thread who work on a no win no fee basis and continue to see my psychiatrist and take my meds.

    Again thank you for your reply best regards lcw

     

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Just Sara
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    28 December 2015 in reply to newbie218

    Hey Newbie/lcw; This is a really interesting thread! These posts are mirroring my predicament to a tee. I also have had over 7 yrs of Bullying in the workplace with 3 failed W/C claims. (Also Section 11A - blah) I was forced to medically retire from my government position of 15 yrs. I'm confronted with appealing, Centrelink and also a TPD claim.

    The issue no-one seems to get is having to deal with all the symptoms of PTSD as well as cope with the plethora of paperwork. Everyone expects me to just whip up a submission or explain my case in a few words. So frustrating! The law firm I canvassed to help, sent me a letter stating my appeal was too big and wouldn't be paid enough to deal with it. They also said I couldn't use another firm. So I'm left to sort through reams of paper to make the case myself. Each time I sat to do this, panic set in and I had to walk away.

    I've looked for advocates and even reached out to the local uni to see if there were some law students to help. Doing this living alone is horrible. They want to know about the past, but it's the present that's important to me. Each day I fight the good fight, not to satisfy their legal requirements; I fight to stay within my sane limits to cope with my life.

    As an experienced officer of 5 govt departments over 30 yrs, I kept emails, letters, notes, phone calls and journals. I bought a large dining table from the Salvo's as a work space. It's taken me 18 months just to create separate piles for each issue. I need to develop a time-line for 7 yrs of events and medical evidence. It's so bloody daunting.

    I do have lots of support from my psychologist, psychiatrist, GP and family. The bank has been amazing! They helped me claim insurance for the time I was off work for my mortgage and car. I did withdraw some super funds which helped financially. But it's the expectation that I'm well enough to deal with it all that frustrates.

    Thank you all for the info. Let's hope this next year is a good one...Dizzy

    1 person found this helpful
  14. meatloaf
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    28 December 2015 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi

    i am in the exact same position. Currently on workcover which I won against my work for bullying and failing to create a safe work place. Anyway they only legally have to pay me for 12 months then they can terminate my employment, even when you win you lose. I have asked lawyers to investigate a TPD claim which they are looking into at the moment. I see a psych every 3 weeks which is exhausting ...I'm tired of talking about everything, everyone says 'go back to work you will feel better' ....I know in my whole soul that I can't face another work environment and would rather just end it all now if this is my only option. I haven't mentioned you to my medical team yet I'm nervous to bring it up....

    i understand how you feel about everyone thinks you can just miraculously make decisions and fill out paperwork when just brushing your teeth is like climbing Mount Everest 

     hope all goes well stay in touch

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Just Sara
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    4 January 2016 in reply to meatloaf

    Hey Meatloaf! I hear ya! Xmas and New Year has been a breather from all of this. Today I spent time on personal stuff and feel guilty I didn't attack my case. But that's nothing new. Avoidance is my life LOL

    Your W/C isn't the last resort. There's always Industrial Relations and Anti Discrimination. Come to think of it, I might have things back to front. I have a really good IR and Discrimination case. Going this avenue first may bare results to add to my wc appeal.

    Will have to talk with my legal advisor. I hope things turn out well for you mate. Bullies at work are insidious and need to be made accountable. As my doctor reminds me often; WC isn't there to get justice. Other agencies can do this like Fairwork Australia (Ombudsman) and Anti Discrimination Tribunal.

    Luck...Dizzy x

  16. meatloaf
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    19 January 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi

    Im being sent for another IME tomorrow...funny because CGU have not requested any reports from my medical team to date. I am wondering if it's a good idea to let work and CGU know that I am engaging lawyers....what does everyone think?

  17. Jobby
    Jobby avatar
    4 posts
    21 January 2016 in reply to meatloaf

    Hi Meatloaf,

    There could be a few reasons that they are sending you for an IME and there is certainly no reason why you couldn't ask the case manager for their reasoning. An independent opinion is just that and from an insurer perspective it gives them confidence in their decision making.

    With regard to advising your employer and insurer that you have engaged lawyers, it really doesn't make a difference. Your legal representation will advise the insurer in writing that they are acting on your behalf and it wouldn't have much of an affect on the case manager's plan / strategy on your claim. If you've made the decision to engage lawyers it is best to let them take over and advise you, that's what you'll be paying for.

    I have worked in workers' compensation and life insurance for a few years so if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer.

    Best of luck.

     

     

     

    3 people found this helpful
  18. meatloaf
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    16 February 2016 in reply to Jobby

    Hi

    the IME CRUCIFIED  my workplace and backed my medical condition ( report was sent to my doc and she let me read it') ...the insurers wrote to me and said no change to my benefits after receiving the report which gives me a couple of months breathing space. My work have not contacted me at all even to see how I am since October last year. may is fast approaching and then I guess all the legal will start

  19. dman2306
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    20 posts
    23 February 2016 in reply to meatloaf

    Hi Meatloaf - If I read your comment correctly, I think you are saying that the IME actually supported the issues at your workplace being the cause of your illness? Make sure you get a copy of this to your lawyers. Its rare that an IME actually has a soul and tells the truth and does right. They get paid $2000+ per report and thats normally typed up by their PA anyway. When they are being paid this much money, they know their bread and butter comes from the insurer so they try to make out all is fine and dandy.

    Stay strong mate. Try to fit in pleasant events weekly to keep you from going downhill too badly.

    1 person found this helpful
  20. meatloaf
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    23 February 2016 in reply to dman2306

    Hi Dman

    Yes the IME really supported my claim and even said a rtw in the next 6 months would be totally unhelpful...I know I was really really shocked he found in my favour as I know that usually IME's try and favour the insurer. I have requested a copy of the report and have an appointment with no win no fee lawyer next Friday.

  21. Jobby
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    4 posts
    23 February 2016 in reply to dman2306

    I don't agree with your assessment of IME's at all and to be honest perpetuating this myth only causes additional anxiety for people who are required to attend one. The insurance industry pays out tens of millions of dollars a week based on the opinion of IME's, sure there are some very ordinary examiners out there and mistakes are made but by in large they do a reasonable job. Implying that they are paid for opinion is just not true.

  22. meatloaf
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    23 February 2016 in reply to Jobby

    Jobby

    a lot of people on different threads have talked about their bad experiences with IME's. It's good to have this information to ensure you aren't blindsided at these appointments. The insurance industry also spends a lot of money and time trying to catch people out, even hiring private detectives to follow people. I'm sure there are good people in the industry but they don't really care about people you are just a number to them...example, my case manager has changed 7 times in 8 months and half of those times they never even bothered to tell me

  23. Just Sara
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    24 February 2016 in reply to meatloaf

    My superannuation case manager has advised me on making a TPD claim up until now. But after reading through some of these posts, I'm concerned.

    I've been collecting documentation as supporting evidence without the assistance of a solicitor. Am I doing the right thing? My doctor supports me, though she's 'iffy' when it comes to sharing reports with me; especially the IME. I've asked for a copy, but she refused. She gave a brief overview of the report using paraphrasing. So I don't know exactly what's there. She also did this with reports from my neurologist regarding an MRI and CAT scan.

    I want to trust people/authorities, but the more I experience, the less faith I have. As I don't have many funds available from TPD, is it worth paying a solicitor?

  24. meatloaf
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    24 February 2016 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Dizzy

    if your doctor has said she supports your application for TPD then it sounds as though the reports would back that...if in doubt ask her straight out if there is anything in the reports you need to be concerned about. It's a tricky one with using a lawyer, theres no harm in submitting your claim without using one to save some money then see how it goes...if your claim is denied maybe then think about bringing in someone to help. 

    Good luck  and best wishes 

    xx

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Just Sara
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    2 March 2016 in reply to meatloaf

    Thankyou so much Meatloaf!

    I appreciate your help...Dizzy x

  26. karmasully
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    1 posts
    14 August 2016 in reply to newbie218

    Thanks mate, that was a very helpful post. I have just lodged my TPD claims and IP claims with my lawyers and it has just been submitted. I am paranoid schitzophrenic and got diagnosed through a workplace incident. It is hard to find on the net much information regarding mental health TPD, reading your post was the first one ive found. If you have any advise or websites or forum links so i can keep researching will be hopeful, i hope mine doesnt take 18 months. Did you get your super too?

    Ryan

  27. Winterfell
    Winterfell avatar
    83 posts
    5 December 2016 in reply to smith2
    I hope you got on okay Smith. I am wondering how hard the process is/was.
  28. Fifob
    Fifob avatar
    1 posts
    25 July 2017 in reply to newbie218

    Hi

    I am about to start a TPD claim after been off work for 3 years by November this year for depression & anxiety, from working in a toxic environment & I was been bullied out of my job. I had to agree to a mutual separation or unfair dismissal was going to commence at the time I agreed as was not able for it at the time.

    I have got all the forms from the insurer for the claim & was going to attempt it myself but your recommending to get a lawyer? Is it best to help the claim with a no win no fee lawyer?

    How can I get more advice on the claim process etc? Is there someone I could talk to?

    Any assistance advice would be grateful ... Thanks

  29. meatloaf
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    26 July 2017 in reply to Fifob

    Hi

    sorry to hear this..going through the same thing myself. Personally I am using a lawyer as its too stressful for me to do...no win no fee and very reasonable cost if I do win. The biggest thing is to have strong medical evidence that you can't work...I currently have 3 pysch reports and my doctors report. Insurers will find anything not to pay you so all the medical support you can get is crucial. Some people do the initial paperwork themselves then get a lawyer if the claim is denied. It depends on how you feel you can manage...you must do what you think is best for you...everyone's experience is different. If you do get a lawyer make sure you do some research on them as there are crap lawyers too...my doctor recommended my lawyer as he'd helped other patients.

    Good luck...any other questions you have or just feel like ranting ( I do this often) please yell out

    x

  30. Eveningstar
    Eveningstar avatar
    1 posts
    9 June 2018

    Hi everyone, I’m new. I’ve been reading all these posts and I’m glad I found some helpful information. I have been on sick leave for over a year now from my job and went through a very tough time which I almost lost more than I bargained for. I’ve been suffering severe depression and anxiety, been on a few different medications and also have been diagnosed with two small tumours one on kidney and one on thyroid. I suffer with migraines and have chronic back pain. Also just been diagnosed with diabetes. Anyway through my struggles I have put on weight and started gambling to try make extra money for bills and car payments. I was also getting into risky behavior. I finally started to seek help and try getting better by taking medication and trying to stay positive, however I feel like I’m not really sure if I can and or want to go back to work. I did go back to work after 12months on a graduated return to work program however I only lasted two days in two weeks. I just couldn’t go back.

    Although I’m much better I am really not 100% I find it difficult still to do things like showering and even getting out of bed. Everyone is telling me to go back to work but I think that that’s my decision and I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress or the environment. I haven’t been bullied directly but have felt like I wasn’t valued enough and not treated equally as a professional.

    i am currently receiving income protection payments but it just gets me by and isn’t enough to get me out of financial trouble. I currently live with my kids as I struggled with rent and now finding it hard to rent through realestates. It’s difficult living with the kids as they sometimes don’t help my situation but make it worse.

    Anyway My caseworker for super suggested to me to apply for TDP (total disability Payment) and I asked what that was and she explained it. I thought about it over a week then I called her back and asked for the forms then she changed her tune announcing that it’s a long process and it’s difficult to get. Then started talking to me like there’s nothing really wrong with you and you should be able to go back to work.

    I felt like no one understands and no one feels what I feel. It’s so annoying that people like to have a positive opinion on depression and anxiety which is a negative thing.

    I liked reading all the posts it gave me some relief that others have had some similar issues.

    thank you

    2 people found this helpful

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