Income Protection

SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 2,032
Hi, Long introduction: One of the things I've been grappling with is going back to work.  As my diagnosis came almost at the end of the school year and I work in the education sector, I'm off work for a few weeks anyway.  I have looked at my Super and I do have income protection (75% for 2 years).  I have had the surgery, I'm waiting for results and have not yet seen an oncologist but I've been told I will almost certainly need rads and hormone therapy.  As I understand it, the moment I go back to work, I then have to wait another 6 week period without pay before I could qualify for the income protection.  My GP has said that I absolutely should not consider going back in Term 1 and assess Term 2 when the time is closer.  I'm finding this hard to get my head around.  Why can't they just say, "Yep, we know you've got cancer and you're quite probably going to find it hard to work sometimes but work when you can and we'll give you the income support when you can't"... it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  However, we are not in a financial position to go another 6 weeks without income if I try working and can't continue.  I love my job and the people are great but it can get quite physical with lifting, bending and stretching plus a long drive each way.

The point of my post is that I would be interested to hear if anyone has any advice or similar experiences.


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  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,292
    I drew on my life insurance as it had a trauma component as I was not only a physical wreck but an emotional one and didn't want the added pressure of not performing at my best. You can re-evaluate after term 1 if all going well...or just take some much needed rest and recreation time if it turns out all is well. When I returned to work I felt ready and quickly was burdened with the heavy workloads yet again. Remember this is why you have been paying for income protection. 
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 2,378
    @melclarity I remember you discussing income protection at some stage thought you might also have some answers for Sister 
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  • poodlejulespoodlejules Member Posts: 157
    Have you also tried Centrelink to see if you are eligible for sickness benefits? Good luck with everything!
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  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 2,032
    Thanks, everyone. @Joannie - I may well need more details when I'm further into it.  Some days (just before surgery) I felt such a fraud not being at work and then I'd fall in a heap over something or nothing.  I've put a lot of energy into making my job interesting and being someone who can provide assistance and I guess that I'm worried about losing that ground as well as being bored.  But I also know that with work, all of the driving, and looking after the family, I'm shattered at the best of times so I realise that there's going to be periods when I just can't do it (as does my doctor).  It's so stupid that it has to be set up this way because I bet there'll be times when I'm perfectly able to go to work or maybe just bring some work home.

    It is reassuring in a weird way to hear that some of you Superwomen (and you're all that in my mind - capes and all) have taken time as well.  Maybe I'm not a complete wuss.
  • HarleeHarlee Member Posts: 102
    @Sister perhaps you could consider returning to work on a part time basis if your doctor thinks you’re well enough?
    Different policies have different rules but in that instance mine would pay me 75% of the days I wasn’t working. So if you worked say 3 days a week then the income protection would pay 75% of the other 2 days. 
    Having time to rest and look after yourself is important but so is your career and having work to keep you occupied can help sometimes. I have my own business so I had the flexibility to work when I felt able and rest when I needed to.
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,078
    Thanks @SoldierCrab

    @Sister like @Joannie I am in education and am currently on income protection through VicSuper. My 2yrs finishes on 9th of January 2018. It is with AMP and I only found it after I'd completed chemo so I had already served my 90 days waiting and was backpaid quite a few months. It is 75%, I however worked 3 days a week and they picked up 75% of the 2 days I didnt work. It just wasnt enough otherwise for me as am Education Support. They work it out on your predisability earnings 75% of that. 

    I recommend also do not go back to work if your GP has said, you do have to have been off work unpaid for 6 weeks. The beauty was in the 2yrs I did not use my sick leave if I needed a day off, income protection picked it up. What I didnt like about it was, they do a gross then deduct your super that was paid by your employer as I was working then also take a % of super from their payment. As I worked this income was like a 2nd job so I was taxed ridiculously! I relied on this as am a single parent, however in a 2 income family this would be more than fine. 

    Hugs Melinda xo
  • Misty48Misty48 Adelaide HillsMember Posts: 19
    Hi @Sister,
    I live in the Adelaide Hills and am a School Services Officer. I am currently on income protection insurance through SuperSA. I have been off work since Term 3 2017. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2017. I used 30 days of my super before I could claim income protection. Although while I was on the 30 days paid leave I put in for leave without pay dated at the end of my paid leave and put in my claim before my 30 days was up as there is a 8-10 week waiting period before you find out if your claim is accepted. But as I kept saying to my husband surely they won't knock back a cancer patient! It is so confusing! We weren't in a financial position for me not to claim it. I had to have 51/2 months of chemo plus an operation and now after being all excited about returning to work on a return to work program I have been told I need radiotherapy so have now applied to keep on income protection until Term 2. I thought I would be fine to work all through my treatment but am so glad I didn't, everyone was getting sick at work and I'm so glad I avoided that. Other staff members who have had breast cancer and needed radiotherapy regret not taking income protection insurance and advised me to stay on it until all my treatment is finished, I'm so glad I've taken their advice as on some days you do feel good but others not and you need to give yourself time to heal. I feel guilty for not being at work and wish I was there. But am so lucky I work in a very supportive school.
    I wish you all the best xo
  • Misty48Misty48 Adelaide HillsMember Posts: 19

    @Sister sorry correction I took 30 days long service leave not super
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 2,032
    Thanks, @Misty48.  I'm getting my head around taking the time off and it's invaluable hearing what others have done.  My GP said that she'd never heard of a cancer patient being knocked back but it's good to hear from someone who is in DECD and done it.  
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