Unlike death, terminal illness and total and permanent disablement (TPD) cover which are provided on a lump sum basis, income protection (IP) provides a monthly income replacement benefit. IP is available for accepted on duty and off duty claims and is provided by the insurer, TAL Life Limited (TAL).
The IP monthly benefit is calculated based on the officer's salary as at the date of disability rather than the current rate of salary. Under IP, officers will be entitled to receive up to 75% of their salary (salary is defined as base salary plus 17% loading for non-commissioned officers). Commissioned officers are entitled to up to 75% of award salary. If an officer is working part-time at the date of disability, then the salary is proportioned accordingly.
Secondary income derived through personal exertion will also be considered when the insurer is calculating the amount of IP benefit payable.
IP will be paid for up to a maximum of 7 years for on duty claims and for a maximum of 2 years for off duty claims.
The waiting period is a continuous period which commences from the date a medical practitioner certifies the officer as totally disabled on a medical certificate. The waiting period is required before any IP payments can commence.
The waiting period is 273 days for on duty claims and 60 days for off duty claims.
During the waiting period, officers are to use their available leave, e.g. worker's compensation, sick, annual, additional or extended. Should these leave types be exhausted, an officer will take leave without pay. After the waiting period, officers may commence IP upon acceptance of their claim by the insurer.
Once an officer's claim has been accepted by the insurer, the monthly disability benefit is payable from the first day after the waiting period. The IP benefit is then paid monthly in arrears. This means officers will receive their first IP payment one month after the date their claim has been assessed and approved by the insurer (after the waiting period).
At the end of the waiting period for on duty claims, officers will be placed on the statutory rate. The statutory rate is the amount as specified in section 37 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and is indexed in April and October each year. This payment will be paid in the fortnightly pay cycle by NSWPF.
All IP payments are subject to taxation which will be deducted prior to payment being made. The insurer is responsible for making IP payments directly to officers.
Officers will receive 100% of their current salary from NSW Police Force from the date of disability until the end of the 273 day waiting period for on duty claims. After this date, NSW Police Force will only pay the officer's statutory entitlement under Workers Compensation plus any hours worked. If the on duty IP claim has been accepted by the insurer, officers will also be entitled to a monthly IP benefit paid directly by the insurer, TAL.
At the end of the two month waiting period, the officer's current salary will no longer be paid by NSW Police Force while they are off work and not on any form of paid leave. Officers may also commence IP after the waiting period upon acceptance of their claim by the insurer.
Officers may be able to utilise extended, additional or annual leave to supplement their IP benefit by nominating the number of hours they wish to take whilst on IP.
Officers on sick leave will not be able to receive IP benefits at the same time. Similarly, officers cannot be on special sick leave or special leave whilst on income protection. The receipt of IP benefits will not affect an officer's capacity to accrue leave entitlements.
Once an officer is off work due to illness or injury, they will need to complete the relevant documentation required to initiate the IP claims process. Claims can be lodged during or after the waiting period. The earlier the forms are lodged, the earlier the insurer can assess the claim.
After the officer has returned all required forms to the Income Protection Case Officer, they will perform an initial check that all information is received and will then lodge the claim with FSS. FSS review the claim and refer it to the insurer. The insurer will contact the officer, the employer and treating doctor/s directly to obtain any further information that they require in order to make an initial determination in relation to the claim. The officer will be advised of the outcome of the claim.
FSS (the Trustee) acts on behalf of any member making a claim by overseeing the management of the claim and ensuring that the assessment of the claim is handled in a timely manner by the insurer.
The insurer will review the information provided on the claim forms to start the claim assessment process. If accepted, the claim will be subject to ongoing assessment and the officer will be required to complete a monthly Progress Claim form and an Attending Doctor's Statement. These forms assist the insurer in determining ongoing liability and the amount of any benefit payable for that period. If the officer no longer satisfies the definition of being Totally Disabled or Partially Disabled, payments will cease prior to the end of the potential benefit period. Please refer to the FSS Supplementary Product Disclosure Statement, dated 20 January 2012 for definitions (https://firststatesuper.com.au).
Officers will be provided a package consisting of the following forms to complete and submit to the IP Team:
- Member's Statement
- Attending Doctor's Statement
- Tax file number declaration form
- Bank account details
- Certified copies of proof of age and identity
The IP Team will contact your Command for an Employer Statement in relation to the claim which will be sent directly to FSS in addition to the claim forms from the Officer. For details of other documentation the insurer may also request when assessing an IP claim, refer to the Police Blue Ribbon Insurance Fact Sheet on the First State Super website (https://firststatesuper.com.au).
Whilst officers are receiving IP benefits from the insurer, NSW Police Force will no longer continue paying the officer's salary for off duty claims and will only pay the workers compensation statutory rate for on duty claims. This may impact on the officer's nominated payroll deductions, as there may not be enough funds available to meet their deduction obligations.
Refer to Fact Sheet 1 - Possible Impact of Income Protection Payments on Salary Deductions for more information.
The insurer is not responsible for making deductions from the IP payments.
NSW Police Force has a legal obligation to make superannuation, death and disability, garnishee and Centrelink deductions on a fortnightly basis. It is therefore the responsibility of officers to ensure they make alternative arrangements for all non-legislative deductions prior to commencing IP. Examples would include salary split between a number of accounts, mortgages, Health Funds contributions, memberships to associations, lease payments etc.
SASS and PBRI payments will continue to be made on your behalf by the NSW Police Force during the period of IP. The amounts paid will however be recovered from you upon return to work or separation.
Superannuation contributions may also be impacted when receiving IP benefits. This is because the insurer does not make Superannuation Guarantee Contributions (SCC) on IP benefits. SGC is only payable by NSW Police Force on the statutory rate under workers compensation for officers who have lodged an on duty claim. If you would like to make further personal contributions to your superannuation, please contact Payroll Services.
Officers on income protection may receive two payment summaries.
NSW Police Force will send a payment summary for salaries paid to the officer for the financial year and the IP insurer will also send a payment summary detailing the total IP benefits paid.
To obtain information in respect of the First State Super Police Blue Ribbon arrangement, please refer to the FSS website https://firststatesuper.com.au where a copy of the Member Booklet and Product Disclosure Statement (including the Supplementary Product Disclosure Statement dated 20 January 2012) can be found.
Alternatively contact the FSS Contact Centre on the number shown below to request a hard copy of the document.
You may also refer to the following contacts if you have further enquiries:
Contact your Injury Management Advisor (IMA)