Can I make a claim?
If the deceased member didn’t have a will (or there was no executor named), the administrator of the deceased estate can apply. Australian Ethical can only pay the death benefit to another person if there are no dependants or LPR.
A dependant includes:
- a spouse (de facto or same sex partner)
- a child (stepchild, your de-facto’s child or an adopted child)
- a financial dependant (someone who is wholly or partially financially dependent on the deceased)
- a person the deceased had an interdependent relationship with (where two people have a close personal relationship and live together, and one or both persons provide the other with financial, domestic or personal support. There are some exceptions to these requirements, including whether one or both of them suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability or they are temporarily living apart.)
Where a valid binding beneficiary nomination has been made, Australian Ethical will pay the benefit to the nominated beneficiary. See our Binding Beneficiary Nominations Form on our website for more information.
There are certain conditions that will need to be met for the binding death benefit nomination to be valid, so please read the information on the front page of the form before filling it in and be sure to follow the instructions on signing and witnessing – otherwise the application will be invalid.
A binding nomination will only be valid if it hasn’t expired and if the person nominated is a dependant or Legal Personal Representative (LPR) at the time of the members passing. It’ll be treated as a non-preferred (non-binding) nomination if the binding nomination has expired.
You should know there are tax implications of receiving a death benefit so it’s worthwhile getting advice from a licenced financial adviser.
Do I need a lawyer to lodge the claim?
You don’t need a lawyer but if you choose to, it won’t guarantee a shorter assessment period, influence the outcome or the amount paid on a claim. You should also consider the cost involved in having your own lawyer.
When it comes to assessing claims, one of our responsibilities is to ensure our members’ interests are front of mind at all times. This means we’ll make sure any decisions are fair and comply with the conditions set out in the fund’s insurance policies, our trust deed and relevant laws.
How long does it take to process my claim?
The claims process will start once we’ve received all the relevant documents and information requested.
The time it takes for a death benefit claim to be decided varies depending on the complexity. We’ll be in touch to provide you with updates and progress of the claim.
What is the claim process?
We want to make the claims process as easy and convenient for you as possible so the steps are outlined below.
- Contact us – the best thing to do is give us a call on 1800 021 227 so we can talk you through the claims process and explain the documents and information you need to get started.
- Complete the forms we send you – we’ll send you the forms you need to complete with a letter outlining the information you need to provide back to us, eg, a certified copy of the member’s death certificate, a certified copy of the Will, and/or Probate (if applicable). If the member held a valid binding beneficiary nomination at the time of death, then we won’t need as much information. We’ll let you know if this is the case.
- Our Insurer will assess the claim for the insured component – if the deceased member had insurance through their super, our Insurer will assess the claim. Along the way we’ll manage the progress of the claim and let you know if the Insurer needs more information from you.
- We’ll review your application – when deciding who to pay, we’ll review and consider the deceased member’s circumstances, the relationships with the deceased member, any nominations in place or other documented wishes, and who relied on the deceased member for financial and/or other support at the date of their death.
- Claim decision – when a decision is made, we’ll write to all the beneficiaries to let them know the outcome of the claim.