Finding out you're dealing with a serious illness can be an emotional and traumatic time. You might suddenly find yourself having to deal with extra medical treatment, time off work, breaking the news to your loved ones, and handling the physical and emotional impact this will have.
Here are some ways of making sure your finances are sorted so that you can focus on your health.
Check your insurance
You may be eligible to claim a lump-sum (one-off) benefit payment or receive a monthly payment if you have certain types of insurance.
Log in to your account or check your most recent benefit statement to see if you’re covered and what type of insurance cover or inbuilt benefits (DBD members only) you have.
You can find more information in our Insurance in your super booklet or call us on 1800 331 685 to speak to a team member about your insurance cover or inbuilt benefits.
Look at ways to meet additional costs
You may be faced with unexpected medical bills that aren't covered by Medicare or your health insurance provider.
Having additional medical expenses can add to the emotional and physical distress of your illness.
If you have a Flexi Pension, you can increase your pension payment amount to meet your additional cashflow needs. You can also make a lump-sum withdrawal. Just remember, if you have a Transition to Retirement (TTR) pension, you can only withdraw a maximum of 10% of your balance each year.
If you're having trouble paying bills, or meeting credit card or loan repayments, it’s worth letting your provider know. They can assess your situation and work out what help is available—this could include payment plans or temporarily altering your loan repayments.
See the government’s MoneySmart website for more information on financial hardship.
Setting a budget to accommodate your changed circumstances can help you feel more in control of the financial aspect of your illness.
Make sure you're getting all your government entitlements
Centrelink offers a number of benefit payments that can help you and your partner manage financially during your illness.
If you're below 65 and can't apply for the Age Pension, you may be eligible for a Disability Support Pension, which entitles you to a Pensioner Concession Card. You’ll need to meet Centrelink’s income and assets tests. When you reach Age Pension age, your Disability Support Pension may transition to an Age Pension.
Your partner may be eligible to receive a Carer Allowance if they provide additional daily care and attention for you and you both meet the eligibility criteria. This allowance is not subject to an income or assets test.
They may also apply for a Carer Payment if you both meet the eligibility criteria. This payment is subject to the income and assets tests.
A UniSuper financial adviser can guide you through the Centrelink payments you and your partner may be eligible to receive.
No one wants to think about their death, but it’s important to take some simple steps now to make it easier for your family if you pass away.
If you have a Flexi Pension, you can nominate who you want to receive your pension after you die.
If you're a Defined Benefit Indexed Pension or Commercial Rate Indexed Pension member, there are specific rules around who can receive your pension after you’re gone.
Learn more about what happens to your pension when you’re gone.
A UniSuper financial adviser can help you navigate the financial side of this difficult time.
Take a look at how UniSuper Advice can help you.