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Superannuation customers urged to push for entitlements after grieving Bedford man’s payout drama

A Bedford man has urged superannuation customers to not take no for an answer after his mother, who died from cancer, was denied both income protection and death benefit payouts.

Tom Power-Craig’s mother Judith Craig switched her superannuation to Media Super in July 2016 when a business development manager from the industry fund did a presentation at her workplace.

Ms Craig had been diagnosed with cancer but it was not terminal at the time and she was still working full-time.

Her son claims she was offered no comparison of superannuation products nor was she asked to disclose any medical information.

“Roll on 12 months and Mum was unable to work due to the severity of her cancer,” Mr Power-Craig said. “We applied for the terminal illness benefit income protection for which she had been paying premiums, but after four months of waiting they informed Mum she was not eligible because the cancer was a pre-existing condition.

“Mum was obviously devastated but chose not to contest it because she was so ill. Instead, we used the equity in her house to live on and part of her superannuation as a pension to live off.”

After four months of waiting they informed Mum she was not eligible because the cancer was a pre-existing condition.

When Ms Craig died in September, Mr Power-Craig applied for the $20,000 death benefit on her superannuation account to cover the cost of the funeral and other expenses.

But he was knocked back once again.

Mr Power-Craig approached The West Australian and, late last week, Media Super contacted him to tell him it would pay the death benefit into his late mother’s superannuation account.

A spokeswoman for Media Super said she would not comment on specific cases, but said the company had paid out 74 of 78 death benefit applications for the 2018 calendar year.

She said they provided a refund of insurance premiums when members were not eligible for coverage.

Media Super collected more than $22 million in insurance premiums from its members in the 2018 calendar year, all of which was paid to the company’s insurer.

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