​TPD (Total and Permanent Disablement) policies insure a person’s earning capacity against the risk that they will become totally and permanently incapacitated for remunerative employment.

The specific terms of TPD policies vary from insurer to insurer, and within the portfolio of a given insurer, but the underlying expertise issues generally remain the same.

At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget.

What Expert Evidence

​In general a Plaintiff has to establish illness or injury which disables them from doing their pre-injury job. Proof of that status prima facie brings them within the terms of a TPD policy.

The evidentiary onus then reverses and the Insurer is obliged to establish that the person is employable and therefore is not TPD within the meaning of the policy. Consequently, in practice, most of the expert evidentiary burden falls to Insurer.

There are 4 main expert issues to address when determining whether or not a person is employable, and therefore not TPD.

1. Physical capacity for employment.

Whilst the existence or absence of a specific impairment might best be determined by a medical specialist in a particular field, eg a surgeon, the question of the impact of an impairment on the capacity to work is the expertise of the occupational physician and they are best placed to provide those opinions.

2. Psychological capacity for employment.

This is usually assessed by a psychologist. A psychologist with with some experience in vocational psychology and rehabilitation is usually preferred.

Clinical psychological testing may be required in some cases.

3. Education, Training and Experience (ETE) or an employability assessment.

This is usually conducted by a rehabilitation consultant with experience in conducting return to work programs.

Whilst this component of the process is commonly referred to as an “Employability Assessment” it forms only 1 of the 4 elements required to establish employability and to show that a plaintiff is not TPD.

4. Labour Market evidence

This is usually conducted either by a rehabilitation consultant or an employment services consultant.

This covers both existence of the identified work options, consistency with residual capacity and ETE, and depending on the terms of the policy availability within a reasonably accessible labour market.

A total report

Getting an expert opinion on each of the 4 major topics which adequately addresses the relevant issues is difficult. Making sure that they align is even harder. It is far easier and cheaper to do if all aspects of the report are dealt with at once.

Sample Reports

For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.


The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
  • Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Relevant Articles Practical Employability Assessment Issues: Hannover Life Re v Jones

A discussion of Hannover Life Re v Jones

TPD: Reasonably Accessible Labour Markets Pt 1

A discussion of labour market issues in TPD Pt 1

TPD: “Labour Markets” v “Reasonably Accessible” – Part 2

A discussion of labour market issues in TPD Pt 2

Relevant Cases TAL Life Ltd v Shuetrim; MetLife Insurance Ltd v Shuetrim [2016] NSWCA 68

Evidentiary onus on Defendant to show there are specific occupations for which the applicant for TPD benefits is likely suited.[43-50] TPD means both total and permanent.

Gedeon v First State Super Trustee Corporation [2005] NSWIRComm 62

Evidentiary onus on Defendant to prove all elements of employability [32]

Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd v Jones [2017] NSWCA 233

What does "reasonably fitted" include and how close must the link or connection to proposed work options be?

Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd v Dargan [2013] NSWCA 57

What is covered by ETE at date for assessment.

Hannover Life Re of Australasia Limited v Sayseng [2005] NSWCA 214

A classic statement of principles

Birdsall v Motor Trades Association of Australia Superannuation Fund Pty Ltd [2015] NSWCA 104

What is covered by ETE at date for assessment. (An Expert Experts / ECA report)

Manglicmot v Commonwealth Bank Officers Superannuation Corporation Pty Ltd [2011] NSWCA 204

Part time work, pre-injury work.

Profiles of Experts in Life, TPD and Disability insurance

Below are short profiles of a few experts with expertise in this field. Please contact our office to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget. Expert Experts are experts in finding the right expert for your needs and you pay no more to use Expert Experts than if you searched and found the expert yourself.

  • #ID8109


ID8109 is a registered psychologist specialising in workplace injury matters and behaviour modification. More specifically, his focus is on human behaviour in workplace environments, and how modification techniques can be used to alter the way in which workplaces function and to prevent workplace psychological injuries.

  • #ID7385

Orthopaedic surgeon

ID7385 is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon with appointments to various public and private hospitals within Australia.

ID7385 graduated from University in 1972 with Honours and has 40 years of experience in orthopaedic surgery. ID7385’s university and hospital duties include lecturing and he is an examiner for a national medical school. He has previously held the position of Orthopaedic Department Head and executive positions on the Board of AOA.

  • #ID9610

Psychologist, vocational assessor

Expert ID9610 has 15 years accreditation as a Registered Psychologist and has extensive experience in the areas of vocational, psychological function and earning capacity assessments in a range of settings including in recruitment, occupational rehabilitation and medico-legal contexts.

  • #ID11743

Clinical neuropsychologist and forensic psychologist

ID11743 is a well qualified and professional clinical neuropsychologist (focusing on psychological disorders associated with conditions affecting the brain) and forensic psychologist (focusing on application of psychological ideas to the legal and criminal justice systems) with extensive experience providing expert opinion evidence.

  • #ID9608

Vocational assessor / Work option identification

Expert ID9608 has extensive clinical rehabilitation experience and in recent years has specialised in the conduct of vocational and earning capacity assessments. In addition to conducting assessment, Expert ID9608 continues to perform case management, to assist with placing injured workers into suitable employment.

  • #ID1133

Occupational physician

​ID1133 has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of occupational health within industry, particularly in task design, ergonomics, injury, risk assessment and management, as well as occupational, workplace based rehabilitation, both as a consultant to industry and as the principal of a private practice.

Contact us at or give us a call 1300 72 66 55

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Contact Details

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St Leonards 1590
Phone: 1300 72 66 55
Fax: 1300 72 66 33