Jessica Shuwalow, Business Development & Marketing Manager

You may remember a tragic incident in late 2008 where local boy Ben Parkinson, sustained a terrible brain injury when he fell from the roof of the old Newcastle Post Office building. Ben was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain injury and requires full-time care for the rest of his life.

Well six years’ later and a lot of effort Ben has only just received a small amount of compensation through the early release of his superannuation. Although the law allows for early access to superannuation in cases where someone is permanently incapacitated, by no means was this an easy task!

Ben’s parents Cheryl & Gary Parkinson, who have been by Ben’s side since they first received that 6am phone call four days after Christmas in 2008, have on top of their fight for their sons survival, caring for him full-time, campaigning awareness about Traumatic Brain injury and fund raising money for a wheelchair-friendly car, have had to go head to head with Ben’s super fund in a painstakingly unsuccessful attempt to receive an early release on his super money.

After over five years’ of attempting to get the super fund to release Ben’s super money, Cheryl was referred to Newcastle Financial Planning to get assistance in making a claim to access Ben’s super. When Newcastle Financial Planning heard Ben and Cheryl’s story, they spent five months persevering with superannuation company to get them to agree to an early release on Ben’s super. It was through Elliot Watson, Financial Planner and Stacey Hodges, Client Services Manager’s knowledge, financial skills and determination in coordinating the complex paper work and chasing up of Ben’s doctors to get sign off on the appropriate documents, that Ben finally received his superannuation payout on 10 October 2014.

However the fight continues, following some forensic investigation from our skilled customer services manager we have discovered an old long forgotten insurance policy. What this means if the dice rolls our way is that Ben may be eligible for another TPD (total and permanent disability) payment between $50,000 – $70,000. This will make a substantial difference to Bens ongoing care needs.

In addition to Ben’s recent payout, the team at Newcastle Financial Planning have helped deserving clients and individuals to claim close to $7.4million in insurance money and early release of super money since FY09. These claim payouts have been for a variety of cases and the top three most claimed cases were:
• 7 claims for accident and injury
• 5 claims for Post-Traumatic Stress and Mental illness
• 4 claims for cancer sufferers

As sad as the story above is and the number of claims that have had to be paid out, it really does highlight that no matter how healthy you are, an accident can happen at any time and just how important it is to have proper adequate insurance cover and the right financial advice and support during these times.
Ben is still in need of further financial support, to learn more how you can help Ben visit his website:

Testimonial from Cheryl Parkinson, Ben’s mother: We were very impressed with the level of service and professionalism. Stacey, was prompt in answering both emails and telephone calls, flexible with meeting times, and very patient with answering all of our questions. We were very happy with the whole process and so relieved not to have the stress of dealing with this on our own. Carers in our situation certainly don’t need any extra stress.

I highly recommend Newcastle Financial Planning. Cheryl Parkinson

Disclaimer: This editorial provides general information only. Before making any financial decisions, consult a financial planner to take into account your individual needs.

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