Recently, there was a letter in the ST Forum about a person being unable to make a claim on her Dependent Protection Scheme (DPS) insurance.
In this particular case, the person was disabled from the waist down and wanted to claim based on the benefit of “permanent incapacity” in her DPS insurance.
This is defined as “being physically or mentally disabled from ever continuing in any employment (including self-employment).”
Unfortunately, her doctor certified her as being able to do work that does not require the use of her legs, therefore her claim was not successful.
The DPS scheme is currently run by either NTUC and Great Eastern Life (GE). When it was first introduced, it was run as a national scheme by the CPF board which was the one that came up with the benefit clause of permanent incapacity. Since then, the definition has not been changed.
The problem with this definition is that it is a bit subjective, and two different doctors could very well come to a different conclusion. It is also very hard to meet this definition.
For most other insurance policies, the benefit total and permanent disability (TPD) is used instead of “permanent incapacity”.
TPD usually means a condition of either permanently incapacity or total physical loss which is defined as:
• the total and permanent loss of sight in both eyes;
• the loss of, or total and permanent loss of use of, two limbs at or above the wrist or ankle; or
• the total and permanent loss of sight in one eye and the loss of, or total and permanent loss of use of, one limb at or above the wrist or ankle.
Unfortunately for the writer of the letter, the fact remains that the current permanent incapacity benefit for DPS does not make her eligible for a claim.
The government should reword the benefits of the DPS scheme to make it in line with the TPD benefit commonly found in other insurance plans.
After all, what is the use of DPS if it is so difficult to make a claim?
Of course, in order to keep DPS affordable, it is not necessary to extend the benefits further beyond death and TPD.
For those who want to be covered beyond what DPS covers, they can always get their own private insurance which can include:
- Disability income benefits that provide a payout “when you are unable to perform the material duties of your current occupation”
- Critical Illness (CI) benefits
- Personal Accident (PA) plans