Across the world repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s) are becoming increasingly common, especially in the workplace. Whether through typing, packing, bricklaying or cooking, it’s easy to overuse muscles and tendons and cause strain. If you’re suffering from a RSI, you might be wondering, can I claim TPD cover for this injury? 

As always, the answer to this question comes down to your individual circumstances. It is possible to claim TPD cover for any injury or illness that prevents you from returning to work, and some RSI’s may well fit this definition. But before we go on to explain some relevant factors to claiming TPD cover for RSI, let’s break down what RSI’s are.

– What is a RSI? 

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an overarching term used to describe the excess use of soft tissues (muscles, tendons and nerves) within the body over a period of time. It occurs when individuals repeat the same movements over and over, resulting in overuse of particular soft tissue. Excess typing can lead to a RSI, as can continuous lifting. Symptoms include swelling, pain, aches and tenderness of a particular area (for example, around your wrists). RSI is a descriptive term, not a diagnosis. It generally refers to inflammation and swelling of the soft tissue but it may lead to more significant conditions down the track.

– Can I claim TPD for RSI? 

When it comes to TPD and RSI’s, whether or not you can make a claim comes down to the severity of the injury. TPD cover requires that you are ‘totally and permanently diasabled’, and therefore unable to work. If your RSI is minor, it may be managed with treatment and altercations to your workplace. Reduced work or removing the activity causing the injury may be an option too. If you can continue working with modifications to your workplace and treatment, then TPD cover may not be available to you. In this case, the best thing to do is speak to a doctor and your employer about treatment and altering those work activities which are worsening your injury.

On the other hand, if your RSI is so severe that you are unable to work (or return to work), you may be eligible for TPD cover. Here another relevant factor is your insurer’s definition of TPD. Some insurers’ TPD definitions require that you are unable to return to work within your education, training and experience, while others are assessed on your ability to perform activities of daily living. Some have retraining clauses, and some contain different definitions altogether. So whether or not you may claim TPD cover for your RSI is heavily impacted by your insurer’s definition of ‘total and permanent disability.’ It’s best to speak to an experienced lawyer to see whether your injury meets your insurer’s definition of TPD, as the devil really is in the detail. WKB TPD Lawyers offer a No Win, No Fee guarantee if we take your claim on.

It is not relevant to your TPD claim what activities your RSI originated from. In particular, the injury does not have to be a result of work activities to claim TPD cover. A RSI injury that occurs doing activities outside of work can still be used as the basis for a TPD claim, so long as the injury is severe enough to prevent you from returning to work.

Please note, this information is general advice only. It is best to speak to us about the facts of your case to determine your eligibility for a TPD claim. If you are seeking to make a TPD claim due a RSI, contact WKB TPD Lawyers on 1800 865 225 or on