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  • Help with accessing super early

    Normally you can only access your super early in limited circumstances. These circumstances are mainly related to specific medical conditions or severe financial hardship, such as:

    To find out more about conditions related to early or compassionate release of your super:

    See also:

    Financial impact of COVID-19

    Individuals financially affected by COVID-19 can access some of their superannuation early. Eligible individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and will not need to include it in their tax return.

    You can apply through ATO online services in myGov.

    See also:

    Medical treatment or expenses

    You may be eligible for compassionate release of super to pay for necessary medical treatment or medical transport expenses for you or your dependant, where the treatment is not readily available through the public health system, for:

    • a life threatening illness or injury
    • acute or chronic pain
    • acute or chronic mental illness.

    See also:

    Terminal illness

    You may be eligible for compassionate release of super to pay for necessary medical treatment or medical transport expenses for you or your dependant, for treatment not readily available through the public health system, for either:

    • a life threatening illness or injury
    • acute or chronic pain
    • acute or chronic mental illness.

    Discuss your situation with your super fund or provider first. You will need to ensure the rules are met before your super can be paid to you.

    See also:

    Passing of a dependant or loved one

    If your dependant or loved one has recently passed away, you may be eligible for early access to your super on compassionate grounds to help meet the costs of unpaid expenses associated with a dependant’s funeral, burial and death expenses.

    See also:

    Unable to work

    Temporary incapacity

    You may be able to access your super if you are temporarily unable to work or need to work fewer hours because of a physical or mental medical condition. This condition of release is generally used to release insurance benefits from a super fund.

    You will receive the super in regular payments (income stream) over the time you are unable to work. A super withdrawal due to temporary incapacity is taxed as a normal super income stream.

    Contact your super fund to request access to your super due to temporary incapacity.

    Permanent incapacity

    You may be able to access your super if you are permanently incapacitated. This type of super withdrawal is sometimes called a 'disability super benefit'.

    You have a permanent incapacity if the trustee is satisfied you have a permanent physical or mental medical condition likely to stop you from ever working again in a job you were qualified to do by education, training or experience. At least two medical practitioners must certify this for you to receive concessional tax treatment.

    You can receive the super as either a lump sum or as regular payments (income stream).

    Contact your super fund to request access to your super if you have a permanent incapacity.

    See also:

    Severe financial hardship

    If you have received eligible government income support payments continuously for 26 weeks and are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses, you may be able to withdraw some of your super. In this situation:

    • super withdrawn due to severe financial hardship is paid and taxed as a super lump sum
    • the minimum amount you can be paid is $1,000 (unless your super balance is less than $1,000) and the maximum amount is $10,000
    • you can only make one withdrawal from your super fund in any 12-month period.

    Contact your super fund to request access to your super due to severe financial hardship.

    Services Australia can provide a letter confirming you received an eligible income support payment for the required period.

    See also:

    Temporary residents

    If you have worked and earned superannuation (super) while visiting Australia on a temporary visa, you can apply to have this super paid to you as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) after you leave.

    See also:

    Last modified: 26 Jun 2020QC 62919