Are injuries the only way to access your super early?

PUBLISHED 12 Dec 2019

Many Australians are under the impression that the only way to access funds from their superannuation ahead of schedule is to pay for an injury or significant medical emergency. And it is true that most of the circumstances which allow one to access their super funds early are related to medical conditions.

But there are other factors, including severe financial hardship, which you can claim in order to receive funds from your super in the short-term. Listed below are a few of the non-medical circumstances which might allow early access.

Severe financial hardship

One way to receive your super funds early, if not due to an injury or medical negligence, is to qualify for “severe financial hardship”. However, there are very specific guidelines determining who meets the definition of severe hardship. Some of the eligibility requirements include:

  • You must be unable to keep up with a reasonable cost of living
  • You must be getting an income support payment
  • You must have been receiving this income support payment for at least 26 weeks in a row

And those are just the general eligibility guidelines. There are further rules for those over preservation age, as well as for those receiving student benefits. And even if you meet all the requirements defining severe financial hardship, it’s still up to your super – there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive the money early just because you meet the baselines.

Temporary or permanent incapacitation

If you’re unable to work because of a condition (either physical or mental), or need to work fewer hours as a result of that same condition, then you may be eligible to access insurance benefits from your super due to temporary incapacity.

Those suffering from permanent conditions, again either physical or mental, can also make a claim for a withdrawal under their super, often referred to as a “disability super benefit”. To be eligible for such a withdrawal, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are now unable to work in whatever job you were previously qualified to do, with at least two practitioners certifying your claim.

Compassionate grounds

There are also some non-medical “compassionate grounds” on which you can attempt to claim early funds from your super. These include making a payment on a loan that will prevent you from losing your house and paying for the expenses associated with the death, funeral, or burial of a dependent or family member.

Do you need to make a claim on your superannuation early, for an ongoing disability, doctor negligence, or any other reason? Contact the expert team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers, who’ll help you to receive the compensation you deserve.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.