What are compassionate grounds for early superannuation?

Published 06 Dec 2016

The Australian Taxation Office explains that the government takes into account the following four reasons for gaining early access to the superannuation savings on "compassionate grounds." Know that you can apply for more than one ground but that separate applications are required for each.

1. You need it to pay for a loan to avoid losing your home

In this case, the Australian Human Services Department states that you must prove that there is no other way for you to pay for the expenses.

Also take note that the most you can receive for a release of superannuation funds for mortgages is:

  • 12 months interest on the outstanding loan balance
  • 3 months repayments
  • The unpaid amount that prevents foreclosure on residence

All quotes should be no more than 6 months old and all invoices no more than 3 months old.

2. You need to modify your car or home to accommodate you or a dependant's severe disability

The medical practitioner must fill out a form proving that they:

  • have treated you or the dependant for the severe disability
  • have completed the form in the past six months
  • have the qualifications to fill out the form

You also need to provide a written statement from your mortgagee for each loan you've secured and it should be no more than 30 days old.

3. You can't afford the medical treatment for you or a dependant

You'll need the medical practitioner to fill out the same form mentioned above with the same three requirements. However, when seeking funds for treatment, you also need to demonstrate that:

  • the public health system can't readily provide the treatment
  • the medical treatment is not just wanted but necessary
  • the medical treatment is needed to treat a present condition and not for preventing a future condition

The Australian Human Services Department writes that you will also need to detail where the treatment will take place, how long it will take and how often you'll need the treatment.

4. You need to pay for expenses associated with a death, funeral or burial

The main proof you need for this ground is showing that a dependent has passed away by providing:

  • a letter from your dependant's medical practitioner
  • a copy of the dependant's death certificate

Then, you'll need to hand over unpaid invoices or quotes from the service providers you used in the event of the death.

For more information, consult with Gerard Malouf and Partners superannuation lawyers. We have a dedicated and knowledgeable team of lawyers who specialise in superannuation and will give you expert advice.

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