How can an individual gain early access to their superannuation?

An individual can only gain early access to their superannuation entitlements under exceptional circumstances. The superannuation fund may release some or all the superannuation benefits on the following grounds:

  • severe financial hardship

  • terminal illness

  • compassionate grounds

  • permanent incapacity to work

    Severe Financial Hardship

    The super fund may release part of the superannuation benefits if you are able to establish that you are experiencing severe financial hardship. In these circumstances the minimum amount that can be withdrawn is $1,000 and the maximum amount is $10,000.

    To establish severe financial hardship, you will need to meet both of the following conditions:

  • you have received eligible government income support payments continuously for 26 weeks.

  • you are not able to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

    Terminal Illness

    You may be granted early access to the entirety of your superannuation entitlements if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. You will need to satisfy the following conditions:

  • two registered medical practitioners have certified, jointly or severally, that you suffer from an illness or injury that is likely to result in death within 24 months of the certification.

  • at least one of the registered medical practitioners is a specialist practising in an area related to your illness or injury.

  • the 24-month certification period has not concluded.
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Compassionate Grounds

You may be allowed to withdraw a portion of your superannuation entitlements on compassionate grounds. The release of the superannuation benefits is intended to cover expenses such as:

  • medical treatment and medical transport for you or your dependent.

  • palliative care for you or your dependent.

  • making a payment on a home loan or council rates so you do not lose your home.

  • accommodating a disability for you or your dependent.

  • expenses associated with the death, funeral or burial of your dependent.

    The extent of the superannuation entitlements that can be withdrawn will be limited to what is reasonably required to meet any of the above referred to liabilities.

    Permanent Incapacity

    You may also be entitled to access your superannuation entitlements if you are permanently incapacitated, also called a “disability super benefit”. The fund must be satisfied that you have a permanent physical or mental medical condition making it unlikely that you will be engaged in any employment that you were qualified to do by reason of your education, training or experience. You can choose to receive the “disability super benefit” as either a lump sum or as an income stream.

    Less than $200 in your account

    Finally, you may be able to access your superannuation benefits if:

  • your employment is terminated and the balance of your superannuation fund is less than $200

  • you have found a “lost super” account with a balance of less than $200

    Brydens Lawyers has experts available to assist with all superannuation claims. Whether it be a claim for a disability super benefit or a total and permanent disablement benefit, Brydens Lawyers can assist. Contact Brydens Lawyers today on 1800 848 848 or at brydens.com.au to ascertain whether you have any rights to claim superannuation benefits. At Brydens Lawyers – #WE DO superannuation claims.