Applying for early superannuation release

How to apply depends on why you need the money. Apply to us if you have compassionate grounds. Apply straight to your super fund for any other reason.

If you need medical practitioners to fill out a form to support your application, make sure they use the 2017 version. We won’t accept the old form.

Before you start

Check if you’re eligible for compassionate grounds.

Check with your super fund that they can release your super for compassionate grounds if we approve it.

If you’re in an exempt public sector superannuation scheme we can’t approve early release of super.

Set up a Centrelink online account so you can apply. You don’t need to do this if you already have one. Check your details are correct and update your address and contact details if they have changed.

If you haven’t used Centrelink before or you’ve changed your name, confirm your identity with us. You don’t need to do this if you’ve had a recent payment or concession card from us.

What may be different

You don’t live in Australia

You don’t need a Centrelink online account.

You have a self-managed super fund

You still need us to approve your claim for early release of super.

Get the documents you need

You must give us:

  • identity documents unless you have already done this
  • quotes and unpaid invoices for the amounts you need
  • documents to prove you need the money - these are different for each compassionate ground:
    • mortgage
    • disability
    • medical
    • palliative care
    • funeral

Quotes and unpaid invoices

The quotes and unpaid invoices must:

  • be on the biller’s letterhead
  • give the date
  • be no older than:
    • 6 months for quotes
    • 30 days for invoices

Mortgage proof

You need to give us a written statement from the lender. This must:

  • be on the lender’s letterhead
  • be no more than 30 days old
  • give the date
  • say:
    • there’s an overdue amount
    • the lender will sell your home if you don’t pay it
    • the address of the home
    • the total amount for 3 months of loan repayments
    • the total amount for the next 12 months of loan interest
    • the lender’s name
    • the bank account number of the loan

What may be different

You have more than 1 mortgage on the home

You need to give us a separate lender statement for each.

You and someone else both want early super for the same mortgage

The lender’s written statement must say you’re all legally responsible.

Disability proof

You need to give us an Early Release of Superannuation on Compassionate Grounds Report by registered medical practitioner form. A registered medical practitioner must fill this in.

You need to give us a report from a registered medical practitioner who has treated you or your dependant. It must:

  • give the date
  • be less than 6 months old
  • clearly show their medical qualifications
  • have their signature
  • say:
    • you or your dependant have severe disability
    • you need to make modifications to your home or car or buy disability aids
    • the specific modifications or aids you need
    • why you need them
    • how they’ll help you live with the severe disability

Medical proof

You need to give us 2 Early Release of Superannuation on Compassionate Grounds Report by registered medical practitioner forms:

  • 1 must be from a registered medical practitioner
  • the other must be from a medical specialist in the condition

These reports must:

  • give the date
  • be less than 6 months old
  • clearly show their medical qualifications
  • have their signature
  • say:
    • you or your dependant have a life threatening illness or injury, acute or chronic pain, or acute or chronic mental illness
    • you can’t get the treatment through the public health system - not required if you're applying only for travel to medical treatment
    • you need it – you don’t just want it
    • it’s for an existing medical condition, not to prevent one

If you need to travel to medical treatment

We consider all ways you can get to treatment including:

  • public transport
  • a medical transport service
  • taxi
  • hire car

If you can’t use any of these we will consider approving early release of super to buy a car.

We need to see that:

  • at least 60% of the car’s main use will be medical transport
  • you need to travel at least 7,200 kilometres each year for medical treatment

To show this, at least 1 medical report must say:

  • where the treatment is
  • how often you need it
  • for how long you need it, and
  • how far you need to travel

You can’t get early super to repay a car loan you already have.

Palliative care proof

You need to give us an Early Release of Superannuation on Compassionate Grounds Report by registered medical practitioner form. A registered medical practitioner who has treated you or your dependant must fill this in.

The report must:

  • give the date
  • be less than 6 months old
  • clearly show their medical qualifications
  • have their signature
  • say you:
    • have a terminal illness
    • have less than 24 months to live
    • need palliative care

Funeral proof

You need to give us:

  • a copy of the person’s death certificate, or
  • a letter from their doctor

The letter must:

  • say the person has died
  • be on the doctor’s letterhead
  • give the date
  • be less than 6 months old
  • clearly show the doctor’s qualifications
  • have their signature

Fill in your form

If you live in Australia

It’s best to start your claim online.

Start your claim online

If you already have a myGov account

Sign in to myGov to link to your Centrelink online account and do your Centrelink business.

Sign in to myGov

If you have a Centrelink online account

To do your business online, you need a myGov account and a Centrelink online account.

If you don't have a myGov account, create one today. Once you have created your account, you can link it to your Centrelink online account. Watch the video and read more on how to link your online account to myGov.

Create a myGov account

If you don't have a Centrelink online account

If you’ve been a Centrelink customer before

You’ll have a Customer Reference Number. Use this to register for an online account.

This is anyone who’s had a payment or concession from us before, no matter how long ago.

If you haven’t been a Centrelink customer before

Visit a service centre and tell us you want to register for an online account. You’ll need to bring photo ID with you.

This is anyone who’s never had a payment or concession from us before.

Register

If you don’t have a Customer Reference Number, visit a service centre and ask for one. You’ll need to show identity documents to prove who you are.

If you live outside Australia, you may not be able to set up an online account.

If you live overseas

Call us and ask for an application form.

What may be different

You want to apply for more than 1 reason

Apply separately for each reason. Submit documents to back up each reason.

You and someone else both want early release of super for the same compassionate reason

One of you must apply first. They’ll get a verification code when they do this. The second person gives this code and the first person’s Customer Reference Number when they apply. More than 2 people can apply for the same compassionate reason.

Submit your application and documents

If you live in Australia

Submit your application online.

You can also submit most documents online. Submit your documents within 14 days so that your application is not cancelled. If you can’t submit your documents online you can post these or take them to a service centre.

If you live overseas

Post your form and documents to:

Department of Human Services
Early Release of Superannuation Benefits
PO Box 7832
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

Wait for the result

We’ll send you a letter saying if we approve the early release or why we haven’t. Depending on how you’ve chosen to get letters, we’ll post it or send the letter to your myGov Inbox.

This can take up to 28 days after you apply.

If you think our decision was wrong

You can request we review our decision if you think we made a mistake.

You have 14 days from the date on our decision letter to submit an Early Release of Superannuation Benefits on Compassionate Grounds – Request for a review of a decision form. You can submit the form online or post it to:

Department of Human Services
Early Release of Superannuation Benefits
PO Box 7832
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

If you think the appeal decision was wrong

You can ask the Commonwealth Ombudsman to review it. But they can’t order us to change our decision.

If you didn’t get all your documents to us in time

Submit a new application and get all the documents to us within 14 days.

If you want another early release of super

Submit a new application and get all the documents to us within 14 days.

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Page last updated: 30 June 2017