If you’re suffering severe financial hardship, or there are compassionate grounds, you may be able to access your super before you reach your preservation age.

If you’d like to claim super on compassionate grounds, you’ll need to contact the Australian Government Department of Human Services (DHS), to process your request.

For DHS to agree to release your funds, you’ll need to prove you’re financially unable to meet the expenses associated with one or more of the following:

  • Medical treatment or medical transport costs for you or a dependant, where the condition is life-threatening, or causes chronic pain or chronic mental illness.
  • If you’ve had to modify your principal place of residence or vehicle to accommodate the special needs of you, or a dependant, arising from a severe disability.
  • Paying for expenses for your or a dependant's palliative care, in the case of impending death.
  • Costs associated with a dependant's death, funeral, or burial.
  • Loan repayments to prevent the potential loss of your home.
  • Meeting other related expenses, associated with the grounds mentioned above.

Claiming your benefit on compassionate grounds is a two-step process:

  1. Apply to DHS to get permission to access your superannuation.
  2. If they give you permission, send us the original letter they provide you, along with the claim form in our Compassionate Grounds guide, so that we can organise a payment to you.

You’ll normally receive funds within a fortnight of sending your application and DHS letter to us. However, if there’s information missing or if we need to check details of your claim, the process could take longer.

If you’re an Accumulation account member the amount you withdraw reduces your account balance by the same amount.

If you’re a Defined Benefit account or a deferred retirement benefit member and looking to access your super on compassionate grounds, please contact us for more information before you send us your application.