You can apply through myGov.
If the ATO approves, we aim to pay your super within 5 business days. You should receive the money 3-5 days after this, depending on bank transfer times.

Superannuation is designed to help you save for retirement, so there are rules about when you can access it. However, you may be able to access your super early if the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) decides you are eligible because you have been financially impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

How much can I get?

If you're eligible, you can withdraw up to $10,000 in 2020-21, and you may have been able to withdraw up to $10,000 in 2019-20.

These payments are tax-free and do not affect any payments you receive from Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs.

Who can access their super because of coronavirus

If you're an Australian or New Zealand citizen, the ATO requires you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You're unemployed
  • You're receiving certain payments from Centrelink1
  • You were made redundant on or after 1 January 2020
  • You lost income on or after 1 January 2020 because:
    • Work hours reduced by 20% or more, or
    • Business temporarily closed or turnover reduced by 20% or more (sole trader).

Temporary residents living in Australia may also be eligible - see the FAQs below.

How to apply

You can apply online by logging into the myGov website or app and clicking on ATO Online. If you can't get into your myGov account, you can call the ATO to apply.

You can only apply once per financial year, but you can include your accounts with multiple super funds:

  • 2020-21 financial year: Apply from 1 July to 31 December 2020.
  • 2019-20 financial year: Apply from 20 April until 30 June 2020. (Applications now closed.)

Check your balance
Before you apply, log in to Member Online and check your super balance, then update your personal details if needed. If your details with the ATO don't match your details with QSuper, your application could be delayed or rejected.

Coronavirus infographic Coronavirus infographic mobile

What else to consider

  • Check in myGov to see if you have multiple super funds, as you can claim your super from multiple super funds if you need to. It's easier to manage your super when it's all in one place, so you may want to combine your super into your account with us. Consider whether you'd lose any insurance or other benefits first.
  • It's important to be vigilant against COVID-19 pandemic scams, although your QSuper account has strong protections in place.
  • Your superannuation is designed to help you save for retirement, so if you take it out now, you will have less money saved once you finish work.
  • Withdrawing your super early is a serious choice and it can be wise to seek financial advice before making a decision.
  • Accessing your super early may affect your insurance (see below).
  • If you make a withdrawal from your super, the amount you can claim as a tax deduction for your super contributions may be reduced.
  • Accessing your super because of the coronavirus is different to taking out your super due to financial hardship or on compassionate grounds. Learn more about the other ways you may be able to withdraw your super early.
  • For more information about budgeting and money, visit the government's MoneySmart website.
  • To find out if you are eligible for other government benefits, visit the Centrelink (Services Australia) website.

What COVID-19 means for your insurance

Any insurance you have with your Accumulation account may be affected if you stop receiving contributions to your super while you are working less. If you would like to keep your insurance cover, you can permanently opt in via Member Online.

Keep in mind, even if you permanently opt in, there are various circumstances when cover will end, for example, if there is not enough money in your account to cover insurance costs (premiums).

If an illness or injury happens before the date your cover is cancelled, you may still be able to claim on the cover you held. Please contact us if you need to make an insurance claim.

You should also be aware that QSuper has a pandemic illness exclusion. Any existing insurance cover you had in place prior to 18 March 2020 is not impacted by this exclusion.

Find out more about what COVID-19 means for your insurance, your insurance options or see the Accumulation Account Insurance Guide (pdf) for full details.


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Coronavirus and super FAQs Show all Hide all

The ATO will let you know if your application is approved within 2-3 days via myGov.

If you have selected in myGov to receive physical mail, this will depend on Australia Post delivery schedules for your area.

Please make sure you check that the bank account name you enter when making your application is the same as the name on the account held with your bank. This will reduce the likelihood of any delays when your application is processed.

Once you've submitted your application, you can cancel it if you made an error or mistake by contacting your super fund before the payment is made.
When you make your application, the ATO will ask for your bank account details. We will pay your super into the bank account you have chosen.

We will process your payment within 5 business days of receiving approval from the ATO, and you will see the money in your bank account within another 3-5 days.

There may be cases where we need to take a little extra time to ask you for information so we can process your application and keep your money safe.

Logging into your Member Online will allow you to check the current total balance with QSuper, but you won’t see a breakdown of underlying individual amounts as displayed in MyGov, because we treat the total as one account. If your current total balance is above the amount you are requesting be paid to you, then as a general rule, we recommend selecting in myGov the account showing the highest balance.

There is no extra cost to having multiple accounts with QSuper, as your annual administration fee is capped, and we don’t charge an account-based fee.

Applications for temporary residents were allowed by the ATO for the 2019-20 financial year, so you cannot make a claim after 30 June 2020. 

Refer to the ATO website for further information.

If you apply for the full $10,000 but don't have that much in your account, you might receive the amount you do have in your account.

If you have multiple super funds, you can withdraw different amounts from each fund in the same application, e.g. $1,000 from one super fund and $9,000 from another super fund.

Before you apply, check how much you have in each of your super accounts, as the balances shown in myGov may be out-of-date.

Existing QSuper members may be able to access any lost or unclaimed super held by the ATO, by transferring it into their QSuper account. Contact the ATO directly or apply through MyGov.

If you're not already a QSuper member, it's easy to join us.

No, you don't need to report this on your tax return, because the payment is tax-free and it is not counted as income.

Yes, you can apply to withdraw money from your Defined Benefit account. However, you should get financial advice about how your defined benefit will be impacted.

Refer to the Defined Benefit Guide (pdf) for further information.

You generally cannot take lump sums from a TTR Income account. However, you can apply to withdraw money from your Accumulation account and then restart your TTR Income account if eligible.

Refer to the Income Account Guide (pdf) for further information.

No, you cannot take a coronavirus early release payment from your Retirement Income account.

However, you can request a cash withdrawal from your Retirement Income account at any time. Find out more.

Refer to the Income Account Guide (pdf) for further information.

1. Eligible Centrelink payments at the time of writing are JobSeeker, Youth Allowance for Jobseekers, Parenting Payment (single or partnered), Special Benefit, and Farm Household Allowance.