As super is designed to financially support you in retirement, you usually can't withdraw it until you reach the age set by the government. But you may be able to access your super balance, including any total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance you have,  if you're unlikely ever to be able to work again because of injury or illness.

What is permanent incapacity?

Permanent incapacity means you have a condition that is likely to permanently stop you from ever working again in a job you're qualified to do by education, training, or experience.

How much can I get?

If you are permanently incapacitated, you may be able to withdraw:

  • Your superannuation account balance, including
  • Your TPD benefit (if you have TPD insurance through your super).

You can view your account balance and insurance cover in Member Online.

Permanent incapacity vs total and permanent disablement

There are different requirements you'll need to meet to make a claim, depending on whether you have TPD insurance.

  • To claim your super balance (which will include any insurance for an approved TPD claim), you will need to meet the definition of "permanent incapacity" set by the Australian Government.
  • To claim any TPD insurance you have, you will also need to meet the definition of "total and permanent disablement" that applies to you. These definitions can be found in our Insurance Guide (pdf).

When you make a claim, we'll ask you to provide information about your condition and occupation to help us assess your claim. This will include medical certificates from legally qualified medical practitioners.

walking next to wheelchair

Other ways to receive your super or an insurance benefit

If you are not permanently incapacitated, there are other ways you may be able to receive your super or an insurance benefit if you are sick or injured.

Learn more about the other ways you may be able to withdraw your super early.

How to apply

We understand this may be a difficult time, so we aim to make the process of making a claim as simple as possible.

Contact us

You (or someone else) can contact us to let us know about your situation.

Gather documentation

We'll let you know what documents you'll need to provide and which forms to complete.

We'll work with you

We'll help you through the claims process and answer any questions you may have.

For more information about how to make a claim, read our Permanent Disability Benefit Guide (pdf).

Ways you can receive a benefit

If we approve your claim, there are a few ways you can access your money.

Start an income stream

You can get regular payments to your bank account from an income stream.

Make regular withdrawals

You can leave your money in your Accumulation account and make withdrawals whenever you need to.

Take a lump sum

You can receive the full amount at once as a payment to your bank account.

Lump sum and income stream

Another option is to take out a lump sum, then use the rest of the money to open an income stream.

Each of these options has different benefits and disadvantages, and the amount will be taxed differently depending on which you choose. A financial adviser can help you decide which option might be best for your circumstances.


We're here to help

If you have any questions about how to withdraw your super for medical reasons, please get in touch.

Contact us