Accessing your superannuation early

There are some situations that mean you can access your superannuation early.


Early access

Access can be granted due to the following reasons outlined below.

Compassionate grounds

You may be allowed to withdraw some of your super because of compassionate reasons. This might include the need to:

  • pay for medical treatment for you or a dependent
  • make a payment on a loan to prevent you from losing your house
  • modify your home or vehicle for the needs of you or a dependent because of a severe disability
  • pay for expenses associated with a death, funeral or burial

The amount of super you can access on compassionate grounds is limited to what is reasonably required. The amount is paid and taxed as a normal super lump sum.

Apply via Services Australia for a release of super on compassionate grounds.

Early release of superannuation phone 13 10 20.

Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm. Saturday 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Severe financial hardship

You may be able to withdraw some of your super if you have received eligible government income support payments continuously for 26 weeks and are unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

The amount is paid and taxed as a normal super lump sum.

The minimum amount that can be paid is $1000 and the maximum amount is $10,000. You can only make one withdrawal from your super because of severe financial hardship in a 12-month period.

Contact your super fund for more information and to apply.

Temporary incapacity

You may be able to access temporary incapacity benefits if your super fund is satisfied you've temporarily ceased work due to physical or mental ill health that does not constitute permanent incapacity. In general, temporary incapacity benefits may be paid only from the insured benefits or voluntary employer funded benefits.

It's not necessary for employment to fully cease but, generally, you would not be eligible for temporary incapacity benefits if you're receiving sick leave benefits.

The temporary incapacity benefit must be paid as an income stream for the period of the incapacity. It can't be paid as a lump sum.

Terminal condition

You may be able to access your super if you have a terminal medical condition. Two medical practitioners need to certify you have a medical condition that is likely to result in your death within 24 months. One of the medical practitioners must be a specialist in the area related to your illness or injury.

Your super must be paid as a lump sum and is tax-free if it is withdrawn within 24 months of the certification date.

Contact your super fund to request access to your super due to a terminal medical condition.

Less than $200 super

You may be able to access your super if you change employers and the balance of your super account is less than $200.

Contact your super fund to request access. No tax is payable when accessing super accounts with a balance less than $200.

Additional information

Contact the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for more information. Phone 13 10 20.

There are other ways you can access your super. Check out the SuperGuide website to find out more.

Questions about transition support

If you are an injured worker and have any questions relating to transition support, please contact your WorkSafe agent who will be able to assist you.

WorkSafe Advisory Service

WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

1800 136 089 More contact options