The maximum amount released depends on which eligibility criteria you meet (see below).
You can apply once to withdraw up to $10,000 (less tax of up to 22%) in any 12-month period if:
- you haven't received a financial hardship payment from any superannuation fund within the last 12 months; and
- you’ve received eligible Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks; and
- you’re receiving these payments when you make your application for payment under financial hardship; and
- you’re unable to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.
The minimum amount that can be withdrawn is $1,000 (except if the amount of your preserved benefits and restricted non-preserved benefits is less than that amount).
If you want to keep your super account open, you need to leave a minimum of $1,000 in your account after making any withdrawal.
If your payment reduces your account balance it may affect your insurance cover. To maintain insurance cover you’ll need to have enough money in your super account to pay for it. In some circumstances insurance cover can cease, such as if no contributions are received in your super account for 16 months – you can apply to extend cover, providing you have at least $1,000 in your super account. To learn more about the other factors that could impact your insurance cover read our Insurance in your super guide.
If you’ve reached the age you can legally access your super (preservation age) plus 39 weeks you can apply to withdraw as much of your super as you wish if:
- you’ve been receiving eligible Commonwealth income support payments for a cumulative period of at least 39 weeks since reaching your preservation age; and
- you’re unemployed or employed for less than ten hours a week when you make your application for payment under financial hardship.
Temporary residents in Australia are ineligible for financial hardship.
Financial hardship payments are taxed as a super lump sum. If you’re under age 60, this is generally taxed between 17% and 22% (including Medicare Levy), and if you are aged 60 or older will generally be tax free.