Please note that this process is not relevant for COVID-19 related claims.
If you’re struggling financially, you may be able to access some or all of your super before your preservation age to meet immediate needs. Regardless of your age, you can apply for one payment of up to $10,000 gross in a 12-month period if:
- you have not received a financial hardship payment from any superannuation fund within the last 12 months
- you’ve received eligible Commonwealth income support payments at the time of the claim and have been on these payments for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks
- 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.
If you’ve reached your preservation age and 39 weeks you can apply for any amount if:
- you’ve been receiving eligible Commonwealth income support payments for a combined 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.
You’re not eligible to apply for a payment on financial hardship grounds if you’re a temporary resident in Australia. If you want to keep your account open, you’ll need to leave a minimum of $1,000 in your account after the withdrawal.
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.
Make a financial hardship claim
If you’re not eligible
If you haven’t met the eligibility
criteria for severe financial hardship, the National Debt Helpline may be able
to help with free financial counselling. Call 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–4.30pm), or visit ndh.org.au