Check if you’re eligible for a payment on compassionate grounds

You may be able to apply for early release of superannuation based on ‘Compassionate grounds’ if you need money to pay for: 

  • Medical treatment or medical transport for you or your dependant;
  • Palliative care for you and/or your dependant;
  • Repayment on a home loan or council rates so you don't lose your home;
  • Modifying your home or vehicle or buying disability aids to cater for the severe disability of you or your dependant; or
  • Expenses associated with the death, funeral or burial of your dependant. 

You can contact the ATO to check whether you are eligible, refer to the ATO website or by calling them on 13 10 20. 

We’re here to help

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for compassionate grounds payment refer to the financial hardship support options available to you.

Apply with the ATO

You need to apply online with the ATO for early release of super on compassionate grounds. 

There’s no limit to the amount you may request to withdraw on compassionate grounds, however the ATO has discretion to determine the amount that’s released. 

Consider the tax implications

The Government may require us to withhold tax before you receive your payment. The maximum amount of tax withheld (if you have provided your Tax File Number (TFN)) is 22% but will depend on your circumstances.

The release amount shown on the ATO approval letter is after any applicable tax, meaning it is the amount you will receive. The amount withdrawn from your Essential Super account may be higher, as it will include any relevant tax.  For example, if you are under 58 years old and are approved for $10,000 you will receive $10,000, however $12,820.51 will be withdrawn from your Essential Super account to cover tax we must withhold. The payment will have to be reduced if your account balance is not enough to meet the payment and tax.

However, if you are 60 years old or more, we do not have to withhold any tax on your payment.

Find out more

Consider the impact on your insurance cover 

If you withdraw all of the funds from your Essential Super account, your account will close and your insurance cover will also end.  You must keep sufficient funds in your Essential Super account if you want to keep your insurance cover.

If your insurance cover ends, you can still make a claim for any insured events that occurred before the date that your insurance cover was cancelled. However, you won’t be able to make a claim for insured events that occur afterwards.

Your final step – complete and send the form

Once you’ve applied with the ATO, they'll notify you and us of the outcome of their assessment. If your request is approved, you'll need to submit a form:

If you are experiencing any difficulty with the form or the overall process, our team is here to help. Call us on 13 4074 (Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, Sydney time) so we can support you.

Other ways you can get help 

You may also find the following independent resources helpful: 

These independent resources are intended as a guide and are not an endorsement that the service provided is appropriate for your personal circumstances. For more information on a service provider’s offerings and their appropriateness, you should contact the service provider directly using the contact details provided.

Things you should know

Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) is the issuer of interests in Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435 (Essential Super) and is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (Commonwealth Bank). This document is issued by CFSIL and may include general financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Reference Guide for Essential Super carefully and consider whether the information is appropriate for you before making an investment decision. Download the PDS and Reference Guide at commbank.com.au/essentialsuper-documents or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. The Target Market Determinations (TMD) for our financial products can be found at www.cfs.com.au/tmd and include a description of who the financial product is appropriate for, and any conditions on how products can be distributed to customers. The Commonwealth Bank provides certain distribution and administrative services to CFSIL. The Commonwealth Bank and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of Essential Super or the repayment of capital by Essential Super. An investment in Essential Super is via a superannuation trust and is therefore not an investment in, deposit with, or other liability of the Commonwealth Bank or its subsidiaries and is subject to investment risk, including loss of income and capital invested. Where we mention `we’, `us’ or `our’, we mean CFSIL.

The insurance provider is AIA Australia Limited ABN 79 004 837 861 AFSL 230043 (AIA Australia). AIA Australia is not part of the Commonwealth Bank Group. The insurance cover is provided under policies issued to the Trustee.