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 reasons’ 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 call them on 13 10 20. 

  • Not eligible?

    If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for compassionate release of superannuation, 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. 

  • 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:

    Download and complete the Compassionate Grounds Application form.

  • Send the completed form by mail to the address on the form or via Netbank by uploading a scanned copy of the completed form.

    If you need help with the form or overall process, call CFS on 13 4074 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm, Sydney time) for support.

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 The amount withdrawn from your Essential Super account may be higher, as it will include any relevant tax.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if you are under 58 years old and are approved for $10,000 you will receive $10,000, however $12,820.51 will be withdrawn from your Essential Super account to cover tax we must withhold.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.

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

  • Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFSL 245531 (AIL) is the Trustee of Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435 and the issuer of interests in Essential Super. Essential Super is distributed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, AFSL 234945 (the Bank). Colonial First State (CFS) is Superannuation and Investments HoldCo Pty Limited ABN 64 644 660 882 (HoldCo) and its subsidiaries which include AIL. The Bank holds an interest in CFS through its significant minority interest in HoldCo.

    This information is issued by AIL and may include general financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial situation, needs or tax circumstances, and so you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your circumstances before acting on it. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for Essential Super can be found at and includes a description of who the financial product is appropriate for and any conditions on how the product can be distributed to customers. 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 any decision regarding this product. Download the PDS and Reference Guides at or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. Neither the Bank, AIL, CFS, nor any of their respective subsidiaries guarantee the performance of Essential Super or the repayment of capital by Essential Super. An investment in this product is subject to risk, loss of income and capital invested. An investment in Essential Super is via a superannuation trust and is therefore not an investment in, deposit with or other liability of the Bank or its subsidiaries. Where we mention ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’, we mean AIL.

    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 or CFS. The insurance cover is provided under policies issued to the Trustee.