Check if you’re eligible for a financial hardship payment

We can only grant you an early release of funds from your Essential Super account on the grounds of financial hardship in the following two circumstances:

Claim Type 1

You can apply for a single lump-sum payment from your Essential Super account in any 12 month period, between $1,000 and $10,000.  If you have less than $1,000 in your Essential Super account, you can withdraw the entire balance of your account. 

To qualify for payment, you’ll need to:

  • Be currently receiving an eligible Commonwealth income support payment1 and have been receiving it over the last 26 consecutive weeks; 
  • Be unable to meet immediate family living expenses; and 
  • Have not received any financial hardship payments from the fund in the last 12 months.

Claim Type 2

There are no limits on the amount you can apply to withdraw from your Essential Super account. 

To qualify for payment, you’ll need to:  

  • Have reached your preservation age:
  • Have been receiving an eligible Commonwealth income support payment1 for a total of at least 39 weeks after reaching preservation age; and  
  • Have not been employed full-time or part-time for 10 or more hours each week in that period.

We’re here to help

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for a financial hardship payment, you can check if you are eligible to apply on compassionate grounds or refer to the financial hardship support options available to you.

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 us with your Tax File Number (TFN)) is 22% but will depend on your circumstances. 

For example, if you are under 58 years old and apply for the early release of $10,000 from your Essential Super fund, you are likely to receive $7,800 after tax has been withheld. 

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 find the following independent resources helpful: 

  • Government crisis payment
    Provides a one-off payment if you’re in severe financial hardship because of extreme circumstances. 
  • ‘Ask Izzy’ – Infoxchange Service Seeker
    Online directory of health, welfare and community services.  
  • National Debt Helpline
    Not-for-profit financial counselling service that helps you tackle your debt problems. 
  • ASIC Money Smart
    Government organisation that helps you take control of your money with free tools, tips and guidance. 
  • Lifeline – call 13 11 14 
    If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, call 13 11 14 or visit
  • Domestic Violence – call 1800 737 732 
    If you’re affected by domestic or family violence, call 1800 737 732 or visit
  • MensLine Australia – call 1300 789 978 
    For counselling, advice and support, call 1300 789 978 or visit

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

Eligible income support payments include: Age Pension, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Special Benefit, Farm Household Allowance, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Department of Veterans Affairs Income Support Supplement and Service Pension.

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). Colonial First State (CFS) is Superannuation and Investments HoldCo Pty Limited ABN 64 644 660 882 and its subsidiaries which include CFSIL. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (the Bank) holds a significant minority interest in CFSIL. The content on this page is issued by CFSIL and may include general financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. The Target Market Determinations (TMD) for our financial products can be found at and include a description of who the financial product is appropriate for, and any conditions on how products 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. Read the PDS and Reference Guide, or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. Neither the Bank, CFS, nor any of their respective subsidiaries guarantee the performance of Essential Super or the repayment of capital. 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 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.