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Resources

Accessing your superannuation early

In special circumstances, such as a child’s cancer diagnosis, some superannuation funds may allow you to access all or part of your super before you retire.

This article includes advice for parents & carers of children aged 0-18 who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The money saved in your superannuation fund is usually only available to you when you retire. However, in special circumstances, such as a child’s cancer diagnosis, some superannuation funds may allow you access to all or part of your super before you retire. While it can be a long process to access the money saved in your super, it can make a big difference. Situations when you can apply to access your super include:

  • Compassionate grounds
  • Severe financial hardship
  • If you’re a young person and your cancer is not curable

We’ve outlined how each of these options works below, but if you plan to apply to access your super early, check with your super fund as a first step. Each fund is different, and not all of these options will be available through every super fund.

Accessing your super on compassionate grounds

If you’re a parent of a child with cancer or a young person with a diagnosis, you may be able to access all or part of your super on compassionate grounds, to:

  • pay for medical treatment and medical transport
  • prevent you from losing your home if you can’t make a payment on a home loan or council rates
  • make changes to your home to accommodate disabilities
  • funeral expenses

To access your super on compassionate grounds, you’ll need to apply through the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Accessing your super during severe financial hardship

To access your super during times of severe financial hardship, you’ll need to apply directly to your super fund.  You’ll need to meet one of the following criteria to qualify:

  • You have received certain Commonwealth income support payments for a continuous period of 26 weeks including JobSeeker, Disability Support Pension, Parenting Allowance, Carer Payment, Widow allowance and Youth Allowance as a job seeker. ABSTUDY, Austudy and Youth Allowance paid to students are not eligible.
  • You’re unable to meet your reasonable and immediate family living expenses.

You’ll need to support your application with a letter from Centrelink that you’re receiving the required income support payments.

If your application is approved, you can access up to $10,000 in each 12-month period, with a minimum withdrawal of $1,000. The money released may be taxed.

Accessing your super during palliative care

If you’re a young person with cancer that cannot be cured and you’re in palliative care, our Redkite support team is here for you and your family. 

To access your super during palliative care, you’ll need to apply to your fund directly. Your application must include certification from two registered medical practitioners about your stage of treatment, at least one of whom is a specialist in the relevant area. The money released will not be taxed.

Redkite’s support team is here to support families and young people affected by childhood cancer. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact us using the details below.

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