Accessing Superannuation for Medical Treatment

In order to withdraw some of your super on compassionate grounds there are several criteria that need to be considered. The following page describes the key aspects.

Medical treatment

If you are applying to pay for medical treatment expenses you must provide two separate medical reports. One is usually from your GP, and the other must be from a registered medical specialist advising that you or your dependant requires treatment for:

  • a life threatening illness or injury, or
  • acute or chronic pain, or
  • an acute or chronic mental illness

The registered medical specialist must be specialised in the field of treatment for the patient.

If applying for IVF, the ATO will only consider one IVF treatment per application.


From 1st July 2018 people will need to contact the Australian Taxation Office to apply for early release of super on compassionate grounds.

The ATO will only release your superannuation on compassionate grounds if you:

  • meet the eligibility requirements of the compassionate ground you’re applying for
  • have not paid for the expense – they can only approve compassionate release of superannuation to help you with unpaid expenses. If you have already paid the expense using a loan, a credit card or money borrowed from family or friends, you do not meet the eligibility requirements.
  • can’t afford to pay the expenses without accessing your super e.g. by obtaining a loan or using your savings
  • are a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand
  • provide all required supporting evidence and invoices/quotes.

The amount of superannuation you can withdraw is limited to what you reasonably need. It is paid and taxed as a normal super lump sum, generally the tax being between 17% and 22%. Your fund will automatically deduct the tax from your super account – the amount you receive from the release will not be affected.

Consideration should be given to obtaining financial advice prior to accessing your superannuation.

Quotes and invoices

To apply to the ATO you must include relevant quotes or unpaid invoices:

  • on the medical provider’s letterhead
  • dated
  • no more than six months old for quotes
  • no more than 30 days old for unpaid invoices
How to get a medical report

The medical practitioner reports must be completed no more than six months before you submit your application. The reports must be signed, dated and submitted with your application.

You can download the Compassionate release of superannuation – report by registered medical practitioner (NAT 74927, PDF 148KB).

These forms must be completed by two doctors involved in your care, at least one of which must be a specialist and submitted with the documents listed above.