Usually you must wait until your preservation age (55+) before you can access your super.

However in some circumstances, such as if you can establish extreme hardship, with no other source of funds, you may be able to access your super early for specific purposes. 

This includes:

  •     severe financial hardship
  •     terminal illness
  •     permanent incapacity
  •     balances of $200 or less
  •     permanent departure from Australia

You may be eligible to access super to cover payments for:



  •     medical or dental treatment for you or your dependant
  •     transport for medical or dental treatment for you or your dependant
  •     arrears on your mortgage to prevent your home being sold by your lender
  •     modification to your home or vehicle to accommodate a severe disability for you or your dependant
  •     palliative care for a terminal illness for you or your dependant
  •     expenses associated with your dependant’s death, funeral or burial


If you are refused early access to your super you can seek access to support services if you are experiencing severe financial hardship.  This can include financial counselling as well as personal or family counselling from social workers.

In some cases, special one off payments may be available if you are experiencing extreme circumstances.

More information on the Government's Human Services website.