Q: I am short on funds and looking for a job. Can I apply to use some of my super to pay bills?
A: I’m sorry to read about your financial situation. If you look at the ‘severe financial hardship’ section of SuperGuide you will find a lot of helpful information about the rules for accessing super early on the grounds of severe financial hardship. We have a separate section that explains accessing super early on ‘compassionate grounds’. Key articles on these topics are listed at the end of this article.
The severe financial hardship rules require you to be receiving Commonwealth income support payments for a period of time, and you apply directly to your super fund for early access. Your super fund’s website will usually have information about how to apply for early release due to severe financial hardship.
The ‘compassionate grounds’ rules however generally relate to mortgage stress or medical need. You must apply first to the Department of Human Services via Centrelink which, if you satisfy the requirements, will issue an authority to your super fund to release funds. You can find additional information about compassionate grounds on the Centrelink/DHS website.
You may find the following SuperGuide articles helpful: