Main region

Do you meet the eligibility criteria?

You can’t pay your reasonable and immediate living expenses.

You own less than $50,000 in “assets” (e.g. car, bank account, etc.).

You’ve been receiving government payments for at least 26 weeks in a row.

You’re under preservation age – for most people, this is 60.

Special rules if you’re 60 and over

Once you've reached preservation age (55–60), you can apply using other criteria.

  • You've been receiving government payments for at least 39 weeks in a row since turning your preservation age.
  • You're either unemployed or work less than 10 hours a week.

You can take out any amount from your super, up to your entire account balance with us.

If you don't meet these criteria, you can still apply using the 26-week criteria instead (even though you've reached your preservation age).

How much you can withdraw

Once a year, you can take out up to $10,000 less tax, so you receive less than you apply for.

How to apply to access super for financial hardship

Before you start

Find out how tax will reduce your withdrawal, what to do if you have insurance, and more.

Even if you're not eligible, we can help you find support services for your situation.


Have all your documents ready

You’ll need these with you to apply:

  • Your Customer Reference Number (CRN)
  • A bank or credit union statement
  • Identity documents (e.g. driver’s licence)
  • Outstanding/overdue bills or statements from within the past month (sometimes needed)

Use our online form

Log in and apply in Member Online. Our online application form checks your eligibility for you.

Approx. time: 15 minutes

Start application

We’ll be in touch

Our team will run checks with Centrelink (Services Australia) and your ID documents. We'll call you if we need any more information.

Approx. time: 1–3 weeks. In busy periods, this can take longer.

FAQs about super in financial hardship

If you have any trouble with the online form or have any questions about early access, please call us for help.

13 11 84

8:00am-7:30pm AEST Monday to Friday

When overseas +61 7 3333 7400

Not all super funds will let you access your super early when you're in financial hardship.

But we care about your financial situation, so we make sure you can access your super if you need to.

We also offer financial advice to help you decide whether using your super is right for your situation. This advice is already included in your membership, so you don't need to worry about the cost – simply give us a call.

Finally, we can put you in touch with other support services that can help you get back on your feet.

While financial hardship is about not being able to pay your bills, compassionate grounds is how you would claim your super if:

  • You need to pay for big medical costs (e.g. needing to modify your house or car for a disability) or palliative care for a terminal medical condition
  • Your mortgage is in default and the bank is planning to sell your home (foreclosure)
  • You need to pay funeral expenses for your dependant (e.g. spouse or child)

Compassionate grounds is also different because it's managed by the government. So for financial hardship, you apply with your super fund, but for compassionate grounds, you apply with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) instead.

Your membership includes financial advice about your account with us, which can help you decide whether or not to apply for financial hardship.

This advice is already included in your membership, so you don't need to worry about the cost.

Take a look at your advice options now.

The government has a list of support payments you could apply for, such as Centrelink's Crisis Payment.

You can also call the National Debt Helpline for help with payment plans and negotiating with banks and other companies.

For more help, check the list of support services that we commonly tell our members about.