If you have an accident or get sick and need to stop working, you may need to access funds that you’ve saved for other purposes in order to pay your living expenses. Although you may have a superannuation account for your retirement, you can access it under certain circumstances if necessary. In some cases, you can access these funds due to economic hardship or for compassionate reasons like medical treatments not covered by Medicare.
Accessing Funds Early
It can be a complicated process to access the funds in your superannuation account, especially if you have more than one account. Generally, most superannuation accounts will not allow you to withdraw funds until you have reached the preserved age, which can vary depending on when you were born. However, most people have to wait until they are at least 55 years of age to access their benefits, but the age goes up the later you were born.
For instance, if you were born after 30 June 1964, you have to wait until you are at least 60 years old to have access to most superannuation funds. Fortunately, if you are experiencing financial hardship or need the money because you are terminally ill or disabled, you can access these funds early. In order to do so, you need to apply for an early release from the Department of Human Services (DHS) and they may release the funds to help you pay your mortgage or to pay for medical treatments and/or medical transport.
If you are considered disabled due to a medical condition or as the result of an accident, you may be able to access your super funds early as well. In order to do so, you have to file a claim form with DHS, produce medical records showing evidence of your condition, documents from your physicians and others describing your disability, any relevant tax records and written letters on your behalf. Since obtaining some of these records can be difficult, it is usually helpful to hire a law firm like Maurice Blackburn Solicitors in Sydney.
An attorney can file and/or request documents on your behalf if you are having trouble obtaining them or if your condition prevents you from doing so. If you have applied for your funds before and your claim was turned down and you want to dispute the decision, a solicitor can request a review of the decision. Once they have reviewed the decision, they can come up with a strategy to help prove your case and get you the funds you need to pay your living expenses.
You are usually eligible to receive your superannuation benefits as soon as you leave work if you are ill or disabled, even if it is well before your preserved age. Since the process can be difficult and lengthy, you may wish to retain the services of an attorney to help you file a claim to receive your benefits. They will help you from the start of the process until you receive your funds.