Apply for early release of superannuation due to severe financial hardship

If you’re suffering from financial hardship, you may be eligible to apply to your superannuation fund for early release of some funds.

Applying due to severe financial hardship

It may be tempting to view this as an easy solution, but before you consider applying, read about the risks associated with accessing your superannuation, and speak to one of our financial counsellors. Read more


If your superannuation fund agrees, you may receive a lump sum of up to $10,000 (less tax) for a one-off financial problem, such as paying outstanding bills. The funds can’t be used to pay day-to-day expenses, or cover debts that are not currently due, such as the full balance of a credit card or personal loan (unless you have received a Notice of Demand from your creditor).

Eligibility and application

You must be in severe financial hardship and demonstrate the eligibility criteria below:

  • You’ve been receiving certain Centrelink allowances (including Newstart or the Disability Support Pension; but not Austudy) for at least 26 weeks continuously (39 weeks if you are over 55); and
  • You’ve requested and received from Centrelink within the past 21 days a standard letter that confirms you receive a required Centrelink allowance; and
  • You have insufficient money to meet your ‘reasonable and immediate’ living expenses.

To apply, write to your superannuation fund, explain that you’re in severe financial hardship and demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria above.