Not all of us have the money lying around to pay for a plastic and reconstructive surgery. For many of us it’s even a daunting task to save the money over a period of time, especially when it’s reconstructive, or a procedure to rectify or help deal with everyday life – for example getting rid of excess skin after a massive weightloss; or rhinoplasty to deal with breathing issues, or; even a breast reduction to assist with back problems or chronic pain. Accessing your superannuation to finance your procedure might be an option in some circumstances – we take a closer look at what these might be.
The Department of Human Services states that you can access early release of superannuation on specified compassionate grounds for a medical condition in the instance where out of pocket expenses are incurred. However, they have very strict conditions whereby your condition can be categorised as:
- A life threatening illness or injury;
- An acute chronic pain;
- An acute or chronic mental illness;
- A severe disability;
- A terminal illness.
Acute is where there is a rapid and serious progression of a condition to the point where it is essential and urgent that treatment is accessed. Chronic is where a condition may have been stable for some time or the patient suffers relapses or remission and is long-term. Severe disability refers to a severe physical or mental impairment seriously limiting functional capacity and leads to functional limitation in day to day activities.
Consult with Your Surgeon or Medical Practitioner
The first thing you should do if you think you might be eligible for any of these grounds is to speak to your surgeon or doctor. The application you will be required to fill out to apply for early release of your super requires a report or letter from a registered medical practitioner and this report will play a big part in determining whether or not you are eligible.
If you’d like more information on this either speak to your surgeon, or visit the Department of Human Services website at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/mo017.
If you’d like any more information about anything you’ve read here or have any questions about this or anything else, don’t forget you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.