Early Release Of Superannuation for Major Dental
At Aria, we believe that everyone has the right to optimal health and wellbeing. Being healthy and living well is important to every single one of us, so we can spend valuable time with family, friends and out enjoying everything life has to offer. But sometimes it can be so easy for us to take our health for granted; to prioritise other things and to put health concerns off until next week, next month or next year. It can also seem too big and too hard. We hear this from patients every day.
We understand that finances and health are nearly impossible to separate. After all, health care costs money, and there are lots of other ‘fun’ things that you could be spending that money on. Keeping our priorities straight is a challenge, and it is essential to always prioritise your health. Without a healthy body, everything you’re working towards or looking forward too doesn’t mean much if you are unwell and cannot enjoy them. We all know that medical costs can be tough for a family to handle but keeping yourself healthy will prevent a lot of extra costs and problems later.
As an option, you may be eligible for compassionate release of super to pay for necessary medical treatment or medical transport expenses for you or your dependant. (Please note that the eligibility of a family member is determined within the definitions provided by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993)
Early Release of Super for Dental Treatment
You may be able to make an application through the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to access your existing funds held in your superannuation fund for your retirement. There are very limited circumstances when you can access your superannuation early. You may be allowed to withdraw some of your super on compassionate grounds, for unpaid expenses. This means that you have no other means of paying for these expenses. The amount of super you can withdraw is limited to what you reasonably need to meet the unpaid expense.
Definitions of Compassionate Grounds by the ATO include, needing money to pay for:
- Medical treatment and medical transport for you or your dependant (including major dental)
- Making a payment on a home loan or council rates so you don’t lose your home
- Modifying your home or vehicle to accommodate your or your dependant’s severe disability
- Palliative care for you or your dependant
- Expenses associated with the death, funeral, or burial of your dependant.
The super you withdraw is paid and taxed as a normal super lump sum. The tax rate depends on various factors, including your age and the components of the super lump sum. Your super fund will automatically deduct the tax from your super account. You can refer to the ATO on our How tax applies to your super and Super lump sum tax table for more detailed information.
Early Release Of Super for Dental Eligibility
The eligibility for compassionate release of super for dental is below. The ATO can only approve a release of your super on compassionate grounds if you meet all of the conditions listed below:
Condition 1* – you meet the eligibility requirements of the compassionate ground you’re applying for. The specific eligibility criteria, related to dental is Medical (treatment or transport).
Medical treatment – There are two sub-conditions to meet to be eligible:
*Sub Condition 1 – you or your dependant must require medical treatment to treat a life-threatening illness or injury, to alleviate acute or chronic pain OR to alleviate acute or chronic mental illness.
*Sub Condition 2 – the medical treatment you (or your dependant) need is not readily available through the public health system.
Condition 2 – you have not yet paid the expense. The ATO can only approve compassionate release of super to help you with unpaid expenses. If you have already paid the expense, using a loan, a credit card, or other means, you do not meet the eligibility requirements.
Condition 3 – you can’t afford to pay part or all the expense without accessing your super. That is, you can’t pay the expense by getting a loan, using your savings, selling shares / investments / assets.
Condition 4 – you are or have been a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand.
Condition 5* – you provide all required supporting clinical evidence and financial evidence. If your application doesn’t include all supporting evidence, there may be delays in assessing it or it may not be approved.
*Financial Evidence: To assess your application, the ATO will also need to see the unpaid expenses that show the amounts you’re seeking to release from your super account. This can include an itemised quote or an unpaid invoice that shows the amount and a description of each component. You will need to provide a treatment plan to show how those unpaid expenses are connected to the medical treatment you submit in your application.
*Clinical Evidence: You will need to provide two (2) written medical reports to validate the treatment plan, connecting those unpaid expenses. One from a Medical or Dental Specialist and another from a Dentist or Medical Practitioner. The registered medical specialist must be specialised in the area in which they are giving their opinion, such as our Specialist Prosthodontist Dr Zaninovich. The medical reports must be completed, signed and dated less than six months before you submit your application.
Early Release Of Super Dental Criteria
How can Aria Dental help? Answering the question ‘Can I access my super for dental work?’ can be a bit more complicated than just determining your eligibility. Our Aria Dental experienced and caring team can help guide you seamlessly through the complexities of your application process, to ensure that you and your family can focus on the most important issue – your health.
Dental Treatments that can be accessed by early release super are Dental Implants, Root Canal Therapy, Crowns, Periodontal Treatment, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics and Braces.
Should you decide to commit to your treatment at Aria Dental using Early Release of Superannuation for Major Dental, we can help you with:
- Two medical reports
- one from a Registered Medical Specialist: such as Dr Michael Zaninovich, Prosthodontist
- one from a Registered Dentist: either your referring Dentist or one of our Aria Dentists
- a Treatment Plan, which includes clinical details of all stages of the treatment
- a Detailed financial quote for the Treatment Plan / an unpaid invoice
- Our assistance in submitting paperwork and dealing with the Australian Tax Office
Early Release of Superannuation Fines & Conditions
If you illegally or mislead to access your super early, significant penalties can apply. This can include the withdrawn amount being included in your assessable income, which means you will have to pay additional income tax, tax shortfall penalties and interest. It may also affect Centrelink or benefit payments.
Superannuation laws provide specific rules for when you can withdraw your super. These are called conditions of release.
Beware of companies promoting early release of super schemes. They might tell you they can help you withdraw your super to help pay off credit card debt, buy a house or car, or go on a holiday. These schemes are illegal. Illegal schemes will cost you a lot more than the super you withdraw and will get you into trouble. There are severe fees and penalties.
Super is money set aside to provide for your retirement. Withdrawing your super early without meeting a condition of release can result in long-term financial damage. This can leave people with little or no super for their retirement as well as a significant tax bill on the amount withdrawn.
Should I Access My Super for Dental Work?
Ultimately the choice is yours, and Early Release Superannuation is just one option open to patients requiring major dental treatment. Even if you can qualify for early release of your superannuation, we always recommend taking time to investigate ALL your dental payment options before proceeding.
The reason that superannuation funds are so difficult to obtain early is that they are specifically designed for retirement savings. Even if you can access your super prematurely, you are leaving yourself less money for the future. Understandably, if you are facing financial difficulties and medical conditions now, you are likely most concerned about what happens now and not the distant future.
We also recommend discussing your treatment with your Health Insurance provider, your family, and/or your trusted financial advisor before deciding.
If you would like to sit down with an Aria Dentist and an Aria Treatment Coordinator and discuss how your treatment can be tailored and staged around your needs, contact Aria for a complimentary dental implant consultation.