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Early Release of Superannuation for Expensive Dental Treatments | Cheltenham VIC

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Superannuation

Were you aware that it’s possible to request early access to your superannuation funds to help cover the expenses of expensive dental treatments?

If you’re in need of dental care but are currently facing financial constraints, this could offer a solution for your situation.

Is it Possible to Access Superannuation for Dental Procedures?

In Australia, you can tap into your superannuation to cover substantial expenses related to vital dental treatments, provided you can furnish evidence to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

The ATO may grant early release of your super based on severe financial hardship or compassionate grounds.

The ATO’s requirements include demonstrating that you are suffering from acute or chronic dental pain and that the released funds will be used to address this pain.

What is considered acute dental pain?

Acute dental pain necessitates urgent treatment due to an existing dental condition’s sudden onset or rapid progression.

What about chronic dental pain?

Chronic dental pain persists for at least three months, with the likelihood of an indefinite timeframe or minimal change.

In addition to providing evidence of your acute or chronic dental condition, the following criteria outline eligibility for early superannuation release for dental treatment:

  • Lack of alternative means to finance the treatment.
  • The treatment is deemed non-cosmetic and non-elective.
  • The treatment is unavailable through the public health system.

How Does Early Release of Superannuation for Dental Treatments Work?

The early release of superannuation funds has been designed to provide you with the means to receive essential dental treatment using funds that rightfully belong to you.

However, it’s important to understand that certain criteria must be met to apply for these funds’ early release. This option should only be considered a last resort after exploring all other avenues. Consulting with a financial counsellor before proceeding is highly advisable.

How Can You Apply for Early Release of Superannuation for Dental Treatments?

First and foremost, you must determine your eligibility to access these funds.

Depending on your superannuation fund, you may be permitted to access a lump sum for covering out-of-pocket dental treatment expenses, whether for yourself or your dependents.

Typical dental treatments covered by this option include:

  • Orthodontics/Braces: Correcting teeth and jaw irregularities.
  • Dental Implants: Surgical fixtures that support dental prostheses and blend seamlessly with natural teeth.
  • Root Canal Treatments: Replacing infected tooth pulp for restoration.
  • Dental Crowns: Tooth-shaped caps that strengthen and enhance tooth appearance.
  • Periodontics Treatments: Focusing on gum and periodontal health.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Procedures for head, neck, mouth, and jaw issues.

To qualify for early access based on compassionate grounds, you must meet the following specific requirements:

#1. The dental treatment must fall under any of the following conditions:

  • Life-threatening
  • Causing acute or chronic pain
  • Diminishing dignity or quality of life

#2. You must lack the financial means to cover the necessary treatment expenses.

#3. A report from a dental practitioner registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency must be submitted as part of your application.

Accessing Your Super for Dental Work: Important Considerations

Obtaining early access to your superannuation for dental treatment is a multi-faceted decision involving more than just meeting eligibility criteria.

Before proceeding, take these critical factors into account:

  • Retirement Savings Purpose: Superannuation funds are primarily meant for retirement savings. Accessing them prematurely may have long-term consequences, reducing your savings for the future. While immediate financial concerns are vital, it’s wise to consider the impact on your retirement plans.
  • Tax Implications: Withdrawing from your super before age 60 results in significant taxes, approximately 20% of the withdrawn amount. Moreover, these withdrawals count as income and can affect child support payments and family tax benefits.
  • Potential Loss of Benefits: Emptying your entire super may lead to the loss of valuable insurance benefits, like income protection and death/disability coverage, which may not be easily replaceable.

Given these and other complexities, consulting a financial advisor is a prudent step to determine if early super access is the best choice for your specific situation.

How Much Can You Withdraw for Dental Work?

The limit to the amount you can withdraw on compassionate grounds for dental work is flexible. It depends on the extent of your dental treatment needs and the balance in your superannuation fund.

Is Accessing Your Superannuation for Expensive Dental Work the Right Choice?

The decision to access your superannuation for dental work ultimately rests with you, and it’s just one option available for individuals needing significant dental treatment.

Before proceeding, we strongly advise you to explore all your dental payment options thoroughly.

Superannuation funds are typically challenging to access early because they are primarily designed for retirement savings.

While immediate financial concerns and medical conditions are crucial, it’s essential to consider the long-term impact on your financial future.

We also recommend discussing your treatment plan with your health insurance provider and consulting with your family or a trusted financial advisor before opting for early superannuation release for dental treatment.

If you’re interested in a consultation with your Cheltenham dentist to explore tailored dental treatment options, please feel free to contact us today. Your oral health is our priority!

Call us at (03) 9583 5506 or make your appointment online.

Visit us at Suite C, 151 Centre Dandenong Road, Cheltenham.

Helpful ATO Resources (As of August 2023):

Superannuation Withdrawals and Usage Guide

Dental Treatment Application Process

Medical Treatment Eligibility Criteria

Compassionate Release Medical Form

Early Release Preparation: Important Factors to Know