Have you ever wanted to get your teeth fixed, but didn’t have the money for expensive dental work?
It’s a common problem, and according to a recent survey, it’s an issue that affects more than 2 million Australians. But did you know that you can get early access to your super at any time to pay for dental treatments?
You may be aware that your super can be released before retirement age under several conditions such as financial hardship or disability. But if you are suffering from acute or chronic pain due to your teeth, you may be eligible to release your super to pay for your dental treatments.
All Australians have the right to apply for early access to their super on compassionate grounds. To gain early access to your super for dental care you will need to consult with a registered medical practitioner so they can provide the necessary documentation to release your superannuation.
If you have always wanted to get your teeth fixed but don’t have the funds, don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to gain early access to your super for dental work.
Table of Contents:
- Can I use my super to pay for dental treatments?
- Am I eligible for the early release of my super?
- What dental treatments and procedures are covered?
- How do I access my super for dental work?
- How much of my super can I withdraw for dental work?
- Are there any disadvantages to accessing my super early?
- Need help accessing your super for dental treatments?
Can I use my super to pay for dental treatments?
The short answer is yes.
The catch is that you need to provide evidence to the government that you are experiencing acute or chronic dental pain and will use these funds to pay for the required dental treatments.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) defines Acute as the “rapid onset or progress of a condition” suggesting an urgency for treatment.
Chronic is defined as “a condition having an indefinite duration or less rapid change” usually referring to a condition of “at least three months duration.”
Are you eligible for early access to your super for dental treatments?
To prove your eligibility, you will need to consult with a qualified dental practitioner and either; a dental specialist or general practitioner (GP) to provide the ATO with the following documents:
- An itemised quote or unpaid invoice for the dental treatment required to alleviate your chronic or acute dental pain.
- A medical report clearly stating the dental issues causing you chronic or acute pain.
- A copy of your treatment plan including all stages of the treatment.
These documents are required to be signed and completed no more than 6 months before the treatment is to take place.
You will also need to meet the following four criteria:
- You currently do not have dental insurance to cover the treatment.
- You are unable to afford the required dental treatment by getting a loan, using your savings, or selling any shares, investments, or assets.
- The dental treatment you require must be unpaid. If your treatment has been already paid for by any other means, you will not be eligible.
- You are or have been a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand.
What dental treatments and procedures are covered?
Dental treatments covered by compassionate grounds can include:
- Dental implants
- Dental crowns
- Braces/orthodontic care
- Root canal surgeries
- Periodontics treatments
- O&M surgeries (oral and maxillofacial)
The procedure covered will depend on whether it is necessary to alleviate your acute or chronic dental pain, before applying for early access you are required to consult with your dentist or orthodontist to provide evidence of this.
How do I access my super for dental work?
There are two methods to accessing your super early for dental work;
- Consult a qualified dental practitioner who uses a provider like Access My Super to assist with the application process.
- The provider will assist you with the forms and submit them for you.
- The provider will consult your superannuation fund to discuss release conditions.
- The provider will source the relevant dental specialist for your condition.
- Providers can have your application processed and returned within 7-14 days.
- Consult a qualified dental practitioner and complete the ATO online form yourself.
- You will need to complete the forms exactly as required by the ATO and submit them yourself.
- You will need to consult your superannuation fund to discuss release conditions.
- You will need to find a dental specialist who can provide the specialist report.
- The process can take anywhere from 14 days to several months.
How much of my super can I withdraw for dental work?
There is no limit to the amount of super you can withdraw on compassionate grounds.
You are only limited by the amount required by the dental treatments you need and the amount of super you have in your superannuation fund.
Are there any disadvantages to accessing my super early?
Early access to your super fund is classified as taxable income by the ATO. As a result, you can be taxed on average 20% of the amount that was released.
This may also affect other financial aspects such as child support payments, income support, and family tax benefits.
Other factors to consider are the consequences of draining your super fund before retirement. If you take too much of your superannuation out of your fund, you could risk losing insurance benefits such as income protection or death/disability insurance.
Need help accessing your super for dental treatments?
The first step is consulting with a qualified dental practitioner who can evaluate your dental health and determine what needs to be done to alleviate your chronic or acute dental pain.
The dentist will discuss your options for how to apply for early release of your super and provide you with the necessary documentation to give to the ATO.
If you have already printed out the Compassionate release of superannuation form, you should bring it with you to your consultation, otherwise, your dentist can help you fill it out during your appointment.
If you would like to know more about accessing your super for dental work, you can give us a call anytime and we can help walk you through the application process. Our friendly team of qualified dentists has helped many Australians achieve affordable dental care through the early release of superannuation. We work with a super consultant who can assist you with the application process and finding a specialist to see as part of your application.
If you never want to worry about your smile again, contact us today to discuss how you can access your super early.
Helpful ATO Resources (Updated 30th of August 2023):