Accessing Super
for Plastic Surgery

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While plastic surgery is often performed for reasons that are purely cosmetic, there are many patients who seek plastic surgery to treat ongoing pain and discomfort. In such cases, there are some patients who worry about about affording the procedure, and seek advice on whether their super can pay for their plastic surgery.

Typically, Australians are unable to unlock their super until they reach “preservation age”, which is between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born. However, under exceptional circumstances, the ATO may assess early access on compassionate grounds, so that you can pay for your plastic surgery.

Many Dr Anh patients have successfully accessed their superannuation fund to pay for their life-changing surgery. If this is something that you are considering, please keep in mind that there are government processes to follow, forms to fill out and super funds to contact. It is also important to note that your super fund release is not guaranteed.

If you’d like to learn more about applying for an early withdrawal of your super to help fund your plastic surgery, read on.

What procedures will my Super Fund pay for?

Know that the ATO will not allow you to access your super for purely cosmetic reasons. As such, early access for a facelift or breast augmentation just to help you look younger or more attractive is simply not going to happen.

In order to access your super fund, you must be experiencing persistent pain or discomfort as a side effect of a cosmetic concern. While your plastic surgery procedure will certainly help you look better, the primary reason for undergoing surgery must be to gain relief from long term suffering.

Some examples of procedures that your super fund may pay for include:

  • Abdominoplasty, lipectomy and other body contouring procedures after drastic weight loss
  • Breast reduction where heavy breasts are leading to physical pain and chronic skin conditions
  • Corrective rhinoplasty following nose injury or chronic breathing problems
  • Post-pregnancy abdominoplasty, where loose skin is causing pain or discomfort
  • Breast implant removal due to capsular contracture and other medical concerns

Criteria for early release of super

The current criteria for early release of super is outlined on the ATO website, however includes the following:

  • You need the surgery to relieve a chronic or acute medical condition
  • You have no other means to pay for the procedure
  • The surgery is not readily available through the public system
  • The procedure is yet to be paid for (you must apply prior to your surgery)
  • The claim is for you or a dependent (e.g. a spouse or child)

How to apply for Super Fund release

Applications for early release of super for plastic surgery can be made through the ATO via your MyGov account.

Please note that there is no guarantee that you will be approved for early release. Additionally, not all super funds allow for early access on these grounds, so ensure that you check with your super fund before applying.

Also keep in mind that the rules and regulations around super withdrawal for plastic surgery may be subject to change.

Other things to know

In summary, if you choose to apply for an early release of super, know that:

  • Your condition must meet certain criteria to allow for compassionate release of funds
  • Early release of super is only granted for medically necessary plastic surgery, not procedures that are purely cosmetic
  • It can take several weeks for your application to be approved (up to three weeks or longer)
  • You super fund provider will have the final say in whether can you assess your super early

If you would like to know more about whether you will be able to access your super to pay for your plastic surgery procedure, please get in touch with Dr Anh’s friendly team at 1300 8-DRANH – we’d be happy to help.