Can Super Help Pay for Surgery?

Claiming Superannuation for Surgery

  • Do you want to know if you can use Super to pay for your plastic surgery?
  • Interested in applying for an early release of super funds?
  • Would you like to find out which surgeries you can get with your super fund?

Did you know you can apply for an early release of super funds to help cover the cost of essential plastic surgery? Many patients interested in complex procedures such as post weight loss contouring, belt lipectomy, breast reduction, rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery have applied to access their Super to help fund surgery.  Purely Cosmetic procedures performed for aesthetic purposes only don’t meet the criteria for an early release of funds.

Yes – you can access your Super but it is important to keep in mind that this is a government process that entails filling out forms and meeting certain strict criteria.

There are companies that, for a fee, can assist you in applying for your Early release of Super. These services are Supercare and Access My Super.

Please note that there are financial and tax implications for withdrawing money from your Super fund. Please consult your Accountant and Financial Advisor.

Early Access to Super Funds for Surgery

The first thing you should probably know about using super to pay for your plastic surgery is that you can make the application for an early release through the ATO via your ‘MyGov’ account.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your application will be approved. There are certain rules and regulations that apply when it comes to Superannuation Withdrawal that you should be aware about. More than this, keep in mind that rules are subject to change, so check for the latest news before submitting your application.

Another important thing regarding early access to super is that it is possible only in two circumstances:

  1. You (or a dependent) are in acute or chronic pain that requires essential medical treatment
  2. You are in severe financial hardship

The approval process and early release of funds are managed by both your Super Fund and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Accessing your Super Fund on Compassionate Grounds 

There are certain criteria to be met if you want early access to your superannuation on compassionate grounds. You might get access if you need the money:

  • for medical treatment or medical transport
  • to treat a life-threatening illness or injury
  • to alleviate acute or chronic pain
  • to alleviate acute or chronic mental illness

How to Apply for Early Release of Super

Claiming a superannuation release is a process that starts with an application through the ATO. You can find all the forms in your MyGov account. Keep in mind that you will need to file this paperwork with your application.

You will need two SEFs – Super Eligibility Forms filled out by your Plastic Surgeon and your GP.

You will need detailed information from your surgeon and GP and for them to sign off on the same information.

What Kind of Plastic Surgery Could I Get with My Super Fund?

You can claim early super release for a range of medical conditions.

Here are some of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for which you could claim the super fund:

1. Abdominoplasty and Excess Skin Removal after Major Weight Loss

When it comes to major weight loss there are a lot of health benefits; however, there are some downsides too. The saggy skin left behind after losing weight can be very unappealing from an aesthetic point of view and can also lead to skin chaffing, irritation, dermatological conditions, pain and discomfort. Excess skin folds in different areas of the body such as the tummy are a common side effect of losing a considerable amount of weight in a short period of time.

The tummy tuck procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular interventions performed on patients who lost weight. Procedures such as fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty or belt lipectomy are also often performed on patients who lost weight, whatever might be the method they used. Having a Medicare item number can make the process of getting early release of Super easier for you.

2. Abdominoplasty after Pregnancy

In some cases, patients can apply for the early release of super for a tummy tuckabdominoplasty after pregnancy. During pregnancy, the muscles of the abdominal wall can get distended due to the growing of the uterus to accommodate the baby. Some women can get back to their pre-pregnancy body after childbirth while others can struggle with conditions such as diastasis recti (split abdominal muscles), excess skin folds on the tummy and others. If you experience considerable discomfort and even chronic pain due to the saggy skin folds on the tummy left after pregnancy, you might be able to get Super for plastic surgery.

The Super Funds can be early released to help you get rid of the chronic pain and discomfort. However, as we mentioned before, Super can’t be used for procedures that are not medically necessary. Unless you are dealing with severe or chronic pain, super will not cover the surgery.

3. Breast Implant Revision Surgery

Some patients experience complications associated with breast implants. Complications such as capsular contracture are specific to the breast augmentation intervention and sometimes breast implant removal surgery is required to correct the issue. Capsular contraction is a severe reaction of the body against the implant.

For most patients, the body will form a fibrous capsule around the implant to isolate the foreign object. This is a normal reaction and doesn’t trigger any pain, discomfort or alteration of the results of the surgery. But there are cases of patients who can experience the tightening and hardening of the fibrous capsule around the implant. This can lead to hard, painful breasts. Sometimes, even the shape of the breasts can be distorted when capsular contracture occurs.

Other complications such as the rupture or leaking of the implant (usually this happens with old implants) might be considered eligible causes for the early release of super.

4. Breast Reduction Surgery to relieve back & neck pain

Overly large breasts are not always a blessing. More than this, they can sometimes be a constant cause of discomfort and pain for some women. If the breasts are too large compared to the rest of the body, you might experience back, neck and shoulders pain, but also skin irritation, redness and dermatological conditions in the inframammary fold (under the breasts). The conditions associated with overly large breasts can have a negative impact on a woman’s quality of life. If this is the case, you might be able to get Super to pay for your breast reduction surgery.

5. Nose Surgery for breathing problems

Rhinoplasty or a nose job is one of those procedures that can be performed for functional purposes, as well as aesthetic reasons. If you broke your nose in an accident or had suffered any nose trauma or if you have problems breathing properly through the nose, corrective rhinoplasty can help. There are different types of nose jobs that can help you breathe better. Suffering due to a constant feeling of suffocation can be a real issue, and this is the reason why corrective rhinoplasties are among the procedures that qualify for accessing super funds.

A mandatory condition to access super to play for plastic surgery it to deal with acute or chronic pain and/ or discomfort. Procedures performed for aesthetic reasons only don’t qualify.


FAQs about Using Super to Pay for Plastic Surgery

Can you use your super to pay for surgery?

  • In some cases and if you meet the eligibility criteria, you might be able to use super to pay for your plastic surgery procedures. Keep in mind that only certain procedures performed to help the patient get rid of acute or chronic pain and discomfort are eligible for the early release of super funds.

Can I use my super for medical procedure?

  • Patients can apply for an early release of super to pay for procedures such as corrective nose jobs, breast reduction surgery, breast implant removal and procedures performed to help you get rid of excess skin after massive weight loss. The abdominoplasty is another procedure that may be eligible for an early release of funds.

How much super can I withdraw for surgery?

Can I take money from my super for weight loss surgery?

  • If you are interested in undergoing a weight loss or bariatric surgery and looking for the means to fund the procedure, you can apply to the ATO. Some patients are able to access the superannuation funds early on compassionate grounds and hence pay for the procedure. Keep in mind that the amount of money you can withdraw is limited to what you really need.

Can I use my super for abdominoplasty?

  • Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a procedure that can help you get rid of skin folds left after massive weight loss and correct split abdominal muscles after pregnancy. If you meet the criteria, you might be able to use super for tummy tuck.

How long does it take to release super for medical?

  • After you have filled the application with all paperwork required, it takes usually around two to four weeks.

Further Reading and References about Using Super to Fund Your Surgery