Super Funds: Can you Use Super For Surgery? Early Release

Many people ask if they can use early access their SUPER FUND to pay for surgery for plastic surgery procedures such as skin reduction after weight loss or breast reduction.

The answer is, it depends.

When it comes to early release of Superannuation for Surgery, some Super Funds allow early super withdrawal for procedures and some do not.

Find out more by reading our blogs.

PLEASE NOTE: Our practice is NOT a credit provider.


Saving up for your life changing surgery?

Several recent plastic surgery patients have been able to access their accumulated Superannuation Funds to pay for their own life-changing surgery. There is a special government process to follow and many forms to fill out, but it could be a possibility.

This may be most likely to apply to Abdominoplasty, Breast Reduction and Body Contouring or Skin Reduction Contouring Body Surgery after weight loss or Bariatric Surgery.

woman on laptop


Can your Superannuation Fund pay for your Plastic Surgery?

Preservation of Super

In most cases, Australians cannot unlock their Super until they reach ”preservation age”, which is between 55 and 60, depending on birth date.

  • But, under exceptional circumstances, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will assess early access on ”compassionate grounds”, which include medical procedures to treat life-threatening illnesses and chronic pain.
  • An example might be weight loss surgery for obesity or skin reduction after weight loss (obesity is a key factor in heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other life-threatening diseases)
  • Your Super fund will make the final decision to release the money.

Note that not all super funds permit early access of super benefits on these grounds, so you should check with your super fund before applying.


Download Our Excess Skin Reduction Guide

Excess Skin Reduction Guide


Changes in people applying to Superannuation Withdrawal for Surgery

It’s frequently been in the news that there’s an increase in people accessing their Superannuation/Super Fund savings for surgery procedures that relate to their overall health and well being. This is often related to bariatric surgery or to plastic surgery such as excess skin reduction (where the ability to exercise is impacted, or where there are chronic skin infections relating to excess folds of skin), diastasis recti repair after pregnancy (which can lead to mild urinary incontinence and back pain due to core-strength muscle damage), and breast reduction where patients are suffering from back, neck and shoulder pain as well as chronic skin infections.

For example:

  • 18,024 people applied to the Department of Human Services for early release of super on compassionate grounds during the 2012-13 financial year.
  • Of those, 11,510 were approved (around 2 out of 3 applicants).

There are Special Access criteria to early withdrawal of Superannuation for surgery procedures:

  • Under limited circumstances, you can apply for early access to superannuation for Medical treatment expenses and Medical transport.

Applying to access your Super Funds for Plastic Surgery

You must apply to the Department of Human Services in the first instance, and then when you have the okay of the DHS, you (or the DHS), liaise with your super fund.

The super regulations (SIS Regulations 1994, Reg 6.19A) allow early release of super benefits on compassionate grounds where:

a. the money is required to pay for medical treatment or medical transport for the person (or dependant of the person)

b. based on the certification of two medical practitioners (including one a highly-respected expert in the area of illness) that the treatment is necessary, the medical treatment is necessary to treat a life threatening illness or injury; or to alleviate acute, or chronic, pain; or alleviate an acute, or chronic, mental disturbance

c. the treatment is not readily available to the person (or person’s dependant) through the public health system

d. the person does not have the financial capacity to meet the expense of the treatment

You can find further information on the requirements, including documentation, by visiting the DHS website,

body surgery after weight loss

How do you apply for early release of SUPER FUNDS on the basis of ‘compassionate grounds’?

DHS Centrelink prefers you register online (above), but also accepts written applications (post or hand delivered to a Centrelink office).

Here are the contact details for DHS.


Department of Human Services – Early Release of Superannuation  Benefits PO Box 7832, CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

Telephone: 1300 131 060

Fax: 1800 228 455


superfunds for body contouring after weight loss bariartic surgery


Send an enquiry to find out your next steps for your Surgical Journey.

You can also visit our FAQ pages, learn more about your procedure, have a look at our photo galleries and patient reviews.

How to Book your Initial Cosmetic Surgery & Plastic Surgery Consultation.

  • Email us or Call on (03) 8849 1444 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment
  • A Referral from your GP or from your Specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Book a consultation with your Surgeon by paying the $200 booking fee (or if you are meeting with Dr Maxwell for body contouring surgery after weight loss, for an extended consultation, the booking fee may be $350).

What to Bring to your Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes
  • Read the documents provided thoroughly
  • You may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes

Want more information before scheduling your Surgeon consultation?

  • Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us
  • Book a Complimentary Nurse Consultation (FREE)
  • Organise a phone call with Patient Coordinator (FREE)
  • Attend our Regular Practice Events and hear from our Specialist Surgeons and their top support team (FREE)
  • Speak with a past patient that has had the procedure – call or contact us
  • Browse our Frequently Asked Questions including how to choose a Surgeon for your procedure

Please contact us using this form to arrange to book a consultation with one of our expert Specialist Plastic Surgeons or to speak with our Patient Care Coordinator.

Send an enquiry form today or phone (03) 8849 1444.


*Disclaimer: Information about payment methods or payment methods on our surgery website is for general information purposes only. It has been compiled without taking into account your personal situation, financial needs or responsibilities. Before acting on payment methods or payment information for your surgery, you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your individual payment methods situation and needs. The information on this website is no substitute for payment method advice.



Visit our Downloadable Guides page for more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

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