Where an SMSF member is suffering a severe medical condition and cannot afford to pay for such medical expenses, they can apply to the Department of Human Services (DHS) not the ATO, to have some of their super funds released on 'compassionate grounds'.
Basically a member will be entitled to claim 'compassionate grounds' where:
- the medical treatment (which is not readily accessible through the public health system) is necessary to treat a life threatening condition, to alleviate acute or chronic pain, or to alleviate an acute or chronic mental disturbance/illness; and
- two registered medical practitioners (one of whom is a specialist) have certified that the above requirements have been satisfied.
Important: There are many other issues involved, including significant penalties where funds are withdrawn incorrectly, so clients should contact our office before trying to withdraw any funds from their superannuation fund.