Using Superannuation to Pay for Dental Treatment
Superannuation (super) money can be used to pay for medical and dental procedures.
This option is part of a programme called ‘Compassionate Release of Superannuation‘ with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
This programme may be helpful for persons who cannot afford necessary medical or dental expenses and do not qualify for treatment through the public health system.
Each superannuation fund has its own set of restrictions. Still, most have an option for early access to pay a lump sum to cover members’ and even their family members out-of-pocket costs for dental care.
Criteria to Qualify for Releasing Superannuation Funds
There must be evidence that dental care is required to treat acute issues causing pain and suffering.
Paying for therapy with released super funds can be a viable option where there is a danger of problems growing more complex or future complications.
In some cases, dental treatments qualify for early release of superannuation funds; however, whether you are qualified depends on your unique circumstances.
In general, a person who fits the three criteria listed below will be eligible for early superannuation dentist release:
- You do not have adequate or applicable dental insurance to support the surgery.
- Given your current financial circumstances, you are unable to afford the treatment.
- You or a member of your immediate family has a superannuation fund.
Dental Procedures That May Qualify for Early Super Release for Dental Treatment
If you align the criteria outlined above, you may want to enquire about whether specific types of dental procedures qualify for early super access.
The following are some treatments that may qualify you for early super access:
- Root canal surgeries
- Braces/orthodontic care
- Periodontics treatments
- Dental implants
- Dental crowns
- O&M surgeries (oral and maxillofacial)
The cost and urgency of the proposed treatment will be factors in assessing if you are eligible to request an early release of funds from your superannuation.
Compassionate Release of Super for Medical Treatment
Early release requires certification ( proof ) by either of the following:
- Two dental practitioners – one must be a specialist.
- A general practitioner (GP) and a dental practitioner or a dental specialist.
Dental services covered by the plan must be considered necessary:
- Treat an illness or injury that is life-threatening.
- Alleviate an acute or chronic mental illness.
- Alleviate acute or chronic pain.
Other Things to Think About
Superannuation funds are difficult to obtain early due to their specific design for retirement savings.
When deciding whether to access your superannuation early for dental work, the most crucial factors to take into account are that you are accessing funds that were meant for retirement, that you will pay taxes on the money you withdraw, and that you could lose important insurance benefits like income protection or death/disability insurance.
Before choosing whether taking early withdrawals from your super is the best course of action, speaking with a financial advisor is imperative.
There may be drawbacks, such as leaving yourself with less money for the future and paying taxes on the money you withdraw, even if you can access your superannuation early.
Speaking with a financial advisor before choosing the right course of action to access your super early is crucial because doing so may result in losing important benefits.
Can You Pay for Dental Work Using Your Superannuation?
Superannuation balances are meant to help with living expenses after retirement.
If you have yet to achieve your preservation age, usually between 55 and 60, you must pay tax on the amount you withdraw.
Applying for an early superannuation release may be the only way to afford dental work.
This is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it should only be considered after you have exhausted all other financial possibilities.
Speak with your superannuation fund to fully comprehend its implications.
Visit your Norlane dentist today to discuss your options!
Visit us at 21 Princes Highway in Norlane.