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8 Steps to Compassionate Release of Super for Weight Loss Surgery

Kelly, Medical Secretary

Accessing your super to pay for your out-of-pocket medical expenses is a common and relatively easy process. It may be possible to use super for out of pocket costs for weight loss surgery like Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery (Gastric Sleeve Surgery) or Gastric Bypass Surgery. Here are a few steps:

Step 1: Contact your Superfund

The very first step would be to ring your Superfund to find out if you can access your funds early and how they prefer to receive paperwork. For example, do they want originals sent through the mail? Are they happy with copies?

Step 2: Check with the ATO

The second most important thing is to check with the ATO that you have enough money in your balance to be able to withdraw funds. In some cases, patients have not had adequate funds and the ATO will deny their claim.

Step 3: Factor in Tax

The third most important thing to remember is that you will be taxed on the amount of money that you take out, you will need to factor that into the overall figure.

Step 4: Set Up MyGov

If you haven’t already, link the ATO to your MyGov online Account, as this is where all your documents need to be uploaded and any notifications from the ATO will be sent to your MyGov inbox.  You will be applying for super via “Compassionate release of Superannuation”.

Step 5: Get Letters from Your Surgeon and GP

After you meet with one of the surgeons and you have decided you would like to proceed with bariatric surgery you will be given a letter from your surgeon explaining why you need surgery and that this type of surgery is not readily available in the public system. You’ll also receive a cost table of all the breakdown of costs.  You will need to get a secondary independent letter, normally from your referring GP, explaining the same reasons why you need  to have the surgery. Or the GP can just complete the application form that is available on the MyGov account.

Step 6: Submit your Application

Once you have uploaded all the documents and completed the registration form correctly, you will submit that to the ATO. Their response can take anywhere from a week to 3 weeks so I suggest that you start the process sooner rather than later.

Step 7: Send the Approval Letter to your Superfund

The approval letter then needs to be sent or emailed to your Superfund. Once again, I would submit that letter as soon as you receive it the Superfund can also take a week to 10 days depending on your particular fund.

Step 8: Pay your Out of Pocket Costs

Funds from your super will be paid directly to your bank account, and from there you pay us. In most cases full payment for surgery is required two weeks before your surgery date. Hence the sooner you get the process started the sooner you can relax. The last thing any patient wants to be doing is stressing over money prior to surgery. You will need to keep all receipts as you’ll need to submit that to the tax to the ATO tax time.

Finally, if your claim is denied, it is often worth resubmitting it. You might have just ticked the wrong box on the application form. We are happy to help you with this process so you can also phone the office on 9760 2777 to speak with one of our friendly staff.