Invalidity Access

Accessing superannuation benefits on the grounds of permanent incapacity is governed by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) and its regulations. The requirements for accessing superannuation under permanent incapacity are detailed in the legislation and typically involve the following criteria:

1. Definition of Permanent Incapacity: The SIS Act defines permanent incapacity as a condition where a member is unlikely, because of physical or mental ill-health, to engage in gainful employment for which they are reasonably qualified by education, training, or experience.

2. Medical Evidence: To access superannuation under permanent incapacity, you must provide medical evidence that certifies your condition. This evidence usually needs to come from at least two medical practitioners who are specialists in the area related to your illness or injury. These medical practitioners must certify that due to your condition, you are unlikely to ever be able to work in a job for which you are qualified by education, training, or experience.

3. Trustee Approval: The trustee of your superannuation fund must be satisfied that you meet the definition of permanent incapacity under the terms of the fund and the legislation. The decision to release funds is at the discretion of the trustee, based on the medical evidence provided.

4. Time Validity of Medical Evidence: While the SIS Act does not universally define the specific time validity of medical evidence, most superannuation funds have a time validity of evidence of 12 months or less, after which a recertification may be required. However, it’s important to note that organizations like Health & Finance Integrated can select trustees that will accept medical sign-offs of up to 2 years old. This time validity depends on the policies of the individual superannuation fund and the nature of the member’s condition. Members should check with their superannuation fund for any specific requirements regarding the recency of medical evidence. Generally, evidence should be current and reflect the member’s recent medical condition and prognosis.

The process for accessing superannuation due to permanent incapacity can be complex, and it may vary between different superannuation funds based on their specific rules and policies. Members considering this option should contact their superannuation fund to get detailed information about the required documentation, the process involved, and any fund-specific requirements regarding the timing and validity of medical evidence.