Aussies who are affected by COVID-19 will be able to access up to $10,000

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has unveiled the guidelines on the early release of superannuation for Australians who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under the guidelines, individuals affected by the outbreak can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

ATO said eligible individuals do not have to pay tax on the amounts released, and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.

The application for this early super access is set to commence in mid-April. Australians can apply through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July until 24 September.

To apply for early release, applicants must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • They are unemployed.
  • They are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance.
  • On or after 1 January, either:  
    • they were made redundant
    • their working hours were reduced by 20% or more
    • if they are a sole trader, their business was suspended or there was a reduction in their turnover of 20% or more

ATO said withdrawing superannuation might affect the applicants' income protection insurance and their life/total disability insurance cover. These insurances might not be available when they fully withdraw their super or if they have a balance below $6,000.

To know more about the early super access, check out ATO's website.