Author Topic: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS  (Read 2962 times)

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Offline Ella_bella

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Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« on: March 05, 2017, 09:49:15 pm »
Hi all,

I just wanted to share a positive experience in applying for early access to my superannuation under compassionate grounds for both FFS and SRS.

Executive summary - I was successful in the approval for both surgeries as well as covering costs for accommodation and flights (for both my wife and I), this also includes business class following SRS.

What I was required to do for FFS approval:
Two early access to superannuation request forms, one signed by a medical practitioner (GP) one signed by a specialist (Psychiatrist, but in my case; my GP is a specialist in General Practice Medicine). This form just basically states that you have a chronic mental health condition, it states that the treatment for the condition is FFS and that the treatment is not available in Australia or under the public health system.

A letter from my psychologist stating that I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria under the DSM and that the treatment of this is positively obtained by facial feminisation surgery.

A letter from the FFS surgeon which talks to the differences between general plastic surgery and FFS.

A detailed quote from the FFS surgeon for the cost of the surgery.

A quote for the flights to and from the surgery location.

A quote for the accommodation at the surgery location.

A letter from my GP stating that my wife will be accompanying me for support and care giving.



What I was required to do for SRS approval:
Two early access to superannuation request forms, one signed by a medical practitioner (GP) one signed by a specialist (Psychiatrist, but in my case; my GP is a specialist in General Practice Medicine). This form just basically states that you have a chronic mental health condition, it states that the treatment for the condition is SRS and that the treatment is not available in Australia or under the public health system. Technically it is available in Australia, however I also wrote a coverletter stating that the techniques utilised within Australia for SRS are outdated and that my surgeon in Thailand has pioneered a leading edge technique which provides for a more effective treatment for gender dysphoria.

A letter from my psychologist stating that I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria under the DSM and that the treatment of this is positively obtained by SRS.

A detailed quote from the SRS Surgeon for the cost of the surgery.

A quote for the flights to and from the surgery location.

A quote for the accommodation at the surgery location.

A letter from my GP stating that my wife will be accompanying me for support and care giving.


The service level agreement of Department of Human Services (whom you make the application to) is 28 days. I hadn't heard anything and on the 29th day I called and they escalated the application to an assessor. The assessor called me back later that day with some little things she needed me to get done and once I made the changes she requested I received a verbal approval from her that day.

So there's a fair bit of running about and asking for people to write things for you. However, at the end of the day I'm able to tap into my very healthy superannuation to help with the immediate needs of getting both of these surgeries done and out of the way this year.

If anyone has any questions regarding this, feel free to ask. I'd be more than happy to help where I can. Just keep in mind that accessing your superannuation has financial implications. You are borrowing from your capacity to support yourself in retirement. There are also tax implications... although the tax is paid using your superannuation, it is counted as an income source so it will be added to your taxable income - which may affect other benefits or tax-return at the end of the financial year.






Offline Dana60

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 03:58:50 am »
Thanks Ella, very useful info as i am considering this as an option for paying for my FFS and SRS.

Dana

Offline Edina

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 12:18:13 pm »
Ok, this post might have just changed my life.

It was going to be at least 5 years before I could pay for SRS myself. This is hugely valuable info!!

AlisonS

Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 08:19:15 am »
I had heard this was the process for accessing superannuation for FFS and SRS several years ago. Glad to hear that it is still the case as I may need it one day.

Dan

Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2017, 04:19:41 pm »
Cool bananas. Will do that too. Thanks for sharing this info. It's not an option that comes readily to mind.

Offline Benni G

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 09:20:45 am »
Have just started this process.

I received my letter for srs on Monday and the psychiatrist filled out one of the medical specialist forms.
I will get my GP to do the other form
I have however had trouble communicating with the surgeon, unanswered emails, takes a week via messenger to reply with a one sentence.
I did get a reply via messenger a few weeks ago with a run down of the procedure but, didn't know if that would suffice for a detailed quote for application.

Will let you know how I get on with it

Offline Ella_bella

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 07:04:28 pm »
Have just started this process.

I received my letter for srs on Monday and the psychiatrist filled out one of the medical specialist forms.
I will get my GP to do the other form
I have however had trouble communicating with the surgeon, unanswered emails, takes a week via messenger to reply with a one sentence.
I did get a reply via messenger a few weeks ago with a run down of the procedure but, didn't know if that would suffice for a detailed quote for application.

Will let you know how I get on with it

Oh thats exciting news! One thing I found was the difficulty getting the surgeon's to sign the specialist form for super release. What I found was that my GP was also a "Specialist in General Practice" - and DHS was happy for him to endorse both of the forms!






Offline LizK

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 08:16:25 pm »
Staying in Australia to have my GCS is not a choice but a necessity. So I wonder if that will make it more difficult to get an early super release because I am not going OS....Even then, I thought the max they would extend was 10K?
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

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Offline Ella_bella

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 07:03:58 am »
Staying in Australia to have my GCS is not a choice but a necessity. So I wonder if that will make it more difficult to get an early super release because I am not going OS....Even then, I thought the max they would extend was 10K?
No as far as I am aware that will have no bearing on the decision nor the amount. Its not covered under the public health scheme, thats the major deal. If anything, staying with an Aussie surgeon may make it easier.

All the best with it, let me know if you have any questions or queries!






Offline Jacqueline

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2017, 07:17:56 pm »
Have just started this process.

I received my letter for srs on Monday and the psychiatrist filled out one of the medical specialist forms.
I will get my GP to do the other form
I have however had trouble communicating with the surgeon, unanswered emails, takes a week via messenger to reply with a one sentence.
I did get a reply via messenger a few weeks ago with a run down of the procedure but, didn't know if that would suffice for a detailed quote for application.

Will let you know how I get on with it

Benni,

Hi and welcome to the site.

Thanks for jumping in and sharing information.

This is some really valuable info for our members. Please keep us up to date on your experience.

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With warmth,

Jacqui
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Offline LizK

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2017, 04:20:13 am »
No as far as I am aware that will have no bearing on the decision nor the amount. Its not covered under the public health scheme, thats the major deal. If anything, staying with an Aussie surgeon may make it easier.

All the best with it, let me know if you have any questions or queries!

Thankyou for your help
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

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Offline MaiaOZ

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2017, 05:53:30 pm »
Thanks for posting. I think this is now my preferred destination for surgery.

For those that are unemployed and wish to draw on Super, it may be better to make a claim under Financial Hardship. Reason being that it was very easy (in my past experience in 2014) to make a claim as you only need to prove a) financial status via a bank statement and b) proof of unemployment via a letter from Centrelink. A minimum of six months registered with Centrelink is required.

I don't know if other claim categories will grant you more money, but via Financial Hardship I was able to access a maximum of 10K with 2K deducted in tax. Hope this helps.

Offline LizK

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2017, 06:16:20 am »
I did too and got the 2 k back at tax time LOL
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

436H09M BWCA?  ;D

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be – Lao Tzu


Offline Benni G

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 03:49:02 am »
Thanks Ella. I didn't realise this was a while ago.
I did get my payment 14 k , 10 days ago. I filled out the two DHS forms, one by my GP and the other by my psych.
Submitted to DHS on 7 Sep, approved on 4 Oct. Submitted a certified copy (by a JP) to Super fund with certified id documents on 21 Oct and then payment. DHS didn't send out a copy, so I just did a print screen on the computer and made two copies. JP willingly signed it. I also got a email quote and I submitted that to DHS. Got my 4 k tax statement from super fund, I guess I find out in July about that.

After all that, funding, letter, approval letters from cardiologist, endocrinologist, GP ect got denied surgery from somewhere in Thailand for PE event from 3 years ago. Denied a second time too; but, that is another story unfortunately.

Offline Ellement_of_Freedom

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 02:42:14 am »
Can one of the moderators/admins please make this an 'important topic' for this board? I think all Australians on Susans need to see this!

Offline Ellement_of_Freedom

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2018, 11:32:13 pm »
Just wanted to update here for anyone who is going to go through with this process to fund their surgeries.

I submitted letters from my doctors and was told they were insufficient, and instead told to have my doctors fill in the form found at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/forms/mo017.

I hope this saves someone some time because each time you submit the application you have to wait a minimum of 14 days. Best to go straight to using this form rather than have your doctors write their own letters.

P.S. I still think we should have this thread pinned/marked as important!

Offline Cindy

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2018, 01:31:25 am »
Just wanted to update here for anyone who is going to go through with this process to fund their surgeries.

I submitted letters from my doctors and was told they were insufficient, and instead told to have my doctors fill in the form found at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/forms/mo017.

I hope this saves someone some time because each time you submit the application you have to wait a minimum of 14 days. Best to go straight to using this form rather than have your doctors write their own letters.

P.S. I still think we should have this thread pinned/marked as important!

done

Offline Ella_bella

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2018, 04:22:04 pm »
I submitted letters from my doctors and was told they were insufficient, and instead told to have my doctors fill in the form found at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/forms/mo017.

I did originally say that you had to have your GP and Specialist fill out the:
"Two early access to superannuation request forms, one signed by a medical practitioner (GP) one signed by a specialist (Psychiatrist, but in my case; my GP is a specialist in General Practice Medicine). This form just basically states that you have a chronic mental health condition, it states that the treatment for the condition is FFS and that the treatment is not available in Australia or under the public health system."

Yes the form number is mo017.






Offline LizK

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2018, 08:52:39 pm »
I have decided to use my super rather than my cash to pay for this if they will allow it which I am sure won't be an issue. I also want to include the Anaesthetics, accommodation and airfares for both of us as my wife is coming to take care of me.

It says I just need to supply quotes and from what I have read here, I also need a letter saying my wife will be accompanying me to look after me.

First stop.....Waiting on the Psych to get back to me about filling out the report form. I will update this as I go through the process.
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

436H09M BWCA?  ;D

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be – Lao Tzu


Offline LizK

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Re: Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2018, 09:32:54 pm »
Have an appointment with my Psych to fill out the report and another with my HRT Dr tomorrow which I may get her to also help with filling out the second report.

Important

When you change your name with the Australian tax office all your super will disappear from your My Gov account until you have officially completed the name change with you Superannuation company/s. I only noticed this after going to check the balances as recorded by my latest super against what the Govt record was. It was then I realised I have not completed the change of name with my Superannuation provider. I have started this process now and hope to have it done in the next few days. They have assured me that once this is complete then the Govt records will be correct.

If you have multiple super accounts it is far easier to change your name once they have been combined into one(if this is your preference) but once you change your name with the ATO anything still in your old name will disappear from view.
HRT since 17 May 2016, Fulltime from 8 March 2017, Transition Begun 25 September 2015 

436H09M BWCA?  ;D

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be – Lao Tzu


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