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Accessing superannuation for SRS and FFS

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Ella_bella:
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in Australia, however I also wrote a coverletter stating that the techniques utilised within Australia for SRS are outdated and that my surgeon in Thailand has pioneered a leading edge technique which provides for a more effective treatment for gender dysphoria.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.

Dana60:
Thanks Ella, very useful info as i am considering this as an option for paying for my FFS and SRS.

Dana

Edina:
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:
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:
Cool bananas. Will do that too. Thanks for sharing this info. It's not an option that comes readily to mind.

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