The Treasury is reviewing the rules governing the early release of superannuation benefits which includes considering the rapid increase in the use of superannuation for medical purposes, including pain treatments.The rules have been largely unchanged since 1997.

Under the current regulations, a person seeking early release for medical treatment must provide evidence from two medical practitioners to certify that:

- Treatment is for a life threatening illness or injury, or alleviate acute or chronic pain, or alleviate an acute or chronic mental disturbance; and

- Treatment is not readily available to the individual or dependent through the public health system.

The Treasury consultation paper asks for feedback on changes to the current thresholds in the regulations that may include:

- Changing the threshold from the ‘alleviation’ of acute or chronic pain to the ‘treatment’ of these conditions.

- Limit access to where an individual’s condition is life threatening.

Painaustralia is interested in the views of our network on these issues which directly impact people living with pain, their families and carers and medical practitioners.

Your views will help us prepare a submission due to Treasury on 12 February 2018.

Please take our five-minute survey and let us know what you think.

* 1. Are you completing this survey as an individual or on behalf of your organisation?

* 2. Are you/your organisation aware people can apply for early release of superannuation for medical treatment to alleviate acute or chronic pain that is not readily available through the public system?

* 3. Are you/your organisation aware of incidences where people have applied for or been able to access their superannuation to pay for treatment for chronic pain?

* 4. If so, is it a common occurrence to your knowledge?

* 5. There has been a five-fold increase in people accessing their superannuation for medical treatment in the last 17 years. Are you/your organisation aware of this?

* 6. What do you/your organisation think the main reason is for this increase?

* 7. Do you/your organisation believe the current provisions for early release of superannuation for medical treatment for chronic pain should be tightened from ‘alleviation’ to ‘treatment’?

* 8. Do you/your organisation believe the current provisions for early release of superannuation for medical treatment should be limited to life-threatening conditions only?

* 9. Do you/your organisation have any other comments or concerns about the Treasury review?

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