Let me start out by saying there is no such thing as a hardship withdrawal from an IRA. An IRA owner generally has unlimited access to their IRA funds for any reason whatsoever (unless they are in an investment that limits their access). There is no age restriction on taking a withdrawal from the IRA. So, there is no need to prove a hardship. So, there is no need to prove a hardship. BUT, if you do take a withdrawal before you are age 59 ½, then there is an extra tax to pay.