Welcome to the YOURLifeChoices Government page. Here you will find information and resources on the various services provided by state, territory and federal governments through the departments of Social Services, Health and Veterans’ Affairs. On these pages we feature the ‘need to know’ shortcuts to relevant government departments, what they can offer you or your family and how to claim your Seniors Card when you qualify.
Visit our Pension page for the latest changes or pension increases. Our Centrelink page has a wealth of information on the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and how to claim your pension overseas. We regularly update our Centrelink page with questions from subscribers, answered by Centrelink, so you can easily find the information you need.
1. One stop health shop
If you’re battling a health concern, looking to get fitter, or trying to find out more information about a specific illness, the Federal Government sponsors many initiatives to keep Australians healthy. Discover useful information about recent studies, the latest updates to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and what services are available to you.
2. Understand your Centrelink benefits
Find out if you qualify for the Age Pension, Newstart Allowance, or Disability Support Pension. Claiming a benefit, reporting your income or applying for an advance payment are just some of the things you can do using Centrelink’s Online Services. You can also download useful Centrelink publications.
3. Supporting our servicemen and women
Offering practical support to those who have served, or are currently serving, and their families, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) website is a useful tool to help navigate the services available. The site has details of rehabilitation services, benefits which can be claimed and to which health care card you may be entitled. You can also access counselling services and sign up for the DVA quarterly publication, Vetaffairs.
4. Digital TV is coming
The switch to digital television is well underway, with some areas having already made the switch. The Government has a program underway to ensure those on an Age Pension or receiving other qualifying benefits can access digital television for little or no cost. If you haven’t already switched over, you can find out if your television is digital ready, whether you qualify for the Government’s free set-top box scheme, when the switchover will happen in your area and what are the benefits of digital television.
5. Managing your money
If you’re looking to keep track of your daily spend, understand your superannuation statement or get ready for retirement – where do you start? Moneysmart.gov.au is a well-organised government site which allows you to search for money tips and ideas depending on your age and stage. While you may not be looking to save for your first home, you might appreciate some tips on how to boost your superannuation balance, manage your Age Pension, find out if a reverse mortgage is right for you or learn how to balance your bank book.
6. Go green and save
The carbon tax was implemented on 1 July 2012 and the first household assistance payments have been issued. If you've missed out, are not sure if you received the correct amount, or are in need of extra assistance, then you can calculate your correct level of assistance, get some tips on reducing your energy use and find out more about why the carbon tax is being implemented. Make sure you're getting what you are due.
7. Is private health insurance worth the money?
Each year when your private health insurance renewal arrives you will no doubt ask yourself if it’s worth the money, can you really afford it or can you afford not to have it? While there are a few sites around which help you compare insurance premiums, you may not fully understand for what you are signing. PrivateHealthInsurance.gov.au will enable you to understand what clauses such as lifetime coverage mean, how much your Private Health Insurance Rebate will be and what is your health funds obligation to you.
8. Protect your online information
Many Australians think nothing of banking, shopping and chatting online, but how many consider the implications of an unauthorised person getting hold of your personal details and passwords? When you hear cyber-bullying reported in the media, do you understand it, or do you have family and friends who have experienced it first hand? Interacting online can be safe and secure if you follow a few simple tips.
9. Accessing Medicare services
If you’ve ever stood in a queue to claim a Medicare benefit or waited on the phone to update your personal details, you may be pleased to know that certain Medicare items can now be claimed online, you can update your details in minutes and you can register for the Organ Donation Scheme. You can find out what services are covered by Medicare and which medications are funded by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
10. Before you go
Whether you’re heading across the Tasman to New Zealand or going trekking in deepest, darkest Peru, you need to be aware of any travel warnings, health recommendations and visa requirements to ensure a safe and happy trip. Smart Traveller will give you details of any travel warnings, allow you to register your travel details and help you find out if you need any vaccinations before you travel.
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