How Centrelink assesses two singles living under the same roof

How will Centrelink assess two singles living under the same roof?

coupleatwar

Pauline is fresh out of a de facto relationship but is still living with her ex. She wants to know if she can apply for a single Age Pension. Today, Debbie explains how will Centrelink may assess her situation.

Q. Pauline
I have been in a de facto relationship for some years, however, we have now decided to part ways. We’ve always had separate bank accounts and our own assets and income. We have always split our living costs, including rent and utilities. Given the fact that neither of us is looking for another relationship and the cost of renting is so high, we have discussed remaining in the same house, each with our own space.

If we did this, how would it affect our Age Pension? Would be able to claim as singles?

A. Given that you have been in a relationship and live in the same house, Centrelink is inclined to consider that you are both still a couple. However, if your separation is legitimate and you can prove that there is a valid reason why you’ll remain under the same roof, you can ask Centrelink to consider your claim for a single Age Pension.

Centrelink would conduct an investigation and would require independent referees. It should also be noted that this is not the norm and there is no guarantee that your claim will be approved.

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    COMMENTS

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    Ecstatic Cyclist
    24th Jul 2017
    12:03pm
    If the pension for couples was equal to twice the single pension then this dilemma would not arise. Of course Pauline is entitled to the single pension.
    Rosret
    24th Jul 2017
    12:47pm
    Actually if he wasn't on a pension it would still be an issue. Good luck with proving to Centrelink that this isn't a scam.
    Jan
    25th Jul 2017
    7:30am
    As we all are. It would be much simpler and less costly administratively to pay each individual as a single. Then Centrelink wouldn't have to look into people's bedrooms!
    LiveItUp
    25th Jul 2017
    8:28am
    Two people can live a lot cheaper than one so it's good the partnered rate is lower than two singles. Afterall it is welfare and thankfully we will see a welfare card for all instead of cash in the bank.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    12:55am
    Why don't we stop paying welfare to rich fat cats instead of further persecuting the strugglers who built this country and who offered their services for far less cost than they produced so the fat cats could profit?

    You are a sick woman, Bonny. And no, it's NOT a good thing that the partnered rate is lower than two singles, because it encourages family breakups and cheating and it unfairly deprives honest couples. Two can sometimes live cheaper than one, depending on circumstances. But two singles co-habituating enjoy the same cost saving advantage as a couple.

    And a welfare card is ONLY good for the company supplying the card (run be a relative of a corrupt politician actually!). It's been proved a social and economic disaster and it's blatant cruelty to even suggest it for people who worked and paid taxes for a lifetime and EARNED EVERY DAMN CENT OF PENSION AND A HELL OF A LOT MORE!
    Hawkeye
    24th Jul 2017
    12:05pm
    I hope Centrelink believe this just as much as I do (LOL)
    Rosret
    24th Jul 2017
    12:49pm
    It is often the reason many chose to live a single life. The loss of independence isn't worth it.
    Rae
    24th Jul 2017
    2:42pm
    Rosret they lost their independence the minute they started relying on government benefits.

    Every couple on the pension would immediately "separate" if this sort of thing is okayed.
    Hawkeye
    25th Jul 2017
    1:34am
    Yeah Rae, I'm doing it right now.
    I just said to the missus "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you"
    OK, where's my extra money CentreLink?
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    3:20am
    Savvy neighbours, who previously gifted $2 million to their kids to ensure they would get full pensions, built a huge house that is almost a duplex, with individual living quarters at each end. This was so they could claim (untruthfully) that they are singles who just happen to share a house for convenience and get more pension money. Not sure if they were successful!
    Rosret
    25th Jul 2017
    9:11am
    Rainey - this is the point where they need total faith in their children. Not only have they thrown away their independence to their children but to the government as well. Historically the government usually proves to be a better master than one's relatives.
    Ronin
    24th Jul 2017
    1:13pm
    As this will easily become more of an issue, where singles live in the same house due to increases in living costs, Centrelink need to clearly define what constitutes a 'relationship' such that 2 singles are regarded as a couple.

    Is it having a physically intimate relationship, attending social events together, not having a relationship with a third party, being regarded socially as a couple? There must be clear and understandable rules, not a "We'll look at each case on its merits" as this just creates confusion and uncertainty.
    Rosret
    24th Jul 2017
    1:36pm
    Ronin I think you can safely assume Centrelink won't pay out unless you prove otherwise.
    Misty
    24th Jul 2017
    7:33pm
    And how would they do that Rosret?
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    12:57am
    This shows up where the system is patently unfair. Two singles co-habituating enjoy the same cost savings as a couple, so why should it matter whether or not you are a couple?
    tex
    24th Jul 2017
    2:35pm
    good luck on that one
    Nan Norma
    24th Jul 2017
    2:52pm
    I know two couples living together and claiming single pensions.
    niemakawa
    24th Jul 2017
    4:51pm
    And what have you done about it?
    Eddy
    24th Jul 2017
    11:49pm
    I know of two men, both now deceased, who lived together for nearly 50 years in the flat they jointly owned yet were both considered as singles by the Dept of Social Security and after retirement each paid a single pension. In those times, same sex co-habitation was illegal so they each had a separate bedroom in case they were raided by police, something they joked about. A delightful couple who lived a seemingly fulfilling life together.
    ex PS
    27th Jul 2017
    10:48am
    Rather than exhorting people to look through keyholes so that they can be outraged and dob in a neighbor, maybe we should pay everyone the same amount. This amount can be determined by averaging the two pension entitlements and reaching a payment somewhere in the middle.
    I would suspect that even if we paid everyone at the single level, we would save the difference by being able to redirect the Bedroom Police into other more productive activities. Maybe even chasing up companies who have decided to evade taxes.
    tex
    24th Jul 2017
    3:05pm
    betcha c/link doesn`t know

    24th Jul 2017
    3:29pm
    Just to muddy the waters a bit, here's how Centrelink defines a couple.

    Member of a couple

    Under social security law, you’re considered a member of a couple if you and the person you have a relationship with are:

    married
    in a registered relationship - different sex or same sex, or
    in a de facto relationship - different sex or same sex

    You’re not considered a member of a couple if you and the person are living separately and apart on a permanent or indefinite basis.

    You may still be a member of a couple if you are not physically living with your partner. For example, your partner may fly-in-fly-out or live away for work, such as military or oil rig workers.
    What is considered when assessing a member of a couple

    To determine if you’re a member of a couple, we may need to assess your relationship. We’ll consider the following factors:

    financial aspects of your relationship
    nature of your household
    social aspects of your relationship
    if you have a sexual relationship
    nature of your commitment to each other

    If you tell us you’re a member of a couple, we don’t usually assess your relationship against these factors. We may look at these factors if your circumstances change.

    We can decide you’re a member of a couple even if all of these factors aren’t part of your relationship.

    The last sentence really says it all. Regardless of what you think of your relationship, Centrelink can tell you exactly what your relationship is when it comes to handing out money. Talk about Big Brother, this definition could have been thought up by Eric Blair.
    Rosret
    24th Jul 2017
    5:36pm
    It sure does Old Man and I wonder how the individual could possibly challenge the decision. Maybe its better to share with many rather than just one other.
    niemakawa
    25th Jul 2017
    1:42am
    Rosret, sounds promiscuous!!
    Adrianus
    18th Apr 2018
    9:56am
    Sounds a bit like my mobile phone reception. Only works well when you hold your tongue the right way.
    niemakawa
    24th Jul 2017
    3:35pm
    I would suggest that Pauline calls the Welfare Rights & Advocacy. It is a free service, they may be able to ponit you in the ight direction. Perth 93281751. I am sure they have similar groups in all States of Australia.
    anonysubscribe
    24th Jul 2017
    3:38pm
    It is unfortunate that you are forced to live under the same roof but it is a reality I know is real, whatever others disparage. Rent is a real factor. It is unfair of others who are not in this predicament to criticise. A kind soul once said, "judege not lest ye bejudged".
    Advise centrelink. They will send you a change of circumstances form. identify clearly why you are separate. the form is non-judgemental. There is a category of separation called 'separated but living under the same roof (for economic reasons). Write you facts clearly. separate bank accounts, separate rental arrangements etc all are evidence. God Bless. Centrelink is not unreasonable. Your case is not unique. check with welfare rights or another NGO which deals with centrelink issues and they will reassure you about what is reasonable. There are grounds for appeal as well.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    1:05am
    I'm not criticizing, anonysubscribe, but what is patently unfair is that two singles living under the same roof and saving money by doing so are paid more than a couple living under the same roof and enjoying only the same savings as the single.

    BTW. I'm not a pensioner, so I'm not personally affected but can look at the situation objectively. The system is WRONG. Everyone should receive a full single pension, married or not. Singles can share costs just as easily as married couples - sometimes more easily!
    niemakawa
    26th Jul 2017
    1:07am
    Rainey the only sensible, logical and moral action to take.
    sunnyOz
    24th Jul 2017
    5:53pm
    From March 30th, 2017 - so VERY recent.......
    A MELBOURNE age pensioner and his live-in lover have won the right to higher welfare benefits after a tribunal decided their sex life lacked an “emotional connection”.

    The man and woman shared a bed, but the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled they were housemates in a relationship of “mutual convenience’’. The man, Mr T, can now receive up to $5686 extra in welfare because he will be paid the single pensioner’s rate of up to $888 a fortnight, instead of the $669 paid to each member of a couple.

    Centrelink ordered Mr T to pay back the extra money he had claimed as a single pensioner between 2013 and 2015. But Mr T appealed to the AAT, declaring he should not have to repay any welfare because “Centrelink is corrupt’’.

    So by Pauline's example - If you can live in the same house, still have a sex life with your 'house mate' but with 'no emotional connection', there should be no trouble in both getting the single pension!
    Nan Norma
    24th Jul 2017
    6:51pm
    What a laugh!!!1
    Anonymous
    27th Jul 2017
    5:02am
    What a disgrace! Conclusive evidence that our system is a total mess and grossly unfair.
    Tiny
    24th Jul 2017
    6:01pm
    Sounds like a good episode for "Home and Away"
    Watto
    24th Jul 2017
    8:42pm
    "It is often the reason many chose to live a single life. The loss of independence isn't worth it".

    Oh Rosret you sad old thing.
    Rosret
    25th Jul 2017
    9:27am
    Excuse me Watto - neither old, nor sad, nor on a pension.
    This is just hypothetical rhetoric.
    However I sure wouldn't take on someone else as a burden in my later years - this scenario is all about a "couple" trying to scam the government out of a bit more money.
    AB241266B
    24th Jul 2017
    9:05pm
    Centrelink is administered according to the Social Security Act. 13yrs ago I appealed a debt repayment of thousands of dollars in Age Pension payments. I was not allowed to engage a Solicitor to argue on a point of Law, the Department sent their Solicitor to Brisbane from Canberra to affirm the Conviction of me having cheated the System. I quoted from the Guide to Soc. Sec. Law in my defence. The Magistrate handed down a decision against me, finding in his written summary that ' the guide to Soc.Sec. Law. is not Law'. So there you have it, Centrelink does not operate within the Law, it is a Law unto itself. The Age Pension is/was my only Income for the past 23yrs, at the married Rate until my Husband died in 2004, at the Single Rate ever since, reduced by the Means Test and fabricated debt repayments. When one debt is repaid, a 'change of Circumstances' is cited as a reason to raise another debt. Now I still owe $15.40 on an over payment of over $1,000 on the reduced Single Rate, because I lived with my second husband in Queensland for a few months and was only entitled to the Married Rate. His Pension stayed at the Single Rate because it is paid by the UK Department of Works and Pensions. How could I have been overpaid when my only Income is the Age Pension and I do not have any Assets. I was the scapegoat used to set a Legal Precedent whereby the UK component of a Migrant's Age Pension as Other Income.
    ray from Bondi
    24th Jul 2017
    9:50pm
    here here
    Rae
    25th Jul 2017
    9:48am
    Exactly. Which is why Centrelink can imagine "deemed" rates and get away with it. Every other entity has to work with reality.
    AB241266B
    24th Jul 2017
    9:15pm
    Sorry, clicked the wrong button....whereby the UK component of a Migrant's Age Pension is Deemed as Other Income in contravention of a Commonwealth Agreement to the contrary.
    ray from Bondi
    24th Jul 2017
    9:49pm
    another thing people are forgetting is that our Orwellian governments love giving us less while trumpeting how they are increasing whatever, some years ago the single pension was increased and that was some time ago now, to fund it the married pension which was one and two-thirds of two single pensions, was decreased to one and a half of two pensions, so the second person effectively received half of a single pension this was substantial decrease for people who are already struggling, and this was done in 2009 by a labor government if my memory serves me correctly. Something had to be done but politicians seem to be able to find new money to keep their trough full and their pockets brimming, but when it comes to the aged it is a different story altogether.
    AB241266B
    25th Jul 2017
    12:36am
    Yes Ray this came in as another reason to impose the Means Test. Paul Keating introduced Means Testing to stop people with large assets and Incomes from Claiming the State Age Pension. Only the poor need to Claim Age Pension, only the poor need to fill out the Claims Form and Declare all Assets and Income, only the poor are Means Tested and cheated out of their rightful Entitlements.
    And it's not only Age Pensioners it is mandatory on all Claims to Welfare Benefits including Housing Assistance, Public Housing rents are charged according to household income up to Market value. When my husband died my rent went up due to my 'Other UK income' after Centrelink dobbed me in, I lost my husband, half my household income, thousands of dollars out of my Age Pension and was evicted from my home after 35yrs without arrears of rent, when I failed to pay this Means Tested increase. I had no Right of Appeal because I had already been 'caught out' on the same Charge by Centrelink. I was evicted by a Civil Court as if I were a common thief. I was warned not to go live with my daughter because I was not allowed to occupy any Qld. Housing Commission property. I was 71yrs old at the time and recently widowed. Have been fighting for justice ever since, to no avail.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    3:26am
    What a horror story, AB241266B!
    Our system is cruel, suppressive and punitive, and therefore inefficient and excessively expensive, but I don't see any hope of improvement any time soon. It's likely to get far, far worse I fear.
    niemakawa
    25th Jul 2017
    1:55am
    The fairest and simplist way is to give all those who qualify a basic aged pension, regardless of income or assets. It will cut all the red tape, encourage people to save, improve quality of life for those that cannot access an aged pension. The current payment system is draconian to say the least and is causing a great deal of stress for many people.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    3:22am
    Couldn't agree more, niemakawa. The current system is punitive and suppressive and discourages people from saving for retirement because often they are far better off to save less under the current stupid rules. The cost of administration must be horrendous, and the stress and the risks of unfair assessments causing hardship are extremely high.
    Rosret
    25th Jul 2017
    2:58pm
    Agreed.

    25th Jul 2017
    3:35am
    Doesn't it seems somewhat unfair that a couple receive so much less pension than two singles, yet the two singles can share a residence and reduce their living costs to virtually the same as a couple? A woman I know recently built a home specifically for a live-in mate, but claims the mate is her ''carer''. Both receive single pensions and the mate receives a carer allowance as well, but they are actually a couple with the same living costs as a pensioner couple and this perfectly fit and healthy woman (who untruthfully claims ''mental disability'') does not have any need for a carer. The arrangement is for financial gain and to have a sex partner. (Of course the sexual relationship is not disclosed to anyone!)

    This is just another example of the flaws in our punitive welfare system and how it rewards dishonesty and irresponsible living that imposes higher costs on taxpayer, and punishes those whose lifestyles and behaviour reduce the strain on the public purse.
    AB241266B
    25th Jul 2017
    8:58am
    I also experienced this unfair ruling. When I lived with my Husband as Mr and Mrs Smith we were paid at the married rate. When my husband died my adult son lived with me for some time as Mrs and Mr Smith and we were both paid the single rate. Clearly the Social Security Act is out of Order since the Government passed over 3.000 Amendments to it.
    It was not until my husband died Centrelink could say that I was no longer a Dependant Spouse and used this as proof of a 'Change of Circumstance' whereby I was paid the Pension in my own right and all record of our contributions to the Nat. Ins. Scheme were closed and My Nat.Ins. No was changed. They could not have done this to a man. I now live in the UK and asked my MP to help me to get our original number and records back. The reply was that payments are not made to a deceased customer and all records are closed. I replied that I was not a deceased customer, and I had my correct number tattooed on my wrist. Nothing I do makes any difference, no one takes any notice of a convicted Social Security cheat.
    inextratime
    25th Jul 2017
    10:27pm
    As part of the proof that Centrelink will ask is 'do you share the same bathroom" ? Do you share the same bedroom ? How is the rent split ? Do you got out separately or together ? Its pretty invasive. Not sure why they don't pay everyone married or single the same amount but that would make things much more simple and the government would have to reduce the numbers employed at CL and that would put the unemployment stats up. "'Yes Minister" I think its called.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    12:59am
    They SHOULD pay everyone the same. What difference does it make what you share? Couples often don't share the same bathroom or bedroom, particularly in their later years. But two singles sharing a house enjoy the same cost sharing as a couple sharing. There's no difference when it comes to cost saving, so why should two singles get more than a couple? It's patently unfair.
    Nan Norma
    26th Jul 2017
    4:43pm
    100% with you Rainey. That makes a lot of sense.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jul 2017
    6:15pm
    Makes a big difference as it's welfare and it is cheaper to live as a couple than a single.
    niemakawa
    26th Jul 2017
    6:22pm
    OG as you well know the aged pension is no such thing but you keep pushing the same old rhetoric. Best you take a holiday from this site, rest, relax and you may find a way to recover from this obsession of yours.
    AB241266B
    26th Jul 2017
    6:47pm
    The number of Civil Servants employed at Centrelink have been slashed extensively. All Social Welfare payments in Australia, New Zealand and the UK are administered by the American Financial Service Concentrix. Concentrix collects a share of all the savings made by its so called restructuring of Government Business, with a computerised programme setting out ways and means of denying the Government's Legal responsibility to fund any of the Social Services.
    Concentrix has been able to chip away at Age Pensions only because the Government gave them the Means Test which facilitates a total invasion of the Right to Privacy.
    Concentrix has Privatised Government Business by completely reversing the due process and Intent of the Social Security Act, the National Health in the UK and Medicare in Australia.
    Claimants now have no Entitlements, that is Legal Rights, to a return on their Investment in the National Insurance Scheme, paid in weekly throughout their working life. Government has no Liability to pay to maintain any Public Service, Postal, road and rail maintenance, housing, everything it collects Taxes for, has been Privatised, so that Government has no Liabilities.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jul 2017
    6:56pm
    Well now I see that you continue to think you are entitled to the OAP but you only get it because you have stated you have no other means of support. That's why they had to bring in such measures as the robo debt collection system to prove people have told the truth as far too many haven't. Therefore you are collecting welfare.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jul 2017
    6:59pm
    Yes you lost your right to privacy the day your parents applied for your birth certificate. Insurance companies have been making money out of your identity ever since.
    Anonymous
    27th Jul 2017
    5:00am
    OG, you are obviously very bad at math. How does a couple live more cheaply than two people sharing a residence? The rates or rent and water bill are split in both cases. The power bill is split in both cases. All the same savings apply. It is simply WRONG to suggest that a couple can live more cheaply than two people sharing a residence. Even when singles live alone, they don't incur twice the cost of a couple. Often, a couple has very different accommodation needs. If widowed or divorced, one partner may happily live in a few small rooms in a low-cost location, whereas the other partner may have genuine needs for more space and proximity to certain facilities (eg. a hospital or medical specialist). One partner may be able to make do with a tiny ''bubble car'' but the other may have long legs and a bulky frame and need a much larger car.

    Whether or not a couple are married, sharing a bathroom, or having sex has NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH THEIR LIVING COSTS.
    Just another example of the STUPIDITY of our pension rules.
    niemakawa
    26th Jul 2017
    1:05am
    We will all be getting SINGLE digit pensions before too long, the way the Government is chipping away at our assets.
    AB241266B
    26th Jul 2017
    9:29pm
    Old Geezer you are wrong my Birth Certificate established my British Nationality. The British Government set up the National Insurance Scheme, We could have chosen not to buy into it when we had the Freedom of Choice, but we chose to buy into it. When we chose to work in Australia the Government gave an Assurance that we could continue paying our Premiums and remain Entitled to Claim all guaranteed Payouts when the Policy matured. I am Entitled to a State Age Pension assessed and paid in part for the period we worked in the UK by the Department of Works and Pensions, and, assessed and paid for the period we worked in Australia, by the duly Appointed Government Department of Australia, not by Concentrix operating under the name of Centrelink.
    I lived in the Australian City of Brisbane for 40yrs. I bought a Certificate of Citzenship to prove it. This was a mistake because it was used to deny my Nationality and make my Birth Certificate null and void along with my British Passport and my Marriage Certificate.
    I was forced to buy an Australian Passport because the re-entry visa in my British Passport no longer applied, even though it was not out of Date. My National Insurance No was changed, all record of my Entitlement to a State Age Pension is locked down on Public Records held by Government. I have been stripped of my Nationality, my Birth Rights, my Name is recorded by a false Number on all computerised data banks, and only Concentrix has access to all the data stored in all of them.
    America has a vested Interest in the supply of pharmaceuticals to the Commonwealth. It has no business interfering with the due process of Law anywhere to facilitate greater profits to Private Businesses.
    I'm now married to an old geezer like you, he says 'I'm alright Jack, it ain't broke so why fix it, it is nothing to do with me, its only in Australia.' It's alright for him his British Passport is stamped with a no entry to Australia for 3yrs and its the last place on Earth he wants ever to go again. At 83 I long to see my family but fear I shall never be able to return to Australia leaving him alone. We live together separately. Sometimes he eats and sleeps in my Flat, sometimes I stay at his. I was thinking of getting a divorce, on the Grounds that the Marriage has not been consummated, but its an Australian Marriage Certificate and I must be in Australia to Apply.
    I'd say your Career as a Financial Adviser working for Concentrix and Advertising on this Forum, Old Geezer, is about to end.
    niemakawa
    27th Jul 2017
    12:17am
    You say you have been stripped of your Nationality, British. There must have been a reason as generally a British Citizen will always remain such unless they renounce it. Once a person has been issued with a National Insurance number in Britian, then it remains for life.

    Are you receiving a British pension, if so you must have a National Insurance number.

    I am rather confused about you numerous posts, they seem to change like the wind.
    cupoftea
    2nd Nov 2017
    4:54pm
    ab I am duel nationality in 2015 i got in touch with state pension they told me i will get 43.00 pound per week because of the 10 years i worked there i can pay the past 6 years and right up to when i retire they also warn you of how to go about it because the the aussi pension does not always cover what you lose because of the brit pension
    AB241266B
    27th Jul 2017
    5:02am
    Niemakawa, sorry it confuses you but I do get a part pension from the UK and my Nat. Ins. No. has been changed illegally. Even at the request of my MP the DWP refuses to change it back. I am now assessed by the criteria that applies only to Welfare Benefits which deny me my full Entitlement to the Age Pension according to the Records held under my original number. The ONLY criteria for assessing the Age Pension is Age not Assets or Income or Partnerships. I know I was set up because I was paid in full up to the death of my first husband, alleged over-payments were dated back to five years before his death although I had been paid that amount for eleven years. Five years before his death I applied to have the Pension paid in my own Right when advised by the Department that they may not be able to pay me if I kept my Dependant Spouse Status. This was when my number was changed, but it was not until my husband died that it could be said I was no longer a Dependant Spouse. The first over-payment was backdated to the day he died, when that was approved by the Appeals Tribunal Centrelink successfully raised a second debt dating back five years to when my Number was changed and reported it to Qld. Housing to have me evicted.
    I have since remarried and returned to my home town in the UK. I always believed it was an error calculated by Centrelink that I would be able to get the DWP to correct for me. I do have a Copy of the Commonwealth Agreement stating the split Pension paid to UK Migrants must be treated as one, not as one Pension with the other part counted as Other taxable income. But as I cannot return to Australia with my husband I am unable to Lodge another Appeal, and my letters go unanswered, whilst the deductions from my Age Pensions go on and on, each classed as two Payments by both Government Departments.
    HAPPY LOS
    27th Jul 2017
    10:12am
    What a stupid comment to make Bonny to bring in a welfare card. Obviously you have no idea how people live on the pension. We don't need your small minded comments about a welfare card. Your comments are sickening.
    LiveItUp
    27th Jul 2017
    11:25pm
    If you nothing to hide and are doing the right thing it wont make any difference. Same arguments when they wanted to put welfare into bank account. However that is being abused so it is now necessary to make sure welfare is being spent they way it was intended. The sooner they bring it in for all those on we,fare the better. Yes we need to stop those irresponsible oldies from paying wealthy tradesmsn cash for a discount. traSo you only have yourselves to blame.
    niemakawa
    27th Jul 2017
    11:30pm
    Bonny, where is your proof of what you spout, just hearsay more than likely.
    niemakawa
    28th Jul 2017
    12:24am
    Bonny, discounts of 10 % for pensioners by tradesman are always / henerally available whether you pay by card ot other means. Don't tell me you have never paid anyone in cash. It is not a crime to pay in cash supermarkets and many other outlets accept this method of payment. Many pensioners draw their fortnightly entitlement from the bank on their payment date, surely you have witnessed this yourself. Not everyone has the internet nor do they have debit or credit cards so payments that they make will be in cash. Don't be so awkward and nasty.
    Anonymous
    28th Jul 2017
    3:06am
    Bonny, the cashless welfare card is a hideous way of destroying personal freedom and wiping out self-respect. It has been proved to have dire consequences for mental health, family relationships, and basic human safety. To have to present it is totally demoralizing. Forcing people onto it who have not demonstrated any fiscal irresponsibility is just criminal and disgusting and will cause hideous harm to society as a whole. But of course your LNP mates will party on the profits! It's a very expensive alternative, and one that has been proven NOT TO WORK.

    Why shouldn't retirees negotiate a discount from a tradie if they can? You do! And you boast about it! Why shouldn't people put money in the bank or earn credit card rewards if they are able? Who the hell are you to assume the right to demand everyone but you be persecuted just because they aren't as rich as you are? You are an extremely nasty person, and a danger to society.

    Australian retirees PAID FOR THEIR PENSIONS. We all contributed under a government scheme designed to fund retirement through aged pensions. It is not the fault of today's retired that a corrupt and dishonest government cheated us. And no retiree should suffer for that deception. But more to the point, you and your rich cronies claim up to 30% tax concessions on high incomes for decades, then huge tax-free incomes in retirement, costing the taxpayer billions to benefit folk who DO NOT NEED ANYTHING, so how dare you begrudge those who DO NEED SUPPORT a tiny fraction of the over-generous benefit you claim?

    I hope they do bring in the cashless welfare card for all pensioners very soon. And I hope the predictable response happens - a total revolt that will see rich nasties like you stripped of everything you value and tormented like the Chinese wealthy were when the Communists took over. Bring it on, Bonny, you cruel arrogant woman! Bring on the civil war. It's pretty much a certainty if horrid people like you get their way.
    Triss
    15th Nov 2017
    10:37pm
    If you’re concerned about welfare spending, Bonny, think about health. It is said you are what you eat and if people are forced into unhealthy supermarket processed food because that’s where the welfare card is acceptable their health will suffer. What is it about some people that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to demean others?
    Irresponsible oldies!. That’s ageism...which is against the law. Do you spend all day every day obsessing how much money aged pensioners have and the fact that they should only be allowed bread and water to eat and drink?
    Adrianus
    18th Apr 2018
    10:11am
    Actually Bonny, you have raised a very good point. We have problems with Poker machines and other forms of gambling, drug addiction, black market etc etc. Couple these issues with the enormous success of the debit card trials and we are looking at a very compelling case for a welfare card. I may add that pensioners are constantly handing their concession card for discounts so why not encourage merchants to discount on presentation of "the welfare card."
    It will eventually happen, so we may as well get organised sooner rather than put it off.
    Anonymous
    28th Apr 2018
    1:03pm
    Adrianus, the welfare debit card was NOT the success the government claimed. It's success lay in the fact that it was highly profitable for buddies of politicians. Those cursed with using it reported all kinds of problems - loss of self-respect being at the top of the list.

    What's wrong with people playing poker machines if that's their choice? As long as they only spend their income, why shouldn't they gamble. If they demonstrate irresponsible behaviour, then perhaps there's a case for implementing methods of control, but as long as pensioners are living on their pension and not hurting others, they have the right to live as they choose. If gambling makes them happy, why not? I know plenty of workers who gamble their entire pay packet away. Should we make them accept a cashless card as well?

    This denigration of pensioners HAS TO STOP. It's evil, socially harmful, and thoroughly disgraceful.
    Dollars over Respect?
    2nd Nov 2017
    1:10pm
    I recently attended a colleague's 65th birthday celebration where two gay guests (a couple for many years apparently) boasted that they would never marry and didn't have any desire to do so (their conversation topic was the 'survey for the yes/no vote) because they intend to apply for the pension as singles when they retire (they will receive more from Centrelink as a married couple than as singles). Frankly I was floored with such an attitude. I wonder how Centrelink is ever going to know when this is the case. Petty....yes, and this attitude exists in the community probably as often as heterosexual defacto-couples who choose to dud the system. There was a time in my early childhood when anyone found to be dishonest or part-taking in shady dealings would be ashamed (and punished - i.e. not excused) to be found out - not in today's society, where anyone who gets away with dudding the system seems to admired, considered funny or a''super smart cookie'....? What can we expect going forward - when even our pollies can't be shamed by the numerous exposures of their excesses.
    Tikirikia
    16th Jan 2018
    11:22am
    What about people of the same sex married or defectors? Are they entitled to the higher single rate and live together in the same house. Now that the marriage act has been changed. Why not pay all the one rate neither single or married. Individual rates for all.
    Adrianus
    18th Apr 2018
    10:00am
    If you become a defector depending on your circumstances and knowledge of state secrets anything could happen?
    Anonymous
    28th Apr 2018
    12:56pm
    One person I know owns a home and has claimed disability (dishonestly!). Her gay lover moved in as her ''carer''. She gets a single pension. Gay lover gets carer benefit + carer allowance + rent assistance. Huge rort! Meanwhile, honest married couples get a pittance.
    Pardelope
    11th Mar 2018
    10:26pm
    A warning people...If you own your property and allow someone else to live under your roof - even for a short period - you may have two serious problems.

    The first one is with Centrelink if either or both of you are on benefits or pension (as discussed in this article).

    The second is that a person can claim half (or more) of your property if they go to court and claim you had a relationship. This can involve renters, house-sitters, relatives, defactos, friends, squatters etc This has nothing to do directly with Centrelink, but may involve the Family Court or other courts. Make sure you keep proof that they are paying rent - or preferably just don't let anyone live in your home. Another topic really, but being single and independent is best if you aren't legally married.
    sunnyOz
    28th Apr 2018
    5:48pm
    Pardelope - another crazy example....

    From March 30th, 2017 - .......
    A MELBOURNE age pensioner and his live-in lover have won the right to higher welfare benefits after a tribunal decided their sex life lacked an “emotional connection”.

    The man and woman shared a bed, but the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled they were housemates in a relationship of “mutual convenience’’. The man, Mr T, can now receive up to $5686 extra in welfare because he will be paid the single pensioner’s rate of up to $888 a fortnight, instead of the $669 paid to each member of a couple.

    Centrelink ordered Mr T to pay back the extra money he had claimed as a single pensioner between 2013 and 2015. But Mr T appealed to the AAT, declaring he should not have to repay any welfare because “Centrelink is corrupt’’.

    So - If you can live in the same house, still have a sex life with your 'house mate' but with 'no emotional connection', there should be no trouble in both getting the single pension!
    Ginaus
    26th May 2018
    4:44pm
    Convert to Muslim.... no problems...
    Cassius
    1st Jul 2018
    10:53am
    We are taxed as individuals not couples and benefits should be the same


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