22nd Jun 2017
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Age Pension: how to prove eligibility
Stressed man looks at his age pension paperwork

After a bitter break up, Bert has been left with no documentation to support his Age Pension claim, and doesn’t know where to turn next.

Q. Bert

I am 66 years old and have recently been laid off at work. Upon applying for the pension at Centrelink, I was advised that I do not have enough identification to show who I am. Reason being my ex wife destroyed all of my paperwork. I have a copy of my Australian citizenship signed by a JP, but Centrelink will only accept originals. It’s not much fun when you cannot prove who you are but, at the same time, it’s seemingly okay for ATO to take my tax without any proof as to whom I am. Do you have any ideas? 

A. Firstly, when Centrelink refers to originals, it means no photocopies, but there are ways to obtain proper, approved copies that will be acceptable and will be able to prove your eligibility for the Age Pension. I’m not sure whether Centrelink simply dismissed your claim without explaining the process for obtaining suitable documentation. If so, then this is incredibly disappointing as you won’t be the first person to have misplaced, lost or damaged their original citizenship certificate.

You should contact Centrelink to explain your predicament and ask for specific advice on what it will accept and how you can obtain such documents.  

Secondly, you can apply for proof of citizenship from the Department of Immigration and Border Control. You will need to complete a form and submit certain documents, which again, if you don’t have, you should contact the Department to ask for advice. You can find out more at Border.gov.au.





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