16th Feb 2018
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Centrelink Q&A: When should you reapply for the Age Pension?
Author: Janelle Ward
Reapplying for the Age Pension

Colin has advice for anyone who lost their Age Pension when the Government lowered the income and assets test last year.

Q. Colin:
We lost our entitlements when the Government lowered the income and assets test for the Age Pension, but we now qualify for the pension again. I already have a MyGov account and I tried for weeks to communicate with Centrelink about the reinstatement of the Age Pension, as we have been living off our savings.

I had no luck at my local office, could not get through on the phone, and written correspondence did not work. I finally had a response after an online complaint.

I’ve found I have to reapply either by a downloaded paper form or online.

Do others who lost their Age Pension because of the assets test know they have to reapply when they believe they are still eligible?


A. Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen says:

Anybody who lost their eligibility for the Age Pension due to the income and assets test changes that came into effect on 1 January 2017, must reapply if their financial circumstances have since changed. The Age Pension will not automatically be reinstated.

The Department of Human Services has made a range of improvements to how people can claim an Age Pension.

The new online channel makes it easier for people to apply, and individuals registered with Centrelink can submit their entire application online without the need to visit a service centre.

People can also save the progress of their application while online and log back in to finish it at a later time. This feature is handy for applicants who perhaps need to gather more information or documentation to assist with their claim.

If a person was previously a Centrelink payment recipient, the system will automatically fill in their personal and financial details on the Age Pension claim. Applicants just need to confirm or update the pre-populated information already provided.

Once submitted, applicants can check the status of their claim online at any time using the Claim Tracker.

Applying through the online claiming channel is faster and more efficient, as it ensures all necessary information is submitted at the time of lodgement. However, staff will be available to support people as they complete their claims, whether over the phone or in person at a service centre.

Paper forms are also available to those who need them and can be downloaded from humanservices.gov.au, or by calling the Older Australians line on 132 300 and requesting a copy.

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    COMMENTS

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    solmon52
    19th Feb 2018
    10:30am
    Re when reclaiming pension story.
    Unfortunately Colin did not say why he lost his pensiin and did not say what he did to have it allowed. I know if i take my self funded money out and give away or buy a bigger house with it i will have insufficient assetts. Or i can sell two properties and put the funds into debt i have due to the way centrelink works things out. They say they go by what the ato says but they do not.
    The ato recognise my drawdown loan on my house as i used draw down funds to buy mothers house. Saves a lot of mortgage headaches but unfortunately for me one sensible loan does not appease centrelink.
    Adrianus
    19th Feb 2018
    11:02am
    If you can get a house mortgage from the bank then why do you need welfare payments?
    Old Geezer
    19th Feb 2018
    11:22am
    Each asset is looked at by itself so if it has negative value then the value is written as zero. Make sure your loans are against the right assets or you will be deemed to have more assets than you have in reality.
    Blossom
    19th Feb 2018
    11:34am
    If you own two houses I doubt you should be getting a pension unless they are of very little value. I know people sometimes sell holiday homes or caravans and use the money to renovate the homes. which often needed doing.
    Adrianus
    19th Feb 2018
    2:04pm
    My point is.. if you can service loans then why ask CentreLink for more money? I'm missing something?
    McDaddy
    19th Feb 2018
    2:43pm
    Your post makes no sense. Be clearer by what you mean if you want people to reply with help.
    john
    19th Feb 2018
    11:01am
    For me the question is more about the way centrelink make people re apply, with all documentation again and form filling and confusion. Which I had last time, actually twice, to get a small part pension and some relief of bills with a seniors card and pension card.
    Took me 18 months.
    Last year my small part pension went down by $5 dollars. There's automatic action , yes?

    The rules and confusion are sometimes so daunting that god help those who rely on an OAP to survive .
    It is set up in such a manner that you cannot help but think its done this way to discourage people.
    For me , I just wanted the concessions and that helped , I guess they disappear too if your circumstance changes even only a fraction.
    This is a bullies way around treating the people who actually own this nation. Through lifetime service and hard work!
    With this Centrelink set up we have, they are the parking inspectors of the government , and when you see the handouts to new comers , well it gets me a little angry.
    Old Geezer
    19th Feb 2018
    11:24am
    What about those who had lifetime service and hard work and now get nothing? Looks to me like you need to spend some money to get yourself a buffer.
    Blossom
    19th Feb 2018
    11:28am
    What's more if refugees gets a job and have to have safety boots/steel capped shoes, hard hat or both they get a small allowance. I think it's about $60.00. You can imagine how many get those allowances
    McDaddy
    19th Feb 2018
    5:00pm
    The response was to a Refugee getting a small allowance to buy some safety gear to start a new job. Presumably then he goes off Welfare and starts paying tax. Great outcome. He is getting the allowance the same as any one on the dole gets it if they need it to start a job. This person is not an "arrival" they are a Refugee, very different and good that OZ is a compassionate country.
    Rae
    19th Feb 2018
    7:07pm
    Blossom it is a duty to help the genuine refugee not a handicap at all. These people will be the builders of tomorrows Australia.
    QEJ
    19th Feb 2018
    11:18am
    I think I missed something, or the article did. Colin (if that's his real name) is eligible again due to the goalposts shifting. The article, quoting Hank, parrots what to do if your circumstances changed. They didn't, or no evidence they did, change. The income and asset tests did. Or did they? Sorry, I'm new here and easily confused.
    Colinm39
    19th Feb 2018
    2:14pm
    QEJ.. Very simple... I retired at 70 and my SMSF would carry us through to age 80 supplemented by some Aged Pension and benefits.. I'm 78 now.. 3 Years ago my wife had a sudden unplanned inheritance because her brother died at 73 and left her his house in Highett Victoria. Sold that, and at our age we didn't want to worry about tenants etc not knowing what Centrelink would do with assets. Now that we are under the Asset Tests limit, as part of my Estate Planning, in case one of us die I have now got my eldest daughter as a nominee, so my wife is relieved that is all taken care of.

    We applied 4Jan18 and Centrelink have advised it will be finalised 22Feb18. Reapplying means you really go back to basics.. Wife's maiden name, what were the last addresses you lived in etc.. We have lived in the same house since marrying 55 years...

    Definitely Colin, named after the Dr who brought me into the world in 1939.
    KEVINJ
    19th Feb 2018
    11:23am
    Re JOHN COMMENT 2 RE,- Centrelink are Parking inspectors of GOV-T ; when U c, Handouts to NEW Comers, gets me a { little } angry. WHY a LITTLE ANGRY, John ? ? NOT ENUF, to want to create a MARCH, Across, SYDn HARB BRIDGE, to DESTROY ""CENTRE LINK"" & "TURN COAT" --AKA--" TURN BULL A L O T " ? ? ? LITTLE ANGRY ? ? ? NO T L O T S ,-- ANGRY, For GOD' S SAKE ? ? Come ON.. THEY ARE ALL MONGRELS.. Do NOT Be, in, WAR TRENCHES, with Them.
    Old Geezer
    19th Feb 2018
    11:25am
    That make no sense to me at all.
    Tib
    19th Feb 2018
    11:53am
    OG I don't know what Kevin's problem is but I don't even try to read his stuff,
    Greg
    19th Feb 2018
    8:05pm
    Marching across the Harbour Bridge won't help, need to vote them out at the next election.
    Greg
    19th Feb 2018
    8:07pm
    OG, do you have a comprehension problem - you're always on here sprouting crap, making out you know it all but can't understand a couple of sentences from someone who obviously struggles on a computer.
    Old Geezer
    20th Feb 2018
    7:47pm
    Well it makes no sense to me no matter how I read it. It gets even worse with the march across Sydney Harbour Bridge thrown into the mix. After examining the Sydney Harbour Bridge recently you would have to be extremely agile to get onto the roadway let alone march across it.
    floss
    19th Feb 2018
    11:24am
    John a lot of people share your problem the system is broken and perhaps that is the way our Federal Government want it.A different set of rules seem to apply to our new arrivals
    Old Geezer
    19th Feb 2018
    11:26am
    Nothing wrong with the system at all. Learn the rules and then use them for your benefit. Don't fill out anything until you understand what you are filling out and how it will affect the outcome.
    McDaddy
    19th Feb 2018
    2:49pm
    The response was to a Refugee getting a small allowance to buy some safety gear to start a new job. Presumably then he goes off Welfare and starts paying tax. Great outcome. He is getting the allowance the same as any one on the dole gets it if they need it to start a job. This person is not an "arrival" they are a Refugee, very different and good that OZ is a compassionate country.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    21st Feb 2018
    11:39am
    EVERYTHING is wrong with a system that is economically unsustainable, expense and complex to administer, discriminates unfairly, encourages wastefulness and cheating and manipulation... Sure, we can all learn the rules and manipulate to make a heavier burden on taxpayers. But anyone EVERYTHING is WRONG with the system that encourages that behaviour.
    Charlie
    19th Feb 2018
    11:26am
    As explained in this article the Dept of Human Services Canberra is the next place to go if Centrelink appears to have gone cuckoo. They run Centrelink.
    Tib
    19th Feb 2018
    11:51am
    I've had to resolve a few issues with Centrelink for a friend of mine. They are incredibly difficult to get on the phone and many of their staff are badly trained. I found very quickly that I had to correct staff when they misunderstood their own rules. So if some pompous twit tells you anything you don't want to hear it pays to get a second opinion. I've found some forms have a support number and I've found they are easier to get on the phone and are better trained. But maybe I've been lucky.
    Colinm39
    19th Feb 2018
    2:27pm
    Tib.. In the early days with Centrelink, prior to retirement 2008-2009 their Financial Services Officers helped me plan retirement.. Wonderful service. YES... It's broken, you can't make appointments now.

    When I filed the online complaint, we had a phone call from Canberra telling us what we had to do.. As I mentioned in the original post I already had our MyGov accounts. After the phone call the person rang my wife to make sure she filled everything out.

    I was getting frustrated with Centrelink because the MyGov account let me see my "old" assets and when I tried to change them a red circle with cross stopped you doing that. No error message or exclamation.....but, you could amend your SMSF..The frustration was... At Centrelink, "We haven't time for you, there are 40 ahead of you in those chairs".. Please ring.... You know the results of that... Colin
    Colinm39
    19th Feb 2018
    2:27pm
    Tib.. In the early days with Centrelink, prior to retirement 2008-2009 their Financial Services Officers helped me plan retirement.. Wonderful service. YES... It's broken, you can't make appointments now.

    When I filed the online complaint, we had a phone call from Canberra telling us what we had to do.. As I mentioned in the original post I already had our MyGov accounts. After the phone call the person rang my wife to make sure she filled everything out.

    I was getting frustrated with Centrelink because the MyGov account let me see my "old" assets and when I tried to change them a red circle with cross stopped you doing that. No error message or exclamation.....but, you could amend your SMSF..The frustration was... At Centrelink, "We haven't time for you, there are 40 ahead of you in those chairs".. Please ring.... You know the results of that... Colin
    Rae
    19th Feb 2018
    7:15pm
    YEs they have broken the services.. Rumour is that Serco will take over running the system. Someone will get paid a heap for the contracts. The corruption now id breathtaking.
    trired
    19th Feb 2018
    11:58am
    I uploaded a letter to Centrelink on 14 Dec 2017 re change of circumstances and I am still waiting for a response from them!!!!! They are useless
    Colinm39
    19th Feb 2018
    2:29pm
    I went through that.... If I had known I had to reapply it would have taken weeks off my claim.. Not for the money, but the ongoing estate planning
    McDaddy
    19th Feb 2018
    2:56pm
    Colim39 wouldn't the letter you received stating your Pension was cancelled have clearly stated that outside 13 weeks, you needed to reapply?
    Colinm39
    20th Feb 2018
    1:24pm
    McDaddy.. the 13 weeks is what I would have expected. But all the letter stated, "if we didn't accept the decision you have 13 weeks to apply for a review. If it was outside the 13 weeks for a review you may not get back paid pension". No mention of reapplying for the Aged Pension..

    This was the letter that advised us we were over the asset limits and losing our Pension etc... and on January 1st 2017 the asset limits were changing etc....
    floss
    19th Feb 2018
    12:01pm
    O.G. if you think the C.Link system is not broken you are a bigger fool than I thought and just for the record I do not receive one cent of C.Link benefits .
    B5YCK
    19th Feb 2018
    12:01pm
    It is so hard to belive that this government punishes those who "built" this nation.
    Those newcomers and the professional unemployed are rewarded for doing nothing!
    It is time that those who achieved things get rewarded by a reduction in tax.
    Being a self funded retiree, paing tax during my working life and living frugally so we would be financially independant in our old age, we find out now that we still have to pay tax on our present income built up on assets paid for with savings made then.
    I call this double dipping. It does not matter who is in Governement, Libs or Labs.
    We need a new party that will be fairer for the self funded retirees who built up their assets by working for it, not like those who are always holding up their hands after achieving nothing in their lives.
    Rae
    19th Feb 2018
    7:17pm
    Why would they care about who built the nation when the whole aim is to sell it off to whoever offers them the best after politics deal.
    Alexii
    20th Feb 2018
    10:46am
    Join the SUPA ie Seniors United Party Australia.
    Nerk
    19th Feb 2018
    12:05pm
    Blossom: did you know these refugees get a one off payment of $10,000. to establish a home e.g.: washing machine etc, no help for the average pensioner though, might be better off arriving by boat and reapplying for citizenship.
    McDaddy
    19th Feb 2018
    2:54pm
    No they don't, not from Dpt Human Services or Centrelink, they get same payment as anyone else. When an asylum seeker is granted refugee status they become permanent residents of Australia. They have the same entitlements as all other permanent residents. There are no special refugee payments or special rates of payments for refugees.
    Anonymous
    19th Feb 2018
    3:31pm
    I agree with Nerk, McDaddy - there is/are cases where 'refugees' (boat people - whatever), have not only been housed in motels, but have been given $10,000 establishment grants for white goods. This has been widely reported in the main stream media. If you are claiming this is not correct McDaddy, then what is your evidence?
    McDaddy
    19th Feb 2018
    4:59pm
    Nerk and Big Al, I don't have to prove that something doesn't exist, the onus is on you to prove it does. This is a Centrelink thread, so please show me where this is the case that they pay these people $10k. I will give you a head start https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2012-2013/AustGovAssistRefugees
    Please don't provide a link to A Current Affair.
    Rae
    19th Feb 2018
    7:18pm
    Urban Myth.
    MacI
    20th Feb 2018
    7:04pm
    My post is off-topic but an amusing example of Centrelink incompetence - although frustrating and not amusing at the time.

    My late father who was in his late eighties and in bad health decided that he wanted to authorise me to act on his and my mum's behalf with Centrelink. At the time dad was acting on mum's behalf as she had alzheimer's and dad had Power of Attorney.

    Simple process one might think. I arranged for the relevant form from Centrelink for them both. Dad signed the authorisation for both himself and for mum (as he had POA for mum) with me as the nominee in both cases.

    I decide the best thing was to deliver both forms in person to the local Centrelink office. Waited for 45 minutes to see someone - no problem as I am retired and I had a good book to read. When it was my turn I told the customer service lady what I was there for and I passed the forms to her. She first processed my dad's form and when she completed the computer entry she advised me that I was now authorised to act on dad's behalf for Centrelink affairs and went on to process mum's form. She perused mum's form and looked up to inform me that dad could no longer authorise mum's form because I was now acting on dad's behalf and I couldn't authorise mum's form on behalf of dad because I was the nominee on mum's form. Needless to say the logic of this Catch 22 defied me so I tried to persuade her that this couldn't be the case as dad had POA for mum. I even pointed out that had she processed mum's form before dad's then there would have been no problem. She even went off to get advice from (I presume) her supervisor but came back to confirm her decision. I decided there was no point in arguing with a bureaucrat so I asked her how to resolve the issue and she advised me to get dad to write a letter to Centrelink revoking me as acting on his behalf!

    Anyhow I decided the easiest way to resolve this was to go to another Centrelink office and sure enough mum's form was processed no questions asked.

    Anybody else had similar experiences with Centrelink?
    Old Geezer
    20th Feb 2018
    7:49pm
    Sounds about right to me from some of the things I have seen happen.
    Old Geezer
    20th Feb 2018
    7:52pm
    Logic disappeared some time ago it seems.

    My daughter and I went through the McDonald's driveway window and I gave the cashier a $5 bill.
    Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her 25c.
    She said, 'you gave me too much money.'
    I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar coin back.'
    She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request.
    I did so, and he handed me back the 25c, and said 'We're sorry but we don’t do that kind of thing.'
    The cashier then proceeded to give me back 75 cents in change.
    Do not confuse the people at MacD's.


    We had to have the garage door repaired.
    The repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener.
    I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.
    He shook his head and said, 'You need a 1/4 horsepower.'
    I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, 'NOOO, it's not. Four is larger than two.'
    We haven't used that repairman since...
    Colinm39
    9th Mar 2018
    11:55am
    I have a successful reinstatement of the Aged Pension for the two of us. My estate planning is complete and I have my eldest daughter, as being allowed to discuss issues in case we are unable to do that..

    The whole process took exactly 2 months after inputting information on the MyGov website, uploading documents as requested..etc

    I trsut this will help others..

    Colin


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