Is it worth making a pension claim if income is too high?

Should Michael make a pension claim even though he’ll fail the income test?

Dice with Australian money

Michael is approaching Age Pension age but thinks he will fail the income test. Should he apply now or wait until he thinks he has more chance of being eligible?

Q. Michael

I will be eligible for the Age Pension in January next year but fear I will fail the income test, in the short term at least.

With this in mind, should I apply for the Age Pension at that time knowing this, or wait until my circumstances change and I am more likely to qualify?

A. You can apply for the Age Pension a maximum of 13 weeks before you reach Age Pension age. It can take several months for Centrelink to process your claim so, should you wait until you believe you are eligible, you may go several months without an Age Pension, although it will eventually be backdated to the date you became eligible. 

Also, depending on where your income comes from, you may be able to apply the Work Bonus and still be eligible. Under the Work Bonus, the first $250 of income earned from employment as wages or salary, is excluded from assessment.

While you may not be eligible for an Age Pension, your income may be such that you qualify for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.  Once your circumstances change, you can simply advise Centrelink of this change and your eligibility reassessment should be much quicker.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    17th Oct 2016
    with regards to applying for the pension,i made application and registered in july2015
    due to having to get 8 yrs of documentation tax returns,mod r forms,income stream reports,etc,my documents were lodged in sept 2015,however,they lost or misplace them,i relodged in nov 2015 and got paid a pension in march 2016 back dated to nov 2015,not to july 2015,their explanation of this ruling is that pension starts from when you first lodge your documents,not when you first registered,i have had 2 appeals rejected,does anyone have any further good advice???
    Golden Oldie
    17th Oct 2016
    There are 2 tests for the Aged Pension. Income test and Asset test. You are paid, if you qualify, for the lesser amount under the 2 tests, Both tests are applied when lodging your claim. Currently I get a minor part pension under the Asset test. Under the Income test I would get more.

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