Moving in with family

Joyce is considering moving in with her daughter, but how will this affect her Age Pension, rent assistance and her daughter’s Carer Payment? 

Q. Joyce

I am hoping you can give me some guidance. I would like to sell my one-bedroom unit, which probably would net me about $180,000 after commission and paying the agent fees. I then plan to move in with my daughter, her husband and their 12-year-old son who has autism. I am 66 years old and receive the full Age Pension but do not receive any rent allowance as I own my unit. I would probably put the money received from the sale in the bank. 

My son-in-law is a factory worker on the basic wage and my daughter receives a pension for taking care of my grandson, as he needs care 24 hours a day. They are renting a two-bedroom unit where they are living at present. 

My question is, if we all move in together, how would this effect my pension and my daughter’s carers pension if we share a unit or house? 

I am having difficulty speaking to someone at Centrelink who can understand what I’m asking and give me the correct advice. 

The information below is only general and you will have to speak to Centrelink in regards to your individual circumstances. 

Any money you receive from the sale of your home and place in the bank or invest, will be considered an asset, and therefore deemed to earn an income. Currently, a single, non-homeowner can have $348,500 in assets, or earn an income of $160 per fortnight before your Age Pension is affected. 

If you rent a home with your daughter, you may be able to claim rent allowance. For your own peace of mind regarding your legal standing, you should be named on the tenancy agreement along with your daughter and son-in-law. If you are not, then you may be required to have the person you pay rent to sign your Rent Certificate. It is important that you do not pay your share of the rent to your daughter or son-in-law, as she may have to prove this is not income that could affect her Carer Payment. Centrelink will review your eligibility for rent assistance only once you advise of a change in circumstances. To view the current rent assistance rates, click here.

As your daughter’s circumstances won’t necessarily change, then she should still be in a position to claim the Carer Payment; however, you will need to have this clarified by Centrelink.

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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