We explain how Centrelink will assess relationship status if your partner does not live in Australia full time, as well as how having a partner will affect your eligibility for Centrelink payments.
Q. My partner is a non-Australian resident and holds three-year tourist visa with a maximum three-month stay each visit. How will Centrelink treat my partner? Will my single status pension change? Will I pay extra public housing rent? My partner’s overseas pension and other income from her house room rent amount to about $800 per month.
What if she gets her Australian permanent residency in the future?
A. Firstly, if you have a partner, Centrelink will treat you as a couple for the purpose of the Age Pension rate. So you will receive the couple rate, with only one person being paid.
The maximum rate for a couple is $802 per fortnight per person. The maximum single rate is $1064 per fortnight, therefore, the single rate payment is currently $262 higher.
All assets and income will be included in the assets and income test regardless of whether one or both partners are receiving the Age Pension, so your partner’s income will be considered.
For your partner to receive the Age Pension she will generally need to have been a resident for at least 10 years in total.
For at least five of those years, there must be no break in her residence. You also need to be an Australian resident or hold a specific visa type to get a Centrelink payment or concession card.
You can find more information here.
Do you have a Centrelink question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to answer it – or find someone who can.
Also read: Age Pension and a de facto partner