3rd May 2017
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Age Pension: can Troy get financial assistance from Centrelink?
Senior man considers his options for financial assistance can centrelink help

Troy is in desperate need of money to fix his old boiler and would like to know if there’s an alternative to the high interest loans he often sees advertised.

Q. Troy
I urgently need to replace the boiler in my old house, but I can't afford it. I’m considering one of those loans you see advertised on the television, but I’m very wary. Someone told me Centrelink can help but I’m not sure if I qualify or what I should be asking for. Before I make initial contact, can you tell me if I would be able to get financial assistance?

A. If you are in receipt of an eligible payment from the Department of Human Services, that you have been receiving for the last three months, you may apply for an Advance Payment. This is an advance of your future entitlement that is recovered from your next 13 fortnightly payments. Whether you are eligible for the advance will depend on your personal circumstances at the time you apply. You will be considered ineligible if you:

  • are still repaying an Advance Payment that was issued more than 12 months ago
  • owe a debt to the Australian Government
  • would suffer financial hardship as a result of repaying the Advance Payment from you regular benefit over a six-month period
  • are not in Australia when you request the advance payment.

If you are receiving the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Widow Pension B or Wife Pension, the amount available to you over a 13-week period is limited to the following minimum and maximum:

Single

Couple (each)

Minimum

$419.40

$316.15

Maximum

$1258.20

$948.45

You can receive up to three Advance Payments over the 13-week period, broken down as follows:

  • one payment if the maximum is taken
  • one or two payments greater than the minimum amount (total must not be more than the maximum)
  • three advance payments of the minimum amount

If you wish to find out more information about Advance Payments visit humanservices.gov.au or call on 13 2300.

If you wish to apply for an Advance Payment, you can do this via the Human Services Online Services or Express Plus mobile app if you are registered. Or alternatively contact the department by phone or in person.

If you are not eligible for an Advance Payment or do not wish to apply, you may have access to other forms of assistance from elsewhere, for example, through the No Interest Loans Scheme. You can find more information about it and other assistance programs on ASIC's MoneySmart website.

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