Does Judy qualify for Newstart?

Judy says she has to retire due to poor health but is not old enough to apply for an Age Pension. She wants to know if she can apply for a Centrelink benefit even though she has $100,000 in superannuation. 

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Q. Judy

I am ready to retire for health reasons. I’m not old enough for the Age Pension, but I have $100,000 in super. Can I apply for a Centrelink benefit? Will my super be classed as an asset or income? I do not own a house. 

A. Judy may be eligible for a Newstart allowance. To qualify for Newstart, applicants must be:

  • at least 22 but under Age Pension age
  • looking for paid work
  • under the income and assets test limits
  • prepared to meet mutual obligation requirements.

The maximum fortnightly payment for a single person with no dependent children is $545.80.

The fortnightly income test cut-off for the Newstart allowance is $1139.17 for singles aged 60 and over. The asset test cut-offs for singles is $253,750 for home owners and $456,750 for non home owners.

Centrelink says there are several key commitments to be considered for Newstart. They are:

  • look and apply for jobs as part of your Job Plan
  • attend relevant training
  • report any income for you and your partner
  • tell us about any change to your circumstances. 

Anyone aged 55 and over can receive a Newstart Allowance by participating for at least 30 hours per fortnight in a volunteer activity agreed with your employment service provider or Centrelink, or combining paid part-time work and volunteering activities to a total of at least 30 hours per fortnight. But you will still need to work with an employment service provider, have an Activity Agreement and accept any suitable jobs that are offered to you.

To find out more, visit Centrelink.

Financial disclaimer: All content on the YourLifeChoices’ website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care, but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness with regard to your circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances. Financial comments provided by readers cannot be relied on as professional advice, but as general comments only. 

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Written by Janelle Ward

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