16th Feb 2019
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Does Centrelink know when you are eligible for the pension?
Author: Ben Hocking

Ray lost his part pension a while ago but believes he may now be eligible again and wants to know whether Centrelink will automatically reinstate his entitlements.

•••

Q. Ray
Last year I lost my part pension and concession card because my assets exceeded the amount for a single home owner, self-funded retiree. I am 72 years old. In July last year I received a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Now my assets are down about $50,009 on the cut-off limit.

To apply for a part pension and a concession card do I have to reapply for a pension again? Centrelink must have all my details as I have a CRN number on my seniors’ health card. It appears to me they closely monitor us pensioners to take money off us but turn a blind eye when we are perhaps entitled to having our pension and concessions restored.

A. Anybody who lost their eligibility for the Age Pension must reapply if their financial circumstances have since changed. The Age Pension will not automatically be reinstated.

The Department of Human Services has made a range of improvements for the process of claiming an Age Pension.

The new online channel makes it easier for people to apply, and individuals registered with Centrelink can submit their entire application online without the need to visit a service centre.

People can also save the progress of their application while online, and then log back in to finish it at a later time. This feature is handy for applicants who perhaps need to gather more information or documentation to assist their claim.

If a person was previously a Centrelink payment recipient, the system will automatically fill in their personal and financial details on the Age Pension claim. Applicants just need to confirm or update the pre-populated information already provided.

Once submitted, applicants can check the status of their claim online at any time using the Claim Tracker.

Applying through the online claiming channel is faster and more efficient, as it ensures all necessary information is submitted at the time of lodgement. However, staff will be available to support people as they complete their claims, whether over the phone or in person at a service centre.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The PensionChecker™ tool has all the information you need.

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    Disclaimer: All content on 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 in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.





    COMMENTS

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    Charlie
    18th Feb 2019
    10:34am
    All of the legwork goes back on the the customer these days.

    Even when the hospital gives me follow up tests for their next clinic. I have to flit around the various departments booking the tests in person, so the results fall into the right time frame.
    On the Ball
    18th Feb 2019
    11:01am
    Yes, Charlie. That struck me recently ferrying my Mum, and later my wife, all over the place to try to synchronize appointments etc.
    Lucky I had freshly retired!
    It makes me wonder - the people who have to run around and re-apply etc just to get what the are owed, are the very people who (mostly) cant!
    Does Centrelink et al know this? (hopefully not but as I said, I wonder...)
    How much money does Centrelink 'save' by not telling people what they are owed?
    Rosret
    18th Feb 2019
    1:11pm
    Millions.
    sunnyOz
    18th Feb 2019
    11:10am
    Yes - you have to reapply. Under no way will they advise you! The longer they can get out of paying you anything, they will, so that is why it is very important to tell CL asap.
    The worst though are the Job Service Providers...they have all your details from CL, but even after you become eligible for the OAP, they hound you to come in for job interviews. You really have to chase everything up.
    casey
    18th Feb 2019
    12:04pm
    The pension system in Australia stinks. I am a self funded retiree, get nothing from centrelink. No discounts on rego, gas, power, rates. I came to this country with my wife and daughter in February 1969 with our life savings, 100 UK pounds. Worked hard, long hours saved hard and done well. What do I get, nothing from Australia. However I was told by a friend to apply for a UK pension, and it was approved. Not a full pension but a part pension for myself and one for my wife. So all you UK expats not entitled to anything, give it a go. Nothing ventured nothing gained. I still don't believe the pension should be means tested, look at NZ and Uk. People who work hard and probably paid more in tax etc than most people are penalised in this country. No wonder there are so many people claiming benefits, there is no incentative to work hard and do well.
    Old Geezer
    18th Feb 2019
    12:12pm
    I agree welfare has killed the work ethic in this country. The more you work the more you get screwed.
    Old Geezer
    18th Feb 2019
    12:12pm
    I agree welfare has killed the work ethic in this country. The more you work the more you get screwed.
    Magic Touch
    18th Feb 2019
    12:33pm
    Casey you are very very right, I came to Australia with my wife and 2 childrens and work very very hard and save every cents I have so that I can retired not to relay on the Government. I had to retire at 67 due to my health. But that time was 65 years so I took all my super and still unable to pay off the bank, centrelink use to pay me part OAP with PCC card. Now they don,t pay me any OAP and take away the PCC card and only give me the SHC card..
    The bank increase the repayment interst rate due to the Government tax the bank.
    Now at my age71 ,I find it hard to live like that. It,s very through Australia Pension System STINKS.
    Rosret
    19th Feb 2019
    8:10am
    Yes, and you can live anywhere in the world! The USA has a similar pension system. Ours is quite unfair and "big brotherish".
    Every Australian should receive a basic pension. Imagine how much they would save on the Centrelink bureaucracy.
    inextratime
    18th Feb 2019
    12:48pm
    I wouldn't be surprised if this site is monitored by Centrelink.
    inextratime
    18th Feb 2019
    12:48pm
    I wouldn't be surprised if this site is monitored by Centrelink.
    Rosret
    18th Feb 2019
    1:05pm
    Of course it is!
    Nose Hair Bob
    18th Feb 2019
    2:23pm
    You're in the system, big brother is watching...everything.
    Greg
    18th Feb 2019
    4:36pm
    and what would they do with the information?
    Rosret
    18th Feb 2019
    1:10pm
    Centrelink know your business if you are receiving money from them and have no interest in you if you choose not to use the social welfare system. There is no retrospective payment in favour of the client either.
    Some people choose not to be linked to Centrelink as it gives them the required flexibility and freedom to live their life as a "normal" human being.
    Rae
    18th Feb 2019
    4:41pm
    The Government is sure making that decision harder and harder. Even my accountant tried to hint I should apply. She couldn't advise me but just said it was a shame I didn't have a Concession card as it's worth several thousands of savings.

    At some point the freedom and flexibility has to be priced I suppose.
    danielboonjp
    18th Feb 2019
    1:27pm
    Census, tax retruns etc ... yes they know alright, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get it, and every fortnight they want to take as much as possible off you, while politicians can have our cake and eat it too / their pensions plus all the money any corporation is willing t pay them, no assets or means tests as well
    Sundays
    18th Feb 2019
    1:45pm
    Well that’s not true. Yes, you can submit online but that’s if you know how to use a scanner because they will want copies of bank statements, superannuation etc. Also, if it’s your first claim you still have to visit a Centrelink Office with proof of your Identity.

    I recently helped a friend complete the forms. Good news though is the waiting times seem to be dropping and she received her first pension payment on time
    Old Man
    18th Feb 2019
    1:47pm
    How would Centrelink ever know how a person's situation has changed? Surely some people expect too much from a government and their departments.
    Good choices
    18th Feb 2019
    5:09pm
    Yes how would Centrelink know if a persons situation has changed.
    For example...by not telling Centrelink about certain bank accounts, if you don't provide your tax file number to the Bank, then the ATO have no record so Centrelink is oblivious, there are people out there who apply this method so as not to have any of their Centrelink payments reduced. It stinks, I am not one but have come across this type of fraud, so what do you do?????
    Greg
    18th Feb 2019
    8:48pm
    Good choices - if you don't provide a TFN to the bank the bank withholds 47% of the interest and remits it to the ATO so doesn't seem much point in doing what you said people do.

    Also the banks provide interest payments to the ATO for everybody, data matching is used with names/DOB/addresses so the ATO can tie together the interest payments with Centrelink recipients. When I worked in a bank in 1997 they were doing it then so I'm sure it would still be happening now.
    Rosret
    19th Feb 2019
    8:16am
    Old Man - have you done a tax return lately. They automatically fill all your financial details, medical data etc etc. Their DBs are well and truly linked and assessing your every move. They know exactly how much you have and where you have been. They even troll FB to check your holidays even though they have Customs db links as well.
    vinradio
    18th Feb 2019
    5:03pm
    Well Clink certainly know quite a bit. I didn't tell them I was visiting Bali for 1 day, off a cruise ship, as I didn't have to, but they mentioned it when I had an appointment about something else, almost as If I was trying to get away with something! They have your bank account information, in some cases your ABN, so who knows what else they have on file? Yet they are masters at getting you to duplicate and re-send information they already have! A very inefficient organisation.
    Rosret
    19th Feb 2019
    8:11am
    Deliberately so.
    floss
    18th Feb 2019
    6:20pm
    We can claim a pension but choose not to do so.I would never put people down that can and do.
    Good choices
    19th Feb 2019
    1:38pm
    Greg
    Yes that is true the ATO do take 47% from accounts without TFN's
    Why some people do this is because of Deeming, they think that they are tooo clever for the system, for Centrelink etc. They think that they are hiding their assets.
    MD
    19th Feb 2019
    6:17pm
    Q: "Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? "

    A: Obviously! I'm/we're pensionable age, and regardless of whether we can 'jump through the (relevan)t Depts' hoop', most application's - if we believe in a tooth fairy, will be totally backed by self justification... just a shame that said Dept requires substantiation.

    How dare they, the swine!
    JoJozep
    24th Feb 2019
    12:18pm
    Interesting point raised by Vinradio. They (CL and other government agencies) already know everyone's money position down to the cent. The point is very valid:- Why do we need to fill out a 68-page document regurgitating the same information they already have to get an OAP or part OAP. I can think of several reasons:-

    1. So they, (the government of the day) can prosecute you in court if your information is incorrect and deny you the OAP, even if the mistake was a genuine one, after all, they have it in writing from you and for which you have agreed on the application the information is correct in every detail and you sign it to remove your right of appeal. That way, the onus is on you to prove you're a saintly person and would never mislead the country's beloved government.

    2. They know they can belittle people to the extent they can deny or reduce your pension if they make the form daunting and complicated. Filling out a pension application is so horrific, many people I know without formal college or university education, actually pay an advisor to fill it out for them. I know I had to ring them many times whilst filling out my form many years ago to explain what was meant by certain clauses and to what extent it compromised my basic rights. You see by signing the form in one place at the end, you agree to all questions as being fair and legally binding, even if you disagree with some of them as prejudicial to your case.

    3. There is no right of appeal if you disagree with some of the questions, and if you don't answer every question, your application is automatically invalid. Any delay is costing you your pension payments until your case is approved.

    4. The onus is always on the applicant to prove He/she is correct. Here is an example: Question- Who much is your household furniture worth? Remembering false information can lead to pension penalties, you state what you think it's worth by remembering how much you paid for it less some discount for age and fair wear and tear. Wrong, it's worth almost nothing. I found this out trying to sell my furniture through GumTree. Nobody even rang to come and see it or negotiate a price. This led to my estimate of holdings being overinflated by thousands of dollars, and reduced my part pension dramatically, till it was taken away by ScoMo to help paint our non-existant new submarines.

    For people who think they can fill the form to their advantage, think again. If you over claim, you will be penalised or sent to court. If you underclaim you will still be penalised in that you will not get what is your fair entitlement. By the way, for all idiots (like me) that thought they can work hard and pay taxes and on retirement, get a pension, think again. The government looks at super as if it's their money on the one hand (by classifying it as income producing, thus reducing your pension because you may be getting some income) and your money on the other so they can increase your assets and reduce your pension under the assets test. Either way, they have you by the short and curlies, whatever that means.

    I ask a simple question:- is big business scrutinised to this extent?, further what about parliamentarians and their rorting of taxpayer money, like Kormann with his plane trips and ambassador Hockey with his odd/big/good fellow investments or even his Cuban cigars? Where is the scrutiny on these crooks? I bet Kormann doesn't fill out a 68-page document itemising every taxpayer cent he spends on himself. I worked for government for many years and I had to account for every kilometre I travelled every bit of clothing I bought for the work site, even every sheet of paper I used, even to the extent of being told to use both sides to write on, producing an almighty mess of documentation. So, one law for public servants and the public and something totally different for the parliamentarians. Why not? after all, they make the laws, rules and regulations. They're not totally stupid.
    JoJozep
    24th Feb 2019
    12:37pm
    Interesting point raised by Vinradio. They (CL and other government agencies) already know everyone's money position down to the cent. The point is very valid:- Why do we need to fill out a 68-page document regurgitating the same information they already have to get an OAP or part OAP. I can think of several reasons:-

    1. So they, (the government of the day) can prosecute you in court if your information is incorrect and deny you the OAP, even if the mistake was a genuine one, after all, they have it in writing from you and for which you have agreed on the application the information is correct in every detail and you sign it to remove your right of appeal. That way, the onus is on you to prove you're a saintly person and would never mislead the country's beloved government.

    2. They know they can belittle people to the extent they can deny or reduce your pension if they make the form daunting and complicated. Filling out a pension application is so horrific, many people I know without formal college or university education, actually pay an advisor to fill it out for them. I know I had to ring them many times whilst filling out my form many years ago to explain what was meant by certain clauses and to what extent it compromised my basic rights. You see by signing the form in one place at the end, you agree to all questions as being fair and legally binding, even if you disagree with some of them as prejudicial to your case.

    3. There is no right of appeal if you disagree with some of the questions, and if you don't answer every question, your application is automatically invalid. Any delay is costing you your pension payments until your case is approved.

    4. The onus is always on the applicant to prove He/she is correct. Here is an example: Question- Who much is your household furniture worth? Remembering false information can lead to pension penalties, you state what you think it's worth by remembering how much you paid for it less some discount for age and fair wear and tear. Wrong, it's worth almost nothing. I found this out trying to sell my furniture through GumTree. Nobody even rang to come and see it or negotiate a price. This led to my estimate of holdings being overinflated by thousands of dollars, and reduced my part pension dramatically, till it was taken away by ScoMo to help paint our non-existant new submarines.

    For people who think they can fill the form to their advantage, think again. If you over claim, you will be penalised or sent to court. If you underclaim you will still be penalised in that you will not get what is your fair entitlement. By the way, for all idiots (like me) that thought they can work hard and pay taxes and on retirement, get a pension, think again. The government looks at super as if it's their money on the one hand (by classifying it as income producing, thus reducing your pension because you may be getting some income) and your money on the other so they can increase your assets and reduce your pension under the assets test. Either way, they have you by the short and curlies, whatever that means.

    I ask a simple question:- is big business scrutinised to this extent?, further what about parliamentarians and their rorting of taxpayer money, like Kormann with his plane trips and ambassador Hockey with his odd/big/good fellow investments or even his Cuban cigars? Where is the scrutiny on these crooks? I bet Kormann doesn't fill out a 68-page document itemising every taxpayer cent he spends on himself. I worked for government for many years and I had to account for every kilometre I travelled every bit of clothing I bought for the work site, even every sheet of paper I used, even to the extent of being told to use both sides to write on, producing an almighty mess of documentation. So, one law for public servants and the public and something totally different for the parliamentarians. Why not? after all, they make the laws, rules and regulations. They're not totally stupid.
    JoJozep
    24th Feb 2019
    12:43pm
    My apology for an article I posted twice. I made a copy of it and when I scrolled down to the last entry, it had disappeared. So I reposted. To my amazement, when I scrolled down again, there were the two posts. The original had reappeared as well as the copy


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