Does Centrelink know when you are eligible for the pension?

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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 [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

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.

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 30
  1. 0

    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.

  2. 0

    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?

  3. 0

    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.

  4. 0

    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.

    • 0

      I agree welfare has killed the work ethic in this country. The more you work the more you get screwed.

    • 0

      I agree welfare has killed the work ethic in this country. The more you work the more you get screwed.

    • 0

      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.

    • 0

      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.

  5. 0

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this site is monitored by Centrelink.

  6. 0

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this site is monitored by Centrelink.

  7. 0

    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.

    • 0

      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.

  8. 0

    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

  9. 0

    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

  10. 0

    How would Centrelink ever know how a person’s situation has changed? Surely some people expect too much from a government and their departments.

    • 0

      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?????

    • 0

      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.

    • 0

      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.

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