Living status

Q. Wings
Can two people now live together and both get the single pension? I know of a couple who are and they get over $1,000 a week between them! Doesn’t seem fair to me when we singles have to struggle of $551.20 a fortnight.

A. Answer provided by Hank Jongen, General Manager, Centrelink
When determining someone’s rate of payment, we look at a number of factors including income and assets as well as whether the person is single or a member of a couple. To work out if someone is considered to be living in a marriage-like relationship, we look at factors such as financial aspects, social aspects and the nature of the couple’s commitment to each other. However, no single factor is decisive. Centrelink needs to consider all the information presented to determine whether a relationship between two unrelated persons of the opposite sex meets the definition of a member of a couple.

If two people are determined to be living in a marriage-like relationship, they are be paid at the partnered rate.

If you suspect someone is living in a marriage-like relationship but not declaring it to Centrelink, you can pass this information to us by calling the Australian Government Services fraud tip-off line on 13 1524.