13th Mar 2012
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What happened to our Telephone Allowance?
telephone allowance, Centrelink, finance

YOURLifeChoices subscriber Casper hasn’t noticed the Telephone Allowance being paid into his account and is wondering what has happened to this payment?

Q. Casper

Does anyone know if something has changed with the higher telephone allowance (for those with internet connection) which, according to Centrelink's website is:

"Telephone Allowance is paid quarterly with the first regular Centrelink payment you receive on or after 1 January, 20 March, 1 July and 20 September, and is

Basic rate (single or couple combined)     $25.20

Higher rate (single or couple combined)   $37.80

Our combined pension rate has been the same for months, I've checked our bank statements and there's no increase every three months to our Age Pension.

We did get it when it was first introduced. Am I missing something here?


A.     Provided by Centrelink

The reason you not be receiving Telephone Allowance, is because it is no longer paid to Age Pensioner or customer's receiving Carer Payment, Wife Pension, Widow B Pension, Bereavement Allowance, and Disability Support Pension (excluding those aged under 21 without children) or all other income support customers who are over age pension age.

From 20 September 2009 the Pension Supplement, paid fortnightly with the customer's regular payment, replaced the GST Supplement, Utilities Allowance, Telephone Allowance and Pharmaceutical Allowance.  

From 1 July 2010, customers have had the option to receive part of the Pension Supplement on a quarterly basis. This component/part is known as the minimum Pension Supplement amount.  

If the customer chooses this option, the amount of Pension Supplement paid with their payment each fortnight will be reduced.  The minimum Pension Supplement amount accrues daily during the quarter and is paid as soon as possible after 20 March, 20 June, 20 September and 20 December with your fortnightly pension payment.

The option to receive the minimum Pension Supplement as a fortnightly payment or quarterly payment can be changed at any time.

For more information about The Pension Supplement:

visit Centrelink at and/or download the following factsheet - Pension Supplement Factsheet





    COMMENTS

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    13th Mar 2012
    10:09pm
    I'm surprised that everyone didn't realise what the 2009 Pension Supplement changes were all about, and presume that this gentleman just forgot.. but he may remember all the newspaper, TV and radio discussions and chats about the fact that aged pensions were going up? We were all so pleased! It was about time the government reaalised how hard it was to live on the pittance of an aged pension!

    Well, the pension did go up but we lost all those lovely, sometimes surprise, extra bonuses every 3 months (or whatever) in our pension which we all used to look forward to and even had, mentally or on paper, allocated what particular bill or need that bonus was going to go towards paying. Remember now? They really conned us!!
    tango18
    14th Mar 2012
    8:28am
    Sorry Pipple but you are wrong. Our pensions did go up ($29.80 pw from memory) and then the Pension Supplement was increased to cover these other additional payments we used to get quarterly. We then had the option to get fortnightly with our pension or elect to receive some of it quarterly as before. The increased pension rates have also meant that our CPI increases, twice yearly, have increased quite substantially over the previous rises.
    So no, I don't think they conned us - and anybody who compares the "old" rates with the "new" will see that this is true!
    Sheilab
    14th Mar 2012
    9:48am
    With a Senior Health Care Card ), the telephone allowance disapperared after July 2009. I haven't seen an extra payment for internet connection although they sent a form out for it, which I returned.

    With my actual income is well under the old free tax threshold, the Seniors Supplement, which is supposed to cover telephone, gets paid quarterly ($209.60 in December).


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