Centrelink Q&A: Will I be eligible for the work bonus?

Joe receives a carer’s payment and wants to know if he can work without losing any money.

Centrelink Q&A: Will I be eligible for the work bonus?

Joe receives a carer’s payment and wants to know if he can work without losing any money.

•••

Q. Joe
My wife and I are on the Age Pension and I also receive a carers’ payment for looking after my wife. Am I allowed to still work and earn $150 per week without affecting my pension? Is my wife also allowed to work and earn this much money if she receives the Disability Support Pension (DSP)? I would really appreciate an answer on this as I am finding it difficult to obtain one.

A. The Work Bonus provides an incentive for pensioners over Age Pension age to work by allowing them to keep more of their pension when they have income from working.

The Work Bonus operates in addition to the pension income test free area. From 1 July 2019, for single pensioners, the pension income test free area is $174 a fortnight and for couples combined, it is $308 a fortnight. For example, this means a single pensioner over Age Pension age with no other private income could earn up to $474 a fortnight from work and still receive the maximum rate of pension.

All pensioners over Age Pension age are eligible for the Work Bonus if they have income from work. This includes: Age Pension, Carer Payment, Bereavement Allowance, Disability Support Pension, Widow B Pension and Wife Pension recipients.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Service Pensioners and Income Support Supplement recipients over qualifying age are also eligible.

You do not need to apply for the Work Bonus. If you are a pensioner with variable income from work, you must keep Centrelink informed of your income. The Work Bonus can only be applied to income that has been reported.

You can report income from employment over the phone, in person at a Centrelink office or by using the internet.

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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    COMMENTS

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    Paddington
    16th Sep 2019
    12:03pm
    Why is there nothing about the pension increase this week? I am sure by now we have always known the amount of the increase. I am not talking about the ones with investments I mean the pensioner who relies on the pension without other money or assets, etc.
    Supposed to be 2.4%, is that correct? Found this just now:
    Well, obviously not! $5.40 per fortnight for a couple.
    https://www.superguide.com.au/accessing-superannuation/age-pension-rates
    Karl Marx
    16th Sep 2019
    12:16pm
    off topic
    Theo1943
    16th Sep 2019
    12:31pm
    The rates for a full Age Pension for Australian residents for the period 20 September 2019 to 19 March 2020 are listed below:

    Single: $933.40 per fortnight (approximately $24,268 per year) – an increase of $7.20 per fortnight
    Couple (each): $703.50 per fortnight (approximately $18,291 per year) – an increase of $5.40 per fortnight
    Couple (combined): $1,407.00 per fortnight (approximately $36,582 per year) – an increase of $10.80 per fortnight
    Couples separated due to illness each receive the Single rate (see above), which combined is $1,866.80 (approximately $48,537 per year) – an increase of $14.40 per fortnight
    Paddington
    16th Sep 2019
    12:33pm
    I know Karl Marx but there was no other one closer!
    Paddington
    16th Sep 2019
    12:34pm
    Theo, is this the lowest increase ever? It is far short of 2.4%!
    Paddington
    16th Sep 2019
    12:36pm
    Correction: $2.70 per week for each person in the couple.
    TREBOR
    16th Sep 2019
    1:07pm
    A loaf of bread, a jug of water.. and thee!!
    Theo1943
    16th Sep 2019
    1:21pm
    Paddington, The increase is 0.77%.
    Paddington
    16th Sep 2019
    2:39pm
    Yeah Theo, I don’t understand their Maths!
    Karl Marx
    16th Sep 2019
    12:20pm
    Work bonus has caused a lot of angst from those loosing their pension because Centrelink can't get it right.
    Also confused how someone on a Disability Support Pension (DSP) would, can & or are able to work & retain the DSP.
    Theo1943
    16th Sep 2019
    12:44pm
    Never had a problem reporting and getting paid correctly when reporting earnings. And, believe me, I always check their calculations. It has always been correct.
    TREBOR
    16th Sep 2019
    1:14pm
    Depends on the work and the disability, eh? If they work for more than two years their pension is reviewed...

    Same here, Theo - might be back at work this summer... don't anticipate any issues with Guvco (Federal Branch) over income ... the poor bastards have got me surrounded...
    TREBOR
    16th Sep 2019
    1:15pm
    .. just where I want 'em!
    sunnyOz
    16th Sep 2019
    4:37pm
    Then Theo you are lucky. TWICE in 18 months they have mucked up my Work Bonus, one so badly that they cancelled my Aged Pension. Took weeks of time and stress to get it reinstated, then they grossly underpaid my the back pay. It also caused problems because my local Council sent me a letter saying my rates rebate was cancelled as I was no longer eligible for the pension. That too took weeks to sort out and they would not back date the discount.
    Caused so much angst I ended up leaving my job as if they could stuff it up that badly, the fear of a robo debt in years to come was the final straw. I personally saw the hell they put my elderly aunt through with a false robo debt and I don't want to go through that again.
    I would love to work a casual or part time job, but no. Simply don't trust them.
    Theo1943
    16th Sep 2019
    6:13pm
    My trick is to never talk to them. Their computers are smarter and easier to understand.

    So sorry to hear of your difficulties sunnyOz. I got a summertime job in 2014 repeating in 2015, 20176 and 2017. Earning $2600-$3000 a fortnight for 4 to 6 months each year. The accumulated work bonus was great each year and the computer never got it wrong. As I said, I never spoke to a person as most people have no clue about maths.

    I figured out last week that a Gov't department in WA made an accounting error in their billing in 2013 and it is costing them around $10,000 a day. They haven't discovered it yet.

    Fortunately it is only pensioners they are under-billing.
    older&wiser
    16th Sep 2019
    6:37pm
    Theo - I agree with sunny. You ARE damn lucky! Like sunny, I too had nothing but trouble. With a background in accounting, at one stage it was ME explaining the Work Bonus to to the local Centrelink staff. And yes, like you, I try to avoid actually speaking with them, but when they get it so damn wrong, you cannot resolve it on line.
    My local CL office has just had an expensive upgrade. 24 staff stations, all with computers and dual screens. But in all the times I was in the office, never more than 4 stations with staff. Wait of around 2 hours each time - I learnt to take a good book. I keep absolutely all records - who I speak with, date, reference number, etc as like sunny, I can guarantee that in X years time, I will get a letter with a fake robo debt. They have absolutely no idea. Time and again, I would upload documents, get confirmation receipt - then have the site just hang and hang. Sometimes would go through, some times wouldn't. If I went into CL the next day, they would say to wait a few days. If it hadn't gone through, another trek to CL office, more wait. More weeks waiting for it to be sorted out. It was such a nightmare, I too gave my little job up.


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