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

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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.

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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 the 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 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


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