8th Jun 2018

Winners and losers from Centrelink’s July changes

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Centrelink cuts coming your way

Three Centrelink payments will be reset or dumped on 1 July 2018. Among those affected are widows, carers and those claiming new payments.

The biggest change will be to the Widow Allowance, which will not be available from that date.

Backdated payments for certain benefits will also cease unless a claim is fully completed.

Widow Allowance
However, Centrelink says that there are other payments that widows may be eligible for after 1 July.



After 1 July 2018, people who would have claimed the Widow Allowance can claim:

  • Newstart Allowance if you’re under Age Pension age
  • Age Pension, or
  • Special Benefit if you are over Age Pension age but don’t meet residence rules for the Age Pension.

 

If you get Newstart Allowance after 1 July 2018, and you would have qualified for the Widow Allowance, you won’t have to apply for jobs, enter into a job plan or undertake training or study.

Centrelink says current recipients of the Widow Allowance do not need to do anything so long as they are eligible to keep the payment until 2022 or transfer to the Age Pension, whichever is sooner.

Intent to claim
You will no longer be able to submit an “intent to claim” form for certain payments and concession cards, in order to be able to have payments backdated.

From 1 July 2018, you need to complete your claim in full before you can get a payment. This also applies to concession cards. You need to submit all supporting documents before we can start to process your claim.

If your claim is successful, you will get a payment or concession card issued from the date you submitted your completed claim. Centrelink will no longer pay you from the date you started your claim or contacted them about claiming.

If you contact Centrelink, start an online claim or submit an intent to claim before 30 June 2018, you need to complete your claim within 14 days. Centrelink will pay you from the date you contact them about making the claim.

Payments for carers
From 1 July 2018, eligible carers will be automatically paid the Carer Supplement and the Child Disability Assistance Payment, without having to contact Centrelink.

The payments will be made by 31 July 2018. Centrelink says that if a payment is not received by then and you believe you are eligible, you should check your Centrelink online account to confirm your registered bank account details are correct.

The Carer Supplement is a payment of up to $600 for each eligible person in your care.

The Child Disability Assistance Payment is worth up to $1000 for each eligible child.

Will any of these Centrelink changes affect payments you receive now? Do you think that it is unfair of Centrelink to stop backdating payments if you have signalled your intention to claim?


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COMMENTS

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jackie
11th Jun 2018
9:29am
I think it’s very mean and petty from this Government to put a stop to back dating on payment applications. Those people are experiencing hardship to be making applications. They are to go without because the Government would sooner use the savings to give to the rich that don’t go without.
TREBOR
11th Jun 2018
10:34am
Very mean and petty is the name of the game - I also fail to see what possible reason there could be to stop back dating payments until the due date of 1st July, especially for people enduring a very difficult time. Simple inability on the part of Colonel C'Link is one reason - couldn't perform a simple clerical task - the other is pure spite and vicious self-centred ideology governed by some mythical 'right o rule' and to dictate to the peasantry.

Where's Labor in all this? Any comment? Or are they too busy working their next phase of 'gender equality' and 'Indigenous 'rights' and the like? Like the LNP - far too tied up in the important things of government to consider the peasants clamouring for food in the snow.

Poor Fello - My country - with such a choice of 'leaders'.
Charlie
11th Jun 2018
3:17pm
There wont be any help from labor or the Greens
Their achievements are always in my local newspaper now, like a weekly picture of an indigenous person being arrested for theft, but a big payout to a local indigenous community for one incident versus the police, then a land rights win restricting mining development.
The local paper also covers unusual events coming out of Victoria like one council trying to boycott Australia day for not changing the date, then more recently, another promoting gender free kindy, where children learn that they are neither boys nor girls unless it is really necessary in later years for reproduction.
Either voting doesn't change anything anymore, or not enough people care about it.
George
11th Jun 2018
11:22pm
Yes, just more mean and nasty actions from this Govt, especially the removal of backdating while people are trying to figure out how to complete forms. They need to seriously remove the staff planning such actions and put them in the ATO to close the loopholes for tax evasion there - far more lucrative results are possible there.
TREBOR
11th Jun 2018
10:08am
Welcome to the Brave New world (henceforth to be labeled the BNW) of 'gender equality'. Now you don't get to go on a pension if left alone in the world, and must instead go on NoStart. An obvious saving move but inevitable given the never-ending push for what is now artfully labeled 'gender equality' - on which latter issue - given that the Queenslund government is cwowing that its next Labor component (if they get in) will be the first to achieve 'gender equality' with equal numbers of men and women etc - one is merely eft to ponder who and what is actually included under the title 'gender'. Just another thought for you people. When dealing with politicians you need to view it as a game of chess.

Anyway- the girls asked for a dismantling of all their privileges so as to achieve 'equality' - so they have only themselves to blame. It's a slow and erosive process with still a long way to go to remove female privilege in the West... but one day we'll be as good as Russia or china and a few other nations where all are 'equal'.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
10:41am
Now if they just stopped having kids all this could disappear in around 90 years or so. Fix the planet as well.
Misty
11th Jun 2018
1:25pm
Good one Rae, that would fix the fellows wouldn't it.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
3:43pm
Certainly would Misty. All the problems would cease to exist and there'd be plenty of "wealth" to dissolve into "The Land of Was".
MD
11th Jun 2018
9:22pm
Love it Misty and Rae, beats those that 'go off half cocked' most every time. A veritable font of knowledge, "The Land of Was" that would be a panacea to "gender equality". Go girls!
Marian
11th Jun 2018
10:27am
The rotten system is against play dirty corrupt game whith human life the fascist in the system only act as Apartheid against the Australian Citizence one day the all Pensioners to be send to Concentrations camps Australia not have any Governments or democrat that is political paranoia
Marian
11th Jun 2018
10:27am
The rotten system is against play dirty corrupt game whith human life the fascist in the system only act as Apartheid against the Australian Citizence one day the all Pensioners to be send to Concentrations camps Australia not have any Governments or democrat that is political paranoia
Anonymous
11th Jun 2018
11:36am
That is so erudite, Marian - ever thought of taking up journalism?
Knows-a-lot
11th Jun 2018
3:49pm
It's your bunch of Lieberal bastards who are doing this, Al.
Nerk
11th Jun 2018
10:34am
1. You will do as your told.
2. You will have travel restrictions.
3. Pensioners are not allowed to have spending money.
4.You will enjoy living like a grub.
5. You are to have a nice day
6.You will vote for us.
Anonymous
11th Jun 2018
11:38am
So saith Bill and the Watermelon Party. Oh how I love these PC times!
Chooky
11th Jun 2018
12:17pm
Sadly I must agree. But we get what we deserve when we vote for right wing governments. What do people expect? They are what they are. So if you voted for this mob you have given up your right to complain about this mob. Fair?
Misty
11th Jun 2018
1:28pm
They are certainly going that way aren't they Nerk, now they will also be upsetting their voters who earn over $350,000.00 per annum as they will no longer be eligible for child care subsidies.
Knows-a-lot
11th Jun 2018
3:50pm
Quit your Lieberal trolling, Little Al.
OnlyGenuineRainey
11th Jun 2018
4:56pm
But don't forget they are slashing taxes for the well off, and the wealthy in Malcolm Turnbull's electorate get the biggest gifts of all. Of course that is necessary to ensure Malcolm retains his seat! Buying a job with money taken from the disadvantaged!
Bribri
11th Jun 2018
10:50am
People who refuse to become Australian citizen and get the age pension and sometime with rent assistance plus all the medicals and pharmaceutical but those people choose to live in another country with a partner. "Not the country they were born.And comes back to Australia if they need a medical operation,also get their kids to buy their medications and send it to them. Should not get the Australian age pension. It is not right. If you are not an Australian citizen and refused to become one. Then Australian money should not go to them. Sorry but that is my thought.
Anonymous
11th Jun 2018
11:39am
Well said Pauline!
Eddy
11th Jun 2018
12:21pm
Totally disagree Bribri and Big Al, the only residential qualification I would support for the OAP is a specific number of years residence, and not necessarily paying taxes. My Australian citizenship is valuable to me, and I would never want to be 'forced' to give it up no matter where in the world I am living. So I have to extend the same courtesy to people with other citizenships who are permanent residents of Australia: in many cases they are spouses of Australian citizens who have chosen to live in Australia, and probably had their children in Australia, rather than their native country.
My guiding principle here is 'do to others as you would have them do to you'.
Marian
11th Jun 2018
12:34pm
To Mr Bribri Who he say that is evidence & paranoia Rascist ?
Rae
11th Jun 2018
1:28pm
But the LNP/IPA work for foreign corporations and governments. Mainly Mr Murdoch and our world's richest woman. Of course they'll keep providing for immigrants before Australian citizens.

I doubt they can come back for medical though as while the LNP have doubled the population they haven't funded twice the hospitals now have they. There are years to wait after the destruction of Medicare.

Also I've never been anywhere that medicines were dearer than in Australia bar some in the US. Most ordinary needs are over the counter in Europe and in the Us much cheaper than here although the discount chemists are bringing prices for some things down now.

I disagree with Bribri though as the current rules seem adequate for the aged who decide to go home after decades working in Australia and paying taxes they deserve the aged pension. Everyone does.
marls
11th Jun 2018
3:14pm
Bribri so let's be fair then all non Australian citizen that work should not be paying taxes nor should they also pay the 7.5% of their taxes towards their aged pension which was stole by Malcolm Fraser in 1977 and put into consolidated revenue my Australian born cousin receives her widows pension from overseas and not from Centrelink but she worked here these pensions are reciprocal it works both ways
marls
11th Jun 2018
3:14pm
Bribri so let's be fair then all non Australian citizen that work should not be paying taxes nor should they also pay the 7.5% of their taxes towards their aged pension which was stole by Malcolm Fraser in 1977 and put into consolidated revenue my Australian born cousin receives her widows pension from overseas and not from Centrelink but she worked here these pensions are reciprocal it works both ways
marls
11th Jun 2018
3:14pm
Bribri so let's be fair then all non Australian citizen that work should not be paying taxes nor should they also pay the 7.5% of their taxes towards their aged pension which was stole by Malcolm Fraser in 1977 and put into consolidated revenue my Australian born cousin receives her widows pension from overseas and not from Centrelink but she worked here these pensions are reciprocal it works both ways
Rae
11th Jun 2018
3:46pm
We really should start asking hard questions about that Welfare Fund and the 7.5% we've been paying for decades.
Chooky
11th Jun 2018
11:09am
The Turnbull and Abbott before is a cruel government, accept of course if you are big business. If you are big business then there will be $80,000,000,000 in handouts. But if you are suddenly bereft and vulnerable then you will receive a harsh response. You see it’s your fault for being vulnerable, you should have married into wealth and therefore not needed financial support. What have we allowed ourselves to become?
Anonymous
11th Jun 2018
11:45am
Chooky, lets see if I have got this right? There are, say 24 million Aussies (probably a few more). So, what you are saying is the current government will give, lets say, $80 billion dollars to, at most a million Aussies, taking this money from the other 23 million. And then offering themselves for re-election sometime early next year? Well, I suppose in a Walt Disney Fantasy, or a Hans Christian Andersen classic, it might work!! Do you really think Turnbull and Morrison are that clever??
Misty
11th Jun 2018
1:30pm
No they are not Big Al but that is what they plan to do if they can get the Senate to agree.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
3:56pm
They do what they are told to do by the Party. Figure out exactly who the Party are and it's all very understandable. That immigrants and a majority of the citizens keep voting in a business oriented, neo-liberal government run by a secretive fascist organisation that has infiltrated into the pinnacle of the Party, is not understandable.
Turnbull and Morrison love the power and the glory and the money and opportunities aren't half bad. You should see what these people get in retirement. They are clever all right. Very shrewd!
DaveL
11th Jun 2018
11:32am
A couple who own their own home and on a full pension would have to have the following lump sums to receive the same equivalent. At a return of 5% $800,000 or 3.5% over $1.1 million.
TREBOR
11th Jun 2018
11:38am
Correct - the next question is whether or not all the included 'assets' are actually cash-generating ones or just something used occasionally.

A fortnight's holiday and hiring a scamper van is cheaper than owning a Windbag over a year and maybe doing nothing with it, due to the taxation component of that 'asset' against pension. Same with a boat etc... you need to catch a lot of fish to make that profitable, and you're not permitted any joy in retirement, such as taking family for a run on 'the boat'.... joy is for the rich retiree, not the peasants...

Throw the family home into the mix and everyone is poor but the rich.
Eddy
11th Jun 2018
12:30pm
Trebor I mentally changed 'scamper' to 'camper', and "Windbag" as "Winnibago". Is this what you meant to write and autocorrect changed them without you noticing?
Nevertheless, generally speaking your are correct.
TREBOR
11th Jun 2018
1:20pm
I always use witticism to describe such things as Windbags = Winnebagos.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
1:42pm
You can have all the toys you want if you can afford them TREBOR. That boat or camper is surely being depreciated year by year.

Those on the Government pension should be very careful about overvaluing non income earning assets. You might think your "stuff" is worth a lot but try selling it in a week and see what price the market pays.

You can rent boats too.

Personnel I can't see value in owning these things if you rarely use them. It's a total waste of money that could be making income instead in my opinion. I do have friends with boats who absolutely adore sailing and the boat is their every holiday and second weekend and the huge cost of holding and maintenance is paid for by income producing assets.

The asset test is designed to prevent the holding of things that are non productive in monetary terms.

If you can pay for it yourself it's a different situation though isn't it. That's the real freedom right there. You just need enough income.
TREBOR
13th Jun 2018
12:16am
Does Colonel C'Link allow depreciation? I see Windbags on sale for maybe a third of original cost with 83,000 km on them.... does The Good Colonel take into account those losses and backdate them over the life of the 'asset'?

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......

My point is that if something (such as the family home I've discussed before) is to be treated as an asset in retirement for pensions purposes - it must be treated as an asset for its full life, and not just in retirement.

I genuinely think that those screeching for the family home (etc) to be included in some airy-fairy assets test have not fully understood the full meaning of an Asset.... and what it is liable for in terms of depreciation and upkeep costs....

They sowed the breeze........ it seems a whirlwind is around the corner....

ASSET you say? How now the costs along the way to securing that 'asset'?

Sounds like an argument for a no assets test pension to me.
OnlyGenuineRainey
13th Jun 2018
8:28am
C/link asset assessment is VERY unfair. I know of a case where a block of land couldn't be sold or built on due to a council planning error, but C/link insisted it was still worth $400,000 and denied the owner benefits, telling him to ''just sell the land if you need money''. Confronted with evidence that it was unsalable, they responded that the council had a legal obligation to fix the planning error. Yes, that's true, but it took 28 months and $100,000 in legal costs to force them to honour that obligation. And all that time the landowner was without income. Suing council for damages would have cost another $150,000, with huge risks attached. There is no justice for battlers!
Rae
14th Jun 2018
8:22am
Yes OGR. I knew an old lady who had bought 3 blocks of land on Russell Island before Redlands Council existed and she struggles to pay increasing rates on land not able to be sold or built on for decades thinking to save it for her sons. The sons eventually had to hand it back to the council. It would be interesting to know if Redlands Council on sold the land or built on it. There are a lot of scams in property and some of them legislated into existence.

The Russel Island fiasco gave Australian real estate a very bad reputation for some time as overseas buyers were also caught out.
GrayComputing
11th Jun 2018
11:58am
It is time for all of us to rant at our MPs and Senators to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
A pension is not welfare.

Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes unless we force them to listen to us and adopt a sane policy

We all need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
BJ
11th Jun 2018
12:21pm
Just remember people, vote Turnbull out of office next election. His government attacks on the most vulnerable, pensioners and families is outrageous when you consider they want to gift 65 billion of our money to multinationals and big banks in corporate tax cuts. Then watch the slash and burn after that to pay for it.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, have your say next federal election.
Chooky
11th Jun 2018
12:28pm
Big Al, mate you are clearly not up to to date on Turnbull government tax policy. $80,000,000,000 in tax cuts to business including the big banks and part of those tax cuts will go off shore. Where do you think the billions are coming from? Cuts, cuts and more cuts. Cuts to health, universities, PENSIONS, infrastructure, government services eg ATO staff, Centrelink staff, the list goes on.
Catch up Big Al.
Misty
11th Jun 2018
1:33pm
Chooky I think Big Al is the one living in Walt Disney Fantasy Land, along with a few others who comment on this site.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
1:46pm
They will need a lot of money going to the States to build the 600 to 800 new schools we now need and the dozens of hospitals we are short. How they thought they could double the population with no infrastructure bar a couple of roads and a stadium or two is laughable.

Time everyone started agitating for the public service catch up needed.
OnlyGenuineRainey
11th Jun 2018
5:09pm
Don't forget the tax cuts to high wage earners. The wealthy in Mal T's electorate will be the biggest winners. No surprises there!
Hungry
11th Jun 2018
12:38pm
I’m hungry alone since my wife and carer died and looking for work yes lm almost 70 and disabled but surely l matter. Oh have a wheelchair and no family that cares
Misty
11th Jun 2018
1:36pm
Hungry can you get in touch with Centrelink, or maybe your GP and see if they can help you, there are packages available for people in your situation also some of the church organisations will help out too.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
1:48pm
Ring the Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels in your area or look them up on the computer. They will organise help for you.
Marian
11th Jun 2018
12:53pm
From the Australian Governments is only abuse discrimination Deny Human Rights Deny to rights to life the Governments is as terrorist acting gang against Pensioners you work all life & the steeling all from you only the Centrelink or the fanatic minister Keenan who is mentally sick rude arrogant who only abuse the all system were is the law to control the members Governments senate & A.P.S were is the bank records who is control the corruption Tax payers money
Sundays
11th Jun 2018
1:03pm
Are these changes that bad. Widows allowance and Newstart are the same rate, but you don’t have to look for work. No real change here. Carers will automatically receive the allowance. Good. Yes, now you have to complete your claim in full when you apply. There’s a saving to the bureaucracy
David
11th Jun 2018
2:38pm
Did I see someone refer to Islam as a religion?

Just to clarify matters, Islam is NOT a religion. What it is, is an abusive, controlling manipulative regime, whos main objective is total world control by means of the pernicious, & malignant infiltration of all non-Moslim society.

Don't be fooed by their "we're a religiom of peace" slogan, it's a ruse to fool the unsuspecting. The truth is, Islam is one of, if not the most violent and violence inciting regimes ever devised by the minds of humankind.

We neither want nor need such social pronlems as this in Australia. Islam is completely opposed to our Western society and way of life.

Don't believe me? Take a good, close look at how Muslims are plundering our welfare system already. They haven't taken it to the next level here as yet, (that'll come) but lok at what they're doing in Europe, England and are trying to do in North America. Do we want that here? I think not!

If our pollies are too innately stupid to see the writing on the wall regarding this Islamic invasion and too greedily flamboyant with our taxpaers money, tossing it offshore to multimillionaires who really don't need it, instead of looking after the needs of their own constituents.

How on earth can we expect them to pay us welfare and/or pensions at a reasonable and equitable rate?

We need to vote these greedy cretins and their corrupt party politics out of office at the next election and install independant representatives of the people in their lace. Thete is no room for party-politics in Australia. Our countries founders who wrote and implimented our Commonwealth Constitution KNEW this and it was their original intention of governance in this country.

We meed to make a return to this form of governance ASAP in my opinion, so, at the next election..... You work out the rest of this statement.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
4:05pm
Totally agree about the return to representative democracy. Best way really. There is a lot in The Constitution that could save us if we called The Governor General on it.

We need a courageous constitutional lawyer to take issues to court sighting constitutional laws.

It's a pity the sale or confiscation of legislated and funded taxpayer assets wasn't forbidden. They couldn't have stolen public funds nor sold all our income producing assets. We would be very much richer as a Nation if we still owned all of it.
Hairy
11th Jun 2018
4:19pm
I second that statement.
TREBOR
11th Jun 2018
4:29pm
Much as it bleeds my humane heart, I have to agree that Islam is no congenial to our way of life, and has very little to contribute other than strife, dissension, and even killing.

This is not to say that all Islamites are evil - but that the thrust of their one-sided and totally self-absorbed and intolerant religion is anathema to the openness and tolerance and even division of religion and state designed over centuries in the West.
Believer
11th Jun 2018
2:51pm
Sounds like the less the government has to take care of the better it will be to give it to Serco to run.
Knows-a-lot
11th Jun 2018
3:46pm
What else can one expect from a scumbag Lieberal government? These inept bums need to be kicked out of office at the first opportunity!
Triss
11th Jun 2018
3:47pm
Why is everyone so suprised? There is to be an upgrade to the Sunshine Coast rail line costing $550 million and, like every other job paid for by the government, that price will escalate daily. We already have a debt high enough to cause a nose bleed so where can the government take the money from? The people having a hard time existing and the pensioners.
Rae
11th Jun 2018
4:24pm
Building a railway with taxpayer funds to eventually sell cheaply to the mates must be a heap of fun. Playing with other people's money.

And the kickbacks along the way. Making hay etc etc.

As if they even think about the pensioners and lower quartiles.

Public servant Commissioner Loyll is a former employee of the IPA and a member for decades. Says it all Triss. Bunch of fascists.
Knight Templar
17th Jun 2018
11:08am
Rae, it is a Labor government in Queensland that is building the railway with taxpayer funds in order to sell to its mates. Nothing to do with the Public Service Commissioner or the Federal Government.
musicveg
17th Jun 2018
4:16pm
And they are now planning to sell off the ABC to a private company, no more TV without ads. Why don't they stop the lifelong pensions of politicians, now that will save a lot, after all they are not asset tested.
KSS
11th Jun 2018
3:49pm
Why all the angst over these changes? Why should widows get a special payment just because their husband died? You don't get rewarded for being married. Given that they will not actually have to look for work or study what exactly is the issue?

Carers don't even have to apply for the handout they will get it automatically so what is the problem with that?

And why is it unreasonable to expect people to complete an application before receiving payments?

And if you are not a resident of Australia why should there be any payments at all if you don't qualify for a pension? People choose to live where they live and cannot expect the Government to support them in their lifestyle choices.

Non-citizens should not be permitted to apply for any Government support in my view. There must be some advantage to being a citizen of Australia. As it is there is no virtually difference between someone having made the full commitment to Australia (or having been born a citizen) and its people, and someone who simply lives and works here or worse, retires here expecting to claim the age pension.
Hairy
11th Jun 2018
4:22pm
I second that statement .
TREBOR
11th Jun 2018
4:31pm
SAHP should be a salaried position then?

OK...... that's solve that argument...
Rae
11th Jun 2018
4:32pm
I was absolutely devastated when my beloved died suddenly. Devastated.

Everything was frozen.

Fortunately I had my pay going into my bank account and adequate life insurance that sent someone to pay me within 10 days.

If I hadn't had that I'd have lost my home and with 3 children under 13 I'd have been living with friends or family.

I had them too. Lucky. Some aren't.

The situation needs assessing and adequate financial and medical help should be available.

We can't have that many widows and some will need trauma support. Any Society or community would do that.

I'm surprised at you KSS. Such hard heartedness never does you any good. Remember the Samaritan.

Goodness even helping the Devil out of a ditch shouldn't be beyond the Soul.
OnlyGenuineRainey
11th Jun 2018
5:05pm
I think there is good cause for angst over abolishing the widow's payment. While someone is grieving the loss of their partner and struggling to figure out how they will manage alone is not a great time to be having to figure out how to navigate the Centrelink minefield, and then to cope with the stigma of being on Newstart, even if you don't have to look for work... Sorry, I guess I'm old school. I never supported so-called ''women's lib'' (which did not liberate but sold most into bondage - forced to work even if they wanted to be full-time mothers). Now families need to incomes to get by, and think of all the extra jobs if those who wanted to be full time parents had that option!

A friend was recently widowed after 24 years caring full-time for a seriously disabled husband. Not yet old enough for the OAP, she is really struggling with the notion that she might have to find work at 58, with no skills or work experience. Surely widows in her situation should be supported adequately and afforded dignity and respect?

Anyway, if we can afford huge tax cuts for those on high salaries, why do we need to slash support for the less advantaged? Oh, don't answer that. I know: GREED!
Misty
11th Jun 2018
7:14pm
KSS are you differentiating between citizens and residents or lumping them together?, I understood if you are not a citizen of Australia and not naturalised then you are classed as a resident?, is that correct?, I think resisdents have the same rights as citizens except they cannot vote but I could be wrong, does anyone know if this is true?, I will google it later just don't have the time now.
KSS
11th Jun 2018
9:17pm
Yes Misty and that is my point. Why should a resident who has no real ties to Australia be able to access the same handouts as citizens? I am all for supporting citizens who need help but a resident can return to their home country if needs be. They have not made a commitment to Australia or its people. They simply live and work here. And it is a privilege not a right. I have lived and worked overseas too and also paid tax there. It did not mean I could access the same services as the local citizens in the same way. I had to pay for medical services for example, could not apply for Government welfare or live in Government owned housing (the Government owned most housing available), would have been deported had I lost my job for example. And that was just fine with me. I did not expect to be treated the same as a citizen, nor should residents here. In my opinion, there must be more differentiation between citizens and residents other than the right to vote and serve in the armed forces!
KSS
11th Jun 2018
9:23pm
Rae, it has nothing to do with how devastated someone may be. After all, men are also devastated when their wives die but they are unable to make the same claim.

The 'rules' say the widow's allowance is:
An income support payment if you’re a woman over a set age who became widowed, divorced or separated after turning 40.

So basically a woman doesn't even have to be widowed! And men are excluded. Why?
Misty
11th Jun 2018
11:31pm
Well KSS be that as it may but my husband, an Austrian, came here to work on the Snowy when he was 21, married me and we had 4 children so he definitely had ties to this country, worked here and paid tax until he was 70, he died aged 79 without becoming an Australian Citizen, he never saw the need too found it easier to travel back to Austria as an Austrian when he went back to visit relatives and in the early days it weas easier for me to travel in Europe on an Austrian Passport too.
Misty
12th Jun 2018
12:04am
Sorry for the odd spelling, I didn't proof read before posting that comment and my arthritic fingers often hit the wrong keys.
Rae
12th Jun 2018
7:27am
That is a good point about men being excluded. I didn't access a widow's pension as I didn't need one.

I suppose the argument is really about supporting both men and women who for some reason cannot care for themselves.

There appears to be a lot of people unable to cope with life or prepare for future events.

I can see your point KSS. It does appear sexist but I suppose it's to keep women and children from being tossed into the streets.

Pity men and children.

A lot of Centrelink rules make absolutely no sense.
Ted Wards
12th Jun 2018
8:45am
This is for OldGenuineRainey. I work in aged care and your friend indeed would have many skills. My suggestion, if she would like, to go to her local community centre or aged care facility and start volunteering with the activities officer or diversional therapist. I have known many older ladies who have gotten jobs through this method. And the jobs are wonderful and very rewarding. I hope it all works out for her.
OnlyGenuineRainey
13th Jun 2018
8:24am
My point, Ted, is that there should be some compassionate assistance for people in her position that doesn't deprive them of their dignity. She has given up 24 years of her life to care for someone who would otherwise have imposed a massive burden on the state - most likely. I think she deserves better than to be branded a ''Newstart recipient''. She may well eventually find satisfying work, or she may continue the volunteering work she's been doing 1 day per week at St Vincent de Paul, and possibly extend it. But whatever she does, she is entitled to respect, and Newstart recipients tend to be branded rather disrespectfully.

I agree with KSS that gender discrimination is wrong. Widowers should have the same rights as widows - and there should be some special considerations for those who have not been able to pursue careers or enjoy secure employment, and for the aging, as well as for those left with young children.
Hoohoo
13th Jun 2018
5:12pm
Very well summed up, OGRainey. When a person has lost their life partner they need support & respect, whether they are a woman or a man. If a partner has spent many years as a carer (many men do this too) & their ability to earn an income & receive superannuation has been hampered because their time & energy has been taken up by caring, they should be treated better than the average person just looking for a job.
The old "dole bludger" label for anyone seeking work has not helped our perception about people on Workstart. There is still shame associated with it, even in places where there are no full time jobs. If I was to start seriously looking for a job where I live, I think I'd have to leave town.
Suze
14th Jun 2018
6:47am
You are spot on KSS
Culgoa
11th Jun 2018
4:32pm
Stop using alarmist subheads in your emails.
Misty
11th Jun 2018
4:46pm
I agree Rae, why is it that the wealthy seem to have so little compassion for those less fortunate then themselves?. My husband, an Austrian, never became naturalised but worked and paid tax until he was 70 and was a model resident of Australia, he helped build the Snowy Scheme and worked for them for many years.
PS We didn't need handouts but I feel for those who are less fortunate then us.
Jim
11th Jun 2018
7:19pm
I have to admit to being a little confused by some of the responses, maybe I don't fully understand what the changes mean to some people, can anybody put it in plain English exactly how someone might be affected by the changes, if it could be explained without the usual political bias that is often used on these pages to push people's agendas that have nothing to do with the content of the article, here's hoping for a sensible response!
MD
11th Jun 2018
9:41pm
Best of luck there Jim. Nothing a tad of your own research wouldn't sort for you. At least that way you won't cop the insufferable rants that predominate.
Sundays
12th Jun 2018
7:24am
It’s a beat up
Ted Wards
12th Jun 2018
8:59am
Apparently after 1 July no new claims are allowed for the widow pension. They will have to go on Newstart and those who are already on the widows pension will be swapped automatically to Newstart if they qualify.

The carers supplement will be paid automatically to those who identify as carer's - a major issue for many people as they don't see themselves as carers. You have ot register to be identified as a carer, so I dont see the claim that it will be paid automatically can be true. Over 70% of carers do not identify as carers.

Centrelink will no longer back date claims so if you have started your claim finish it before the cut off date and make sure its fully filled out. If you have to resubmit you dont get any money until its completed and the start date will be whatever day you put the completed claim in. Meaning some with literacy problems or who dont have the required forms etc, have to get the forms and live on no money at all whilst this happens. God forbid if English isnt your first language and you dont understand what you need to do. Or you cant read at all.

What i find interesting is the disparity between the two carer payments. I am sure all those in a caring role would agree that an older person caring for an older loved one has just as many expenses and younger people on a disability. Why only a one time $600 payment to older people and $1000 for those with a disability.

Before you answer that remember that many older carers are self funded retirees who dont get PBS, health cards etc. More entitlements, it can be argued, go into disability than aged care. For instance, mental health is not a stand alone issue for people over 65, its only seen as part of depression associated with growing old. There are few mental health specific services for people over 65, although there is some headway into this. Also the disparity of money that is spent on mental health and aged care is huge. Something has to give somewhere.

What I think they should do is do a one time payment to widows and widowers (gender equality) of well whatever, say $5000 to help them cope with the rotten time they go through and to give them time to adjust and face the mountains of issues with wills and disputes over money etc. Make it tax free, then transition them to Newstart and then provide more assistance for them to set up the rest of their life, if they need that type of assistance. Why do we accept that one solution will suit everyone?

As Ive said before this will all be gone in the next 5 - 10 years as we have all been told the age of entitlement is over (except of course for politicians, their mates and the wealthy)!
Rae
14th Jun 2018
8:34am
Yes Ted It was obvious to me years ago that a Government selling off all the income producing assets and valuable buildings, parks etc and lowering taxes over and over to substitute for businesses paying a share of profits to workers would eventually end up broke with a gapping hole in revenue. Very poor economic managers.

11th Jun 2018
9:22pm
Sounds fair enough
Don’t see a problem with it at all - makes sense really
MD
11th Jun 2018
9:56pm
Mmm...maybe so Raphael. I wonder, the few folk that could have applied for 'entitlements' earlier, now they find themselves up against the new order - "If your claim is successful, you will get a payment or concession card issued from the date you submitted your completed claim." - might be seen as mere penny pinching by the gubbermint begrudging and withholding a few dollars more.

Is this what could best be described as the; 'thin edge of the wedge' ?
GrayComputing
14th Jun 2018
8:40am
Raphael, Most people would consider you a paid for web troll.
Paid by a 3rd party to write your "everything is OK" nonsense

Unless you truly are a free independent pensioner get of this site
Anonymous
15th Jun 2018
9:20pm
I am a free independent pensioner
Marian
11th Jun 2018
9:44pm
Only Fascist & Dictators is act as the Australian Governments apartheid system against all the working & pay tax for the pension is not the pensioner life today in the brutal barbarian system as slave to be abuse the is not law & Constitution to protect any rights the all A.P.S. system the is not more life in Australia system as human who ever we say all is ignore
Anonymous
11th Jun 2018
9:52pm
Sorry ?
What is the exact nature of your complaint ?
alinejordan
12th Jun 2018
3:58pm
what is wrong with Labor caring about gender equality and indigenous rights? how does that tie in with what's happening with Centrelink. some people just need to find any reason to put the boot into Labor, justified or not, just any old slogan will do. wake up!!
Cowboy Jim
12th Jun 2018
4:52pm
Nothing wrong with gender equality and indigenous rights but it should be the same rights for all of us. Lived for a few years in South Africa and we had different sporting teams by race. We detested that but now in Australia we like to bring in apartheid stuff like indigenous cricket teams etc. Look at them: most of them are whiter than I am. Do we really need to go that way? Took a long time to change SA and now we are bringing back "separate development".
TREBOR
13th Jun 2018
12:27am
What exactly are those 'right's, aline? And what exactly constitutes 'equality'?

Equality is being treated equal - not being treated unequally by enforcing quotas..... you mean Indigenous people can't vote, get an education, marry the person of their choice, get social security, get a job, enter the professions, have the same rights under law, can't travel freely inside their country ... and so on and so forth under what are considered genuinely 'equal' rights for all?

Well - I never!

What exactly are these 'rights' you speak of? Do I get to claim ancestral land as a personal property regardless of who's paid for it, worked it and developed it? Do I get to forbid people climbing a national icon because it's a 'spiritual experience' - when it is just as much a spiritual experience and a rite of passage for everyone who climbs it?
OnlyGenuineRainey
13th Jun 2018
8:15am
There is no ''equality'' in Australia. Indigenous folk have far, far, far superior rights. Free legal help. All kinds of benefits and handouts- especially educational - that whites can't access, no matter how disadvantaged. Special conditions when applying for jobs. Special contests and groups that whites can't join. Even the right to denigrate whites with hideous abuse and accusations - made publicly - without prosecution. I support help for the disadvantaged - the best help we can provide. But race should not be a criteria for assessment. Lots of Indigenous folk are doing very, very well in high paid jobs, with uni education, yet still qualify for benefits the most disadvantaged white can't access. That's not right! That's NOT equality.

One example I am aware of - a white person stolen from family in infancy and kept separated by a bureaucrat who lied 3 times on statutory declarations presented conclusive evidence of being wronged to a prominent barrister. The reply? ''Mate, if you were Indigenous, I'd get you $2 million in compensation. As a white person, you have two chances - Buckleys and none!"

How is that ''equality''?
Hoohoo
13th Jun 2018
6:09pm
alinejordan, gender equality & indigenous rights have NOTHING to do with the topic of Centrelink's treatment of widows, widowers & carers. Like you say, it's just a chance for non-progressives to put the boot into Labor.

These people think there should be no compensation for having your land, children & parents stolen, having your wives & daughters raped, having your ancestors poisoned, incarcerated or put to work as domestic slaves or cattle hands. Even if you personally escaped this torture & attempted genocide, the people in your community have not, & they suffer to this day for the wrongs done to their families by our government system that was imposed on theirs. Howard calls this the "black armband" version of history (as opposed to the fairytale version we were taught at school). I reckon indigenous people haven't got enough arms to cater for all the black armbands they need to express their grief.

I know some very "successful" in white society Indigenous people. Of course they shouldn't be automatically given extra benefits than anyone else. Like you say, OGR, benefits should only be given to those in genuine need (like the poor battlers who use negative-gearing & Capital Gains Tax exemptions! And those poor banks & multi-national corporations who REALLY need a tax break!).
But remember this, people in Indigenous communities tend to share their good fortune, much more than people do in the average Aussie community.

And Trebor, I'm sure the Catholic Church wouldn't allow people to hammer in metal fencing, attach ropes & chains for tourists to clamber up & down the roof of St Mary's Cathedral. Then down on the street, allow spruikers to sell "I climbed the cathedral" stickers for your car. Is it my "rite of passage" to do this, because I was brought up as a Catholic? If the Catholics did this climbing as an expression of their religion, then maybe so, but they don't.

You either respect people's culture & religion or you don't. A sacred site is a sacred site. You can't pick & choose on the basis of your own bias.

Equality? When quotas are introduced & enforced for men to do half the unpaid housework, only then can we stop talking about dropping quotas for gender participation. I will welcome that day, not for me personally, but for my friends who are miserable because their families treat them like domestic servants. You're right, Trebor, when you say "Equality is being treated equal".
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jun 2018
8:20am
Hoohoo, I agree with you to a point, but our white ancestors suffered some horrendous injustice and cruelty too. And when I speak of genuine need, I'm talking about whites who were stolen from their family (oh, sorry, not allowed to claim that in relation to whites - no matter what proof you have that it happened!) when very young (no, NOT forced adoptions - I'm talking kids between ages 3 and 10!). I'm talking about people who were hideously abused in institutions, seriously deprived of opportunity and even basic essentials for healthy growth, and who continued to suffer abuse in early adulthood because being abused in an institution left them unable to cope with the challenge of being expected to be self-supporting financially at 15, with nobody in the world to care what happened to them, no self-confidence, no education, no skills, no trust in the ''system'' that had let them down so badly...

Frankly, I'm tired of the ''poor me... my ancestors suffered...''. Do you really think white convicts got a better deal? Do you think life was a picnic for the children of men who lost their lives in war or suffered major disability and mental damage? Indigenous Australians would have been far, far, far worse off today if the Japanese had taken control of this country. Maybe instead of whining about past injustices, Indigenous Australians could acknowledge the sacrifices made to protect them from ongoing hurt?

Billions are showered on the Indigenous in compensation, reparation and special help, while whites who suffered hideous injustice are ignored.

Your sarcasm is cruel, unwarranted and unjust, Hoohoo. It's time the Indigenous community stopped demanding a monopoly on sympathy and aid and recognized that those who claim negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions are privileged folk of all races. It has NOTHING AT ALL to do with race. There would be far less resentment of Indigenous Australians and far more inclination to support giving them more if they stopped being so damned selfish and racist and acknowledged that many white Australians suffer equally - or worse.

As for climbing your religious icon, I agree, but I was born in this country too and I can't even look at remarkable landscapes because Indigenous Australians claim exclusive ownership. I have friends who were driven out of their home and lost $300,000 because Indigenous Australians were favoured and allowed to claim a whole fully-developed housing suburb, which they promptly destroyed - imposing a massive cost on police and Council. No, I'm not being racist. This was ONE group of people whose race entitled them to claim unfair dealing. Most Indigenous Australians would be as disgusted as I am at their conduct. And many whites have done as bad or worse. I am just making the point that it should NOT be about race. What happened or didn't happen to ancestors should NOT entitle anyone to unfair benefit or the right to hurt others who live today.

Sacred land? Sure. And half of it wasn't sacred until it was developed to have enormous value or was worth a lot because it was wanted for a highway or mine. Why are Indigenous Australians entitled to massive profits from mines and tourist attractions whites built? If they want their land back, take it back as it was - not with all the wealth whites have added.

Oh, and on the subject of respect and religious bias - Indigenous Australians burnt down the beautiful church my community donated thousands of hours to build, worshipped in, and loved when I was a child. It wasn't sacred to THEM!
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Jun 2018
8:23am
I should add, that the Indigenous folk who burned down our church were never charged, because their race ''compromised their ability to understand the law and the harm their crime did'' and their ''past disadvantage left them mentally incompetent''. Except they grew up in a well-off two-parent family, got a good education, and nobody could identify any genuine disadvantage other than that they claimed ''discrimination'' on the basis of race. Actually, it was discrimination on the basis of behaviour. The only racial discrimination was unfair favourable treatment under the law!
dreamer
17th Jun 2018
10:04am
I am so sorry I was born in 1955 please forgive me oh fearless goverment
Fair Go
5th Jul 2018
4:11pm
Have noted that our Welfare system is nearly 40% of the total budget; obviously it needs cutting. But stop blaming pensioners! We are amongst the lowest paid pensioners in the developed world. There are obviously a lot of people here getting benefits who shouldn't be, eg carers, and I personally know of some of these people who get this benefit for "caring" for someone who doesn't need a carer. Something is wrong in this country. Saw a recent programme on SBS, cited Sweden as an example - over 400 days paid maternity leave, free child care, free education right through to university, free hospital and medical and on it goes. Yes, their taxes are high but they don't complain; they get a good return for taxes paid. Is Australia missing something here? Maybe the pollies should take a leaf out of Europe's system, and go there and see it for themselves.
Misty
5th Jul 2018
7:57pm
Totally agree.


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