How does Centrelink view gifting for medical expenses?

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Diane would like to help her sick grandson receive some much-needed treatment but would like to know if gifting the money would affect her Age Pension.

 

Q. Diane
I am a retired pensioner and receive a part Age Pension from Centrelink, along with an allocated pension. I was wondering if I was to withdraw $80,000 from my Allocated Pension to pay for my grandson to have specialist treatment overseas for severe allergies (currently not available in Australia), would that affect my Centrelink Age Pension? As my assets will be reduced, I should receive an increase in my Age Pension. Is that correct and would Centrelink permit this? I really want to help my precious grandson.

A. Any sum of money that you give away would be subject to gifting. Gifting allows you to give away $10,000 each year, up to a maximum of $30,000 in a five-year period. If you gift more than these amounts, it will be considered a deprived asset and you will continue to be assessed on this amount for the five years.

You would, of course, have the value of your assets reduced by $30,000, which should result in you receiving an increase in your Age Pension. but this will not allow you to benefit from the full $80,000 reduction. 

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Written by Janelle Ward



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