Centrelink payments overseas

Merv is planning to travel over the next year but finds the Centrelink ruling on payments outside Australia a little confusing and would like them clarified.

Q. Merv

I would like to find out more information about the six-week limit on travel overseas for carers and pensioners. Is it per calendar year or financial year or do we have to wait a full year before we can go overseas again? We have been told t at it is a maximum of six weeks at a time but can it be multiple six weeks per year ?

A. Provided by the Department of Human Services
The rules which describe when payments may be paid outside Australia are detailed on the Department of Human Services website.

Most payments may be paid for the first six weeks of a temporary absence from Australia. Generally there is no limit on the number of absences you may be paid for during any particular period of time.  Of course, Centrelink needs to ensure that you can be paid for each of those absences.

A few payment types might not be payable during an absence if you are leaving Australia within six weeks of returning from an earlier absence.  You can see if your payment is affected by this rule on our webpage.

If you have many temporary absences in quick succession, it may be decided that you have actually left Australia permanently – that you are no longer ‘living in Australia’. Most payments cannot be paid to a person who is not living in Australia.  Find out more about what ‘living in Australia’ means, and how Centrelink decides who is ‘living in Australia’.

If you think your payments might be affected by your planned absence call Centrelink on 13 2300  to discuss your plans.

Written by Debbie McTaggart