Changes to Centrelink payments overseas

YOURLifeChoices member Ron has decided that living overseas permanently is the best way to make his Disability Support Pension go further, but he is worried about the changes to Centrelink payments out with Australia.

Q. Ron
I am looking to live overseas permanently and return as currently required every 13 weeks to Australia.  I am wishing to stay in Philippines simply because I cannot live on the Disability Support Pension in Australia.

I know we are fortunate to receive government assistance, but I have worked since I was 15 in Australia and now I am 61. I paid heaps of tax and GST over the years, but I think the government care factor is pretty low in that regard.  I have read your report several times and of course will go and see Centrelink on my return at the end of the month.  I was assessed as totally incapacitated 18 months ago due to chronic disc degeneration in my spine.  

Am I reading your article correctly by assuming I will have to be reassessed?  Or does my assessment stand, but still be required to return six weekly.  This makes it financially unviable. 

A. Ron, It would be beneficial for you to contact Centrelink direct, as it will have details of your individual circumstances and will give you the best advice.

However, as a quick reference, unless you have been assessed as having no future work capacity, then from 1 January 2013, you will have to return to Australia every six weeks. Under the new rules which came into force on 1 July 2012, you can have your capacity for work reassessed if you do not meet these requirements. If you are assessed as having no future work capacity, then you can remain outside Australia indefinitely.

I hope this clarifies your position.

Written by Debbie McTaggart