Centrelink Q&A: Disabled pensioner fearful about compo

How does compensation payment affect pension payment?

Disabled pensioner fearful

Gina received a compensation payment after successfully taking legal action for child abuse. She wants to know how that will affect her disability pension.


Q. Gina
In 2016, I was effectively deemed disabled due to abuse as a child by a priest. I took legal action and was awarded about $300,000. This did not affect my disability pension. I then built a house but found the costs were too great and recently sold it for $250,000. I bought a cheaper house for $155,000 but it needs renovating. I was left with about $85,000 and then repaid debts of about $20,000. Am I allowed to have about $65,000? I need at least $20,000 to renovate and for medical needs. I see a psychiatrist and that costs $365 per hour. I get about a $120 rebate but that’s still expensive. Will they take my pension off me? I am very anxious about this.

A: Without knowing your full circumstances, we can offer the following general information.

Your pension eligibility is assessed under the income and asset tests and you are paid under the rules of the test which delivers the lowest payment. For example, if under the asset test you would receive $600 and under the income test you would receive $595, you will be paid under the income test.

A single homeowner can have total assets of $258,500 before the pension is affected – the home is excluded from this. Assets above this will result in your pension being reduced by $3 for every $1000 you exceed the threshold.

Under the income test, you can receive $172 per fortnight before your pension is affected. This income includes money from investments, but not your Disability Support Pension payment. If you exceed this amount, your pension is reduced by 50 cents for every $1 over the $172.

Before making any financial decision, you should seek qualified advice. You may also wish to speak to a Centrelink Financial Information Service officer.

If you have a Centrelink question, send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it, or find someone who can.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The RetirePlanner™ tool has all the information you need.


    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.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    17th Sep 2018
    A single pensioner can have up to app $165k in Financial Assets, (bank, shares, super, income streams post 01/012015 etc) and still get full pension, as long as other non financial assets (cars , boats, caravans, contents etc)when added to this don't breach lower asset threshold.
    17th Sep 2018
    may you be blessed with joy, peace, happiness and lvoe for the rest of your life. life is hard with centrelink. we found the local community centres in frankston and mornington were helpful in these and other advocacy free of charge. the community health centres may also ahve free or low cost therapy. peninsula health (Vic public hospital system) has free services or low cost ones. The road Back has a useful book to read on depression which is free.
    17th Sep 2018
    It is time for all of us (that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    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

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.


    Please help yourself and others today and every day, pass this demand on to all government, opposition and independent MPs and senators who could help us to get a fair deal on pensions
    Retired Knowall
    18th Sep 2018
    What are they going to do with all the redundant brain dead Centrelink staff?

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles