Do I need to reapply for pension?

Joseph used to receive a part pension and wants to know if he needs to reapply to get it back?

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Q. Joseph
With recent events affecting super and retirement savings, my wife and I (both in our mid-70s) are in a position now to requalify for a part age pension. This was taken away from us in January 2017 when the government of the day moved the goalposts on all our planning by rejigging the assets test downwards. The part pension was then automatically taken from us as Centrelink had/has all our financial details of income and assets, and made us ineligible. Bearing this in mind, if they have all that info on hand would the part Age Pension be automatically restored? Or do we have to go through all the bureaucratic hassle and hoops on filling out forms again and enclosing evidence from super funds, banks, shares, etc again! Does not Centrelink have all this on our myGov account?

A. The Age Pension will not be automatically reinstated. Those who lost their eligibility for the Age Pension due to the income and assets test changes that came into effect on 1 January 2017, must reapply if their financial circumstances have since changed.

However, in most circumstances, the majority of details from your previous claim will be pre-filled for you to make reapplying for Age Pension more streamlined.

You will need to make sure all your details are up to date, including updating your financial circumstances if they have changed since your previous claim. You may also need to provide verification of your current circumstances.

The Department of Human Services has made a range of improvements to the process of claiming an Age Pension.

The newsystem makes it easier for people to apply, and individuals registered with Centrelink can submit their entire application online without having to visit a service centre.

People can also save the progress of their application while online and log back in to finish it later. This feature is handy for applicants who, perhaps, need to gather more information or documentation to assist with their claim.

If a person was previously a Centrelink payment recipient, the system will automatically fill in their personal and financial details on the Age Pension claim. Applicants just need to confirm or update the pre-populated information already provided.

Once submitted, applicants can check the status of their claim online at any time using the Claim Tracker.

Applying through the online claiming channel is faster and more efficient, as it ensures all necessary information is submitted at the time of lodgement. However, staff will be available to support people as they complete their claims, whether over the phone or in person at a service centre.

Do you think your circumstances have changed sufficiently that you may be eligible for Age Pension payments? Have you tried to reapply for entitlements … and if so, what was your experience?

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Written by Ben

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