Can you keep investment properties and claim the pension?

David is suffering MS, but is worried he won’t be able to get the disability pension.

David is suffering from multiple sclerosis, but is worried he may have too many assets to claim the disability pension.

•••

Q. David
I am 60 and my wife is 63. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in January 2015. I had to give up work and my wife is presently on long service leave on half pay. She gave up work to look after me and will retire in early 2019.

We have two investment properties valued at about $800,000 and have about $900,000 in superannuation.

Would I be entitled to obtain a Centrelink Disability Pension and my wife a Carer’s Allowance?

A. The Disability Support Pension and Carer’s Allowance are both subject to the income and asset tests. Both of your investment properties will be included in the asset test and the maximum allowable assets for a home-owning couple is $848,000. If you don’t own your own home the limit is $1,055,000. Your eligibility for a part pension payment may then be dependent on the value of your other assets.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

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

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    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 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 Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.





    COMMENTS

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    Nerk
    1st Feb 2019
    10:42am
    What about put your name on one and your wives on another, then claim your separated.
    SFR
    1st Feb 2019
    11:22am
    Fraud, enough said
    KSS
    1st Feb 2019
    7:29pm
    And they'd still be over the asset limit.

    1st Feb 2019
    11:26am
    My God I thought the pension was for people who need to make ends meet, not people with o$1.7 million.
    libsareliars
    1st Feb 2019
    12:25pm
    I agree Robbo, some people are unbelievable!
    sunnyOz
    1st Feb 2019
    4:41pm
    Also agree! - pretty galling actually. Sell one of the investment properties and support yourself.
    TREBOR
    1st Feb 2019
    9:52pm
    It isn't about $1.7m in assets - it should totally depend on the income derived from those assets after a full and accurate reckoning with the ATO.

    Are you all demanding that he and his wife burn down their assets in order to pay health bills? Is that not just another putsch for all to burn down all assets and incomes before even looking at a pension?

    One set of rules for those with nothing and another for those with assets that derive a little real income. If their two properties brought in a return of 8% p.a. - not unrealistic, that's $64k pa... if super brings in (I dunno - how much does $900k bring in retirement?), it would appear to me that there is enough to NOT currently receive pension, based on income derived alone.

    If assets are burned down, a pension will come into play at some point. DUH!

    Shame on you for promoting some myth that assets should be burned to the ground to get a pension.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    9:58pm
    Trebor, Trebor, Trebor - its the system labor set up,
    Labor wants all retirees with even modest assets over the threshold to spend down before claiming any pension
    And now with their franking credit policy, they are hitting the most modest of self funded retirees HARD
    When will you learn that a labor government is NEVER good for the middle class "tribe" (to use a dumb term created by god knows which idiot), of which 80% of Aussies belong.
    Labor will never be happy till it robs everyone of their financial independence and become a slave of the state.
    SFR
    2nd Feb 2019
    12:40am
    And the LNP will never be happy till it robs everyone of their financial independence and become a slave of the state, they have already started that process thanks to Hockey & Abbott & continued with Morrison.
    So our only choice is to get rid of both LNP & ALP at the next election.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2019
    7:24am
    Yes, 1984, LNP has moved left and adopted the Labor strategy of destroying incentives and rewards and making everyone poor and dependant. Tragic! Leaves us with no real alternatives.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    8:10am
    8% return is unrealistic. Rental returns are currently at around 2% to 3% after costs.
    That's around $24 000 income. The $900 000 should be returning around the 8% though.
    It's still more than the aged pension but not having the concession card is a real issue for anyone with chronic illness. They can afford to live and pay for some services.

    Sorry Lothario but we got here thanks to years of Liberal Government ideology that private is better and now it's not as you end up just saving to be ripped off every way you turn while those who didn't save get looked after really well.

    The Liberals have been in power for most of the past 30 years and they own what is happening now. Howard had a clear mandate and set up all of this nonsense that now needs unwinding as it's not working as wages stagnate thanks to Liberal immigration policies designed to keep incomes low for all but the top few.

    Only alternative is to not save except into the home and the maximum allowed for a full aged pension.
    ardnher
    2nd Feb 2019
    10:52am
    do as Chris Bowen said if you dont like what they are intending to do re "franking credits" vote for someone else.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2019
    12:12pm
    Agree Rae and it will only get worse if Shorten gets in
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2019
    8:39pm
    I read part of his policy speech today and there's a glaring lie in it - or else he and his staff don't know what day it is! He claims someone with $3 mil in super and a private income of $250,000 ONLY pays tax on their private income and gets the income from the $3 mil in super totally tax free. He uses that claim to justify his policy on franking credits, totally ignoring the fact that the guy with $3 mil in super pays tax on the income from nearly half of it so will retain much of the benefit of franking credits as tax offsets.

    It should worry everyone greatly that someone so ignorant of facts and grossly inept is standing for the PM job!
    SFR
    1st Feb 2019
    11:27am
    I take it the the family home is mortgage free as are the investment properties. So in total $1.7 million is to shabby or $850k each & you still want a disability & carers pension. I don't think so.
    What are your investment properties returning, what is your super returning, a nice little income one would say.
    You're in a very good financial position that most of Australia's retirees would love to be in.
    Good luck with Centrelink to don't expect coming out high fiving
    TREBOR
    1st Feb 2019
    9:52pm
    Yes - those are the questions.....
    Rae
    3rd Feb 2019
    8:26am
    The couple's aged pension is worth around $900 000 now and you get that for not saving anything. These people fell into the trap of listening to Government and trusting them.

    Be better to keep 5 years money and the maximum savings for a full pension and hand everything else to the kids. Better for him and getting help and better for her worry free too.

    All that saving just causes a lot of problems. Those who spent up are the lucky ones now.

    There hasn't been income for most this last year. Returns are negative. Only money is in dividends and credits and they are about to stuff that too. Rental returns are pitiful and the markets losing money or just making a 2% or so. Term Deposits are down.

    No not saving and getting the full pension is definitely the best idea now.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2019
    4:28pm
    Absolutely, Rae. Savers are targets for nasty and discriminatory remarks by the green-eyed, but in fact pensioners are far better off - especially if they retain the max. allowed under the asset test. Easy to get $60,000 a year for a couple on the pension with, say $400K of assessable assets invested. Put the rest into the family home or give it to the kids. Just NOT worth bothering to save any more! And Shorten wants to make things much, much worse.
    Magic Touch
    1st Feb 2019
    12:22pm
    Centrelink don,t even gìve you the PCC card and you were be given SHC card under this goverment.
    JO
    1st Feb 2019
    2:32pm
    Make an appointment with Centrelink Financial Information Services 132 300.In person or can do phone appointments.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    2:40pm
    Don't waste their time he is going to get Zip.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2019
    4:23pm
    Wrong Robbo. His wife can very likley get a non-means tested carer payment. She should inquire.
    Paddington
    1st Feb 2019
    3:41pm
    Sorry for the MS and although you are well situated financially, you still need emotional support so tap into organisations that will help with the things that money cannot buy.
    Money does not solve everything and it is hard for you both and I hope you have family and friends to supply friendship and support.
    Knows-a-lot
    1st Feb 2019
    4:37pm
    Greedy parasites - doubtless LNP supporters.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    5:10pm
    Nah - he’s a champagne socialist
    Leaner through and through
    Captain
    3rd Feb 2019
    12:40pm
    Poor comment from both of you.
    KSS
    1st Feb 2019
    7:40pm
    Wow!Assets of a minimum $1.7 million and that is just investment property. What about super? Bank accounts? Could we be up to $2m? And they still expect a pension?

    When is enough enough?
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2019
    4:29pm
    Probably needs to be up to $2 mil to be as well off as on a pension with all the accompanying benefits, given the cost of health care today.
    JayUK
    1st Feb 2019
    7:58pm
    Kindly said Paddington...the man certainly has health problems.
    TREBOR
    1st Feb 2019
    9:45pm
    Even if he is ineligible for pension, his income should determine whether or not he receives a health card, which would lower the cost of treatments (depending on the quacks involved, of course) and certainly the costs of medications.

    Having talked with people on self supporting income while disabled (maybe working etc), it seems there are quite a few discrepancies in the way health care cards are handed out.... perhaps this needs a review...

    (Vote 1 - Trebor for Lifetime President)....
    Curious
    1st Feb 2019
    9:49pm
    Hi David,

    Really sorry to hear about your MS. Your wife needs a lot of support as a carer. I remember when I cared for my late father.

    I don't know whether you are qualified for NDIS. Please try to make an inquiry about your eligibility as it is not means tested. Here is a quote from my search on the Internet: -

    "The good news is that the NDIS is not means tested. The support an individual receives is determined by his/her functional impairment rather than income or assets. ... As individual circumstances, condition or needs change, NDIS participants will be able to apply to have their funding plan adjusted accordingly.Oct 7, 2015"

    I hope, this is a help to you. I wish you and wife all the best.
    Curious
    1st Feb 2019
    9:58pm
    David,

    Here is a link to see who can be eligible for NDIS: -

    https://zestcare.net.au/care-services/disability-support-ndis/am-i-eligible-ndis/

    I am not sure whether you may be qualified under "muscular dystrophy". Please, talk to your doctor, who looks after you and take it from there.

    Best of luck.

    2nd Feb 2019
    7:39am
    It sure sounds like he should be more than comfortable financially, but we don't know what his income is, and we don't know what his health costs are or how capable he and his wife are, now - at a challenging time - of managing their affairs. It's entirely possible to be struggling despite their apparent wealth. It may be simply that they need advice on accessing the superannuation and managing their assets to ensure the income is adequate to live on.

    If they have both worked up to now, they may not have planned or investigated to understand how to make their assets replace salary income.

    A little compassion and understanding would be nice, rather than the nasty remarks evidencing deep green eyes. Yes, we'd all like to have those assets, but having them doesn't automatically mean he isn't facing difficulties. Curious was compassionate enough to mention the NDIS. Perhaps we could all stop assuming he's just greedy and recognize a call for help as indicative that he really doesn't understand the financial world and has been plunged into fear and confusion by his illness.

    I recall, many years ago, a recently widowed woman, left very wealthy by a grazier who owned a large and profitable enterprise, announced she was off to apply for a widow's pension. There were a lot of similarly nasty comments circulating, but the reality was that the woman was grieving. She was in a state of stress and confusion because her husband had always handled finances and she had never had to think about money. She simply didn't know what she had or what she might be able to do with it, much less how to arrange her affairs to provide money for day to day expenses. All she knew was that her rock was no longer there to support her and she still needed to put food on the table somehow. She wasn't really looking for a handout from the taxpayer. She was crying for help. And maybe this sick man is doing the same?

    But I guess it's easier, for some, to be judgmental and nasty. Compassion and understanding is a challenge, especially when jealousy raises its ugly head.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    8:17am
    Lovely comment Rainey and so very true.
    Magic Touch
    2nd Feb 2019
    9:39am
    OGR you are right, the property investment look like they got asset but maybe still under the Bank not 100% their yet and the asset test depand to certain area which are very high and country area are low.
    OGR so you are very true may be a big medical problem.
    old frt
    2nd Feb 2019
    11:55pm
    Well done Rainey , how true the green eyed monster is alive and envious.
    What the green eyed monsters don't recognise is the fact that David and his wife have worked hard and obviously made sacrifices during the working careers to save for their retirement only to have the rug pulled out from under them.
    The minimum they should receive is the carers allowance and the full concession card regardless of their financial situation, they have worked for it and all you wingers can go and build a bridge. GET OVER IT!
    Good luck to you & your lovely wife .

    3rd Feb 2019
    4:21pm
    I believe David's wife can get a carer payment that is NOT means tested. There are two types. One is means tested. The other is not. She should inquire with C/link.


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