Corinne lost her widow’s allowance when travelling overseas and wants to know what she needs to do to get it back, or if there are any alternative options that may be available.
I have been living in Australia for 40 years and I will claim my pension on my 65th year, which will be next year, when I’m 66.
I have not accumulated superannuation, as I raised my two children while my partner was the one working.
When we separated, I raised the youngest of my children and then started to work. I accumulated next to nothing in super and then studied massage therapy. But during the time I worked in this area I couldn’t afford to contribute towards my own superannuation.
What amount of money can I expect without superannuation and is this a unique circumstance? What do they take into consideration during the pension assessment?
I had to go overseas last year as well as this year, as my mother was very ill. She passed away last year. I returned to Australia, but I decided to go back overseas this year to offer support to other family members. I was then on widow allowance, but upon return, I lost that privilege. I have applied for a review with Centrelink, because without my widow allowance, I lose benefits, such as concessions for vehicle registration, and other similar payments.
Are there exceptional circumstances that would allow me back on the widow’s allowance? What else can I do to regain this payment?
I would also like to know if I can receive my Age Pension in Europe once I become eligible. Can I move to France permanently and receive the Age Pension or a part pension?
A. Your situation is not unique and there are many women who find themselves in similar situations, with very little money in superannuation. Without knowing your full circumstances, you will most likely be eligible for the full rate of the Age Pension, which is currently $916.30 per fortnight (including supplement and energy supplement), although this may be higher by the time you are eligible, as these rates are indexed.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to reapply for the widow’s allowance as new claims for this allowance closed on 1 July last year. You may instead be able to apply for a Newstart Allowance. If you claim Newstart Allowance and meet Widow Allowance eligibility, you’re exempt from Mutual Obligation Requirements. This means that you don’t need to look for work.
With regard to your third question, you need to be an Australian resident to claim the Age Pension, but once you start receiving the Age Pension you will be able to move overseas. There are rules regarding this, but you can read more about claiming the Age Pension overseas on our website.
If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.