Centrelink Q&A: Travel limits unfair, says Narelle

Narelle believes travel shouldn’t just be for those who are able bodied.

Travel limits unfair: Narelle

Living with a disability can’t be easy and when it’s compounded by what seems to be discrimination, it makes people angry. Here, Narelle has her say on pension portability rules.

Narelle

I am upset about the restrictive travel rules that are in place for those of us on a Disability Support Pension. They state that while overseas, we can only receive four weeks of our pension over a 12-month period. I asked Centrelink why they were so restrictive, and it stated that as it’s a support pension, I shouldn’t be able to travel overseas on it. In fact, they said I should be too incapacitated to travel. But I’m hearing impaired.

According to the Human Rights Anti-Discrimination Legislation, this practice is discriminatory, as it affects the quality of life, freedom of movement and choices. It’s one rule for those with a disability and another for those without. That is discrimination in itself – and it’s demeaning. 

I have no super but I’m a good saver, so I am able to do a little bit of travel. People who have mobility problems can still fly or cruise and are encouraged to do so, but Centrelink’s pension portability rules of 28 days only per 12 months places restrictions on us. Surely this isn’t right. I know of no other country that has this restriction in place.

Response provided by a Department of Human Services spokesperson

Since 1 January 2015, Disability Support Pension recipients are generally able to receive their payment overseas for temporary absences for up to four weeks in a 12-month rolling period.

These portability arrangements are compatible with relevant Australian human rights and anti-discrimination legislation that protects a person’s right to social security, freedom of movement and an adequate standard of living.

What do you think? Are such restrictions discriminatory?

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Centrelink's dodgy deals





    COMMENTS

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    patti
    25th Jun 2018
    10:19am
    Yes, the travel restrictions are discriminatory. A friend, who has hearing issues wanted to travel to the UK to visit her family. They would provide her airfare and a family member would travel here and back with her both ways. Why should she be restricted to four weeks? the family wanted to spend some time with their mother, who lives in Australia permanently. This is blatantly discriminatory
    jackie
    25th Jun 2018
    11:09am
    patti..I agree but they think it is fine for Mr Joe Hockey to live overseas permanently and collect a pension while he is working...This Government and it's members all have double standards.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    11:45am
    So does Labrador.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    11:46am
    politician super needs to be reviewed and revised - retrospectively - while ever they are garnering income elsewhere, they don't get it.

    It's not like they earned it.... or saved it up.
    Couldabeen
    25th Jun 2018
    12:20pm
    Speaking to Trebor. The Parliamentary Pensions have been significantly reviewed. Remember that they are a Superannuation Pension and the same as any superannuation fund that you may've chosen to enter into, have restrictions on how they are accessed. Anyone who entered Parliament after 2007 cannot access before a nominal retirement age and the same as any other super scheme, the payments are independent of any other income or assets that the beneficiary may have.
    Remember that if you were/are eligible to TPI/TTI it is independent of any other income or assets you may have and is conditional on you being unable to work more than 8 hours per week. (There is more to it than that, but this is not the time and place to enter into that.)
    Rosret
    25th Jun 2018
    1:11pm
    Jackie, the Honourable Joe Hockey is Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America. He is not living overseas on a pension.

    Anyone on a private superannuation retirement scheme can live anywhere they please.

    The reason it was introduced was because our very new nation is now very multi-cultured and a lot of people are just here long enough to claim a pension and then return their homeland. It means our social welfare money is not being kept in Australia and we won't have enough in reserve to keep supporting the next generation of pension dependent retirees.

    Also, I think you will find that Joe Hockey's income tax is funding several pensions.
    Sundays
    25th Jun 2018
    1:43pm
    Couldabeen, the Parliamentary Scheme is not the same as anyone else’s. They may have tightened the access rules to bring them in line. However, the contributions they make do not reflect the amount they receive as a pension. A scheme which lets you receive 50% of your salary, indexed for the rest of your life plus supplements after 8 years contribution is an impossible dream for the average worker
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:36pm
    Couldabeen - not any superannuation scheme anywhere near what anyone else gets - unless you are the big boss of a corporation or whatever.

    Good work when you sit on the board of AustraliaCorp and vote yourself magnificent perks that nobody else gets, and for which there is absolutely no need or reason in this day of part-time casual or contracted employees - which status ideally fits politicians.

    NOBODY givers a contracted employee or a part-timer/temp a mega-income for life after their contract is expired.

    Joe Hockey would fund more if he paid full tax., which I'll bet he doesn't, since he'd know all the lurks and perks.
    GeorgeM
    25th Jun 2018
    5:01pm
    Couldabeen: You are totally misinformed. Politicians rules were changed since 2004.
    Politicians receive an UNFUNDED defined benefit as Pension (talking of politicians since 2004) WITHOUT ANY ASSETS, INCOME OR PARTNER TESTS, and THEY CAN GET IT FROM AGE 55 (GRADUALLY INCREASING IT TO 60), whereas you have tried to confuse others that it is just like other people's Superannuation!!! I have given a link below of where you can find from the Australian Parliament's Govt website the correct information. As it is a detailed document to read (from 2010), I have summarised very briefly the key information below:

    The current system allows MPs access to GREAT pensions at 55-60 years (latter age limit is being phased in by 2025), with NO ASSETS or INCOME TESTS EITHER, after a mere 8 years service, and STARTING at $92,500 (now increased to $103,545) based on 50% of salary of $185,000 (which is now increased to $207,090), and increasing with years of service to 75% for 18 years service) - FOR LIFE. Also, they can have additional pensions if they are Ministers, etc.

    Link for above Pensions info (note the Table for Retirements Benefits, with the definition of Annual Allowance being the Base Salary defined in the beginning):

    https://www.aph.gov.au/about_parliament/parliamentary_departments/parliamentary_library/pubs/bn/1011/superannuationbenefits

    The above information reveals how well they have looked after themselves!!! And why they don't care about anyone else's pensions and happily stuff everyone else with frequent rule changes which don't affect them!
    Rosret
    26th Jun 2018
    9:19am
    George - parliamentarians give up their career and dedicate enormous amount of their life to public evaluation and scrutiny while managing our country. If we want the best then we need to elect the best and pay them their worth. They are no where near a CEO salary - not even in the same galaxy.
    Very few people have the charisma, intelligence and staying power to be a politician and those that do should be rewarded for their endurance.
    Triss
    26th Jun 2018
    9:54am
    Not sure I agree with you, Rosret. The number of politicians who have rorted the system, been put in jail for various crimes or who use taxpayers’ money as their personal piggy bank is enormous.
    Anonymous
    26th Jun 2018
    11:55am
    We are seeing extensive corruption and abuse of public money by politicians, and the nation is in a dreadful mess. Can we really claim they are doing a good job? Frankly, I think less educated and skilled folk who would happily work for less than half the pay would do a far better job. ''Pay peanuts you get moneys'' is the saying, but who ever evidenced monkeys wouldn't do a better job! Clearly, pay generously, you get greedy, self-serving incompetents with no sincere intent to do what's good for the nation.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    6:35pm
    Many such have 'careers' as office girls and boys and the like - where else would they cop $200k a year plus another $2.3M average in perks and (gasps) entitlements.
    Old Geezer
    28th Jun 2018
    2:52pm
    OGR it is truly amazing how anyone richer than you is always corrupt.
    Anonymous
    28th Jun 2018
    7:54pm
    It's truly amazing, OG, how you continue to twist every comment and interpret it in a manner that has no connection whatever to what was said.

    We ARE seeing extensive corruption and abuse of public money by politicians. That's a fact. Nothing to do with who is richer than me and who isn't. Just a FACTUAL STATEMENT about politicians.
    whatsupdok
    25th Jun 2018
    10:29am
    It's absolutely crap. They change the rules with no consideration and when ever they want.
    gerry
    25th Jun 2018
    10:31am
    who pays for your holidays"? any taxes that you paid were for kids to go to school,medical expenses, roads ,hospitals and all the other nanny state things like giving fat people operations cos they didn't exercise and eat properly,,and people who flood universities studying art..I lived in Asia where dole bludgers in their tens of thousands were living on disability and living nicely.Disabilty is for when you cant do normal things like walking and travel
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    11:48am
    Disability covers many things.... you're not going to argue that the Diggers with PTSD but otherwise mobile etc shouldn't get their disability payments, are you?

    Quite a few of those in Asia etc.... I knew some who wanted to buy a hotel at Vung Tau ....
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    11:59am
    What is this? Disinformation? Here we are with centrelink saying you can only go overseas for 4 weeks in a 12 month period. And you say that There are people living on disability.

    How come?

    Are you also saying that people with a disability should confine themselves to a dark room and not move for ever. Disability is suppose to help them to live as normal a life as possible within the constraints of their disability. I am sure that most people would prefer to be disabled and be able to work.

    Being physically disabled does not prevent travel. There are such things as wheelchairs, help on the planes including bringing the wheel chair or hiring one at the other end.

    What you are saying is that they should be in the equivalent of prison.

    I also wonder what you are escaping from by preferring to live in Asia.
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    12:02pm
    I am so disgusted by this Gerrys content that I am making mistakes.I should have said-

    I am sure that most people would prefer not to be disabled and be able to work.
    Couldabeen
    25th Jun 2018
    12:27pm
    Speaking to Wstaton. No, Centrelink is not saying that you can only go overseas for four weeks in any 12 month period. You can go anywhere you like for as long as you like, but don't expect the Australian tax payer to sponsor your holiday. The consideration is based on the concept that to be eligible for a DSP, the recipient is "handicaped" to an extent that such travel is impractical and being able to be away from their usual social and medical support environment suggests that they may not be incapacitated to a level that meets the DSP criteria.
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    12:36pm
    Is that so Couldabeen.

    I think most people would have realized my intent with the 4 weeks limit as this what this particular form comments are about..

    Apart from this what you are saying is someone without legs and without arms but require very little medical attention apart from having to use a motorized wheel chair cannot travel! Even if they are accompanied by a family member.

    What balderdash.
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    12:39pm
    Sorry I forgot. Can't travel for more that 4 weeks in a 12 month period without losing their pension. Just in case you do not understand my reply.
    Hasbeen
    25th Jun 2018
    4:07pm
    Come on people.

    Pensioners of any type can do what ever they like for as long as they like. The only thing is that our kids stop paying them after a month. Sounds fair enough to me
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:41pm
    Our kids don't pay them - they are paid out of the Social Security Fund that was absorbed into Consolidated Revenue...

    I thought the idea was that after six weeks or so offshore you lost your Utilities Allowance... in which case, as I said - the bills don't stop at home while you're gallivanting around the world on a walking stick.

    Did the rules change or is this only applicable to DSP?

    I'm getting set to travel - got my disabled ex along - the prospect is daunting... I can pick up one bag and be gone... hope on a train or a bus and be gone to the next town/city ....with her it's always special considerations and lots of baggage (of the physical sort + the rest)....

    How can we walk the Via Dolorosa in her shape?
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    4:47am
    Oh - and gerry - if they're on DSP they are not 'dole bludgers' - neither are people forced onto Unemployment Benefits, none of whom would be paid if they were living in Asia.

    Your attitude is part of the problem, not the solution.
    Suze
    28th Jun 2018
    3:50pm
    Agree Hasbeen .... it is more than fair.
    ozrog
    1st Jul 2018
    3:02pm
    Its misinformation to say you lose your dsp if you are OS for more than 4wks on a 12 month period.
    You just don't recieve dsp when OS but as soon as you re enter Australia it starts again. There are problems if you stay OS for longer than 12 weeks.
    jonboy
    25th Jun 2018
    10:41am
    Centrelink is DEMEANING full stop. And even worse we now have 65 year olds having to visit Centrelink fortnightly with a list of jobs they have appled for!!
    ANd being after they probably lost their job for being old!
    And this is when there are no real jobs and very few for near Pensioners who should be relaxing STRESS free after a hard working life.
    Cant we even enjoy our twilight years, and maybe even do that LAST overseas trip with the stress of Centrelink hounding us for being ABLE to do one?
    jackie
    25th Jun 2018
    11:18am
    jonboy...Most older Australians that are forced to work beyond the proper retirement age are living off their super not Centrelink....Our politicians like Hanson and her Liberal party are milking the system for themselves. Our Prime minister has given himself a pay rise the same time he has created more pay cuts for low paid workers. His simplistic approach to women carers over 60, is to get better jobs.
    Triss
    26th Jun 2018
    10:08am
    I notice as well, Jackie, that our PM cancelled the Gold Pass to ease the burden on taxpayers...cancelled it for everyone but past PMs and their spouses which he will be one even though he and Rudd etc are multi millionaires and quite able to pay for their own airfares. Never put a wealthy person into a position of power as they will start lining their own pockets immediately.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jul 2018
    2:23pm
    I assume people know that ALL of Malcolm Turnbull's salary goes to charity.
    Ted Wards
    25th Jun 2018
    10:47am
    Maybe other countries don't have these restrictions because no other country has the welfare payment system Australia does. Just a thought. If you're staying with family I think that's a whole different kettle of fish as family ties are very important.
    jackie
    25th Jun 2018
    11:12am
    Ted Wards....Other countries have much better welfare systems than Australia...That is why Australia always compares against the developing countries which are progressing faster than Australia too.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    4:58pm
    Family ties very important!! Use skype , viber or the many other platforms to keep in touch ans see your "loved" (ugh!!) ones.
    Meg
    25th Jun 2018
    11:23am
    This is an extremely unfair policy. People on disability pensions are allowed to have some assets, and this can include cash. So what if they want to use their cash to take a holiday? Are their lives to be made even more miserable by this draconian policy? Or what if other tax payers, such as family members or friends were to pay for an overseas holiday for someone on a disability pension? What could possibly be wrong with that? Four weeks is a lousy restriction. Frankly, I'm tired of the beat up by this current government.
    Rae
    25th Jun 2018
    1:54pm
    Yes they could have made it 2 months but maybe only every three years or some thing. 4 weeks is okay if you travel each year but if it is that once in a lifetime trip then it's simply not long enough.

    The biggest problem with fascist governments or communist governments is the draconian rules that make no sense.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:44pm
    Are we sneakily reverting to the First and Second Class Pensioners that Howard was forced into resolving way back, just before his political death, when DSP didn't get Utilities Allowance? If you're Disabled somehow you are a lesser being and have fewer and lower entitlements.... hmmmmmm........ HMMMMMMMMM ....

    I sense battle .....
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    6:50pm
    Four weeks is silly for older people who can't get around as quickly etc....and who might want to see a few things before they shuffle off this mortal coil.

    Typical overfed and over-rated government - both the political 'leadership' and those who work at the top of the PS... the politician's lap dogs.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    6:59pm
    TREBOR, it is not always the fault of any Government. The voting public are so complacent and cannot see what is ahead of them that they continue to vote for the immoral and dare I say the corrupt Libs/Lab/Greens. Yes the PS is the engine for these politicians who once elected forget all the promises they made. The rigid mindset of the majority of voters is the key. Unless they change their voting habits expect more (and even worse) of the same.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    11:45am
    Hmmm - an approved pension is an approved pension - the bills don't go away for home/residence etc while you're away. Funny how that was an argument put up by the Mighty Abbott to justify fat cat sheilas copping PPL at an exorbitant rate - the bills don't just go away - but it seems only for those doing well.

    This is what you get for electing a government that has no real value, and a mean streak a mile long, even when it is cloaked in smiles and glad-handing.

    Labrador won't change it, either - nobody else in the nation has their income restricted for traveling overseas. I can just imagine the outcry - you there, Joe Bloggs - we're not going to pay your holiday pay since you are planning to holiday overseas...
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    11:54am
    If you want to live overseas then go overseas and apply for your welfare over there instead of expecting the taxpayer to support you while you jet around the world.
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    12:21pm
    Typical OG comment.

    This is not about living overseas permanently. It's about people being able to travel.

    I tentatively agree with your out of context comment. If people who get a government pension and decide to live overseas without a valid reason should they get a pension. Should they be contributing to the countrys economy they are living in instead of spending it in Australia and contributing to our economy.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    12:42pm
    If they can afford to go overseas for more than a month then they should not get welfare at all.
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    12:50pm
    How many of these disabled people get their travel paid for them by kindle relatives and such. One already mentioned.
    Rosret
    25th Jun 2018
    1:16pm
    I think they go overseas and live cheaply with family or friends for extended, if not permanent periods of time.
    I think if we had the British pension system then this wouldn't be so much of an issue.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    5:15pm
    Ebergeezer is the one who goes around searching all their letter boxes and hacking their government files to see how much they get and where they get it from....

    That's the only way he would have any idea of what other people's incomes are.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    5:20pm
    OG does that include Tassie!!!
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    6:54pm
    In a global economy a pension should be portable to anywhere at the same rate.... if this nation, as its 'political liedership' insist on saying, benefits so much from the global economy - why is it then justifiable to cut a pension to someone offshore?

    Isn't the idea that by propping up those nations less fortunate (LMAO) there will be a trickle-down or flow-through to OUR economy?

    Take your average Balinese bartender.... (please!) ... if more Aussies on pension spend to suck down his jungle juice, his boss will earn more and more of the big moolah, and surely that means the bartender will be paid more via trickledown....................... in his dreams....
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    6:59pm
    .. and thus service will improve and more Aussies will go there and all the Balinese bartenders will be investing in sheep stations and coral mining ventures here and Australia will prosper........ in your wildest dreams....

    To say otherwise means the global economy sold to us as a huge benefit is a total lie....... what a surprise...

    As I said many moons ago - to make your average impoverished Asian 'equal' in prosperity to Australians, Australians would need to drop around $17 an hour minimum (that was then - I worked out a formula)..... and that would still only 'raise' the same number of Asians to the same level.... and not only that but in those near-feudal nations all the money accrues to the Big Boys who disburse the funding generously to their minions (in a pig's eye)....
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    7:00pm
    I should have included your average Greek olive painter - that's how they make Kalamatas (yum)... by pantning green olives like a Queenslander is employed to bend bananas.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    7:04pm
    TREBOR , Globalism has destroyed the moral fibre of all the main political parties not just here in Australia but elsewhere, especially in Western Europe. The modern day politician cares not about the needs of their country anymore. All we get today is the Globalist rhetoric.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    4:50am
    Our current Great Leader keeps all his cash stashed offshore and in global corporations 'so as to avoid any conflicts of interest here'.... I can see no higher conflict of interest than being the elected leader of a nation while sustaining only global corporations.

    Leads me to the idea that people over a certain net wealth have no place in politics due to endless conflicts of interest.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    6:39am
    What else would you expect a Goldman Sach Partner to do? Of course his money is in a safe tax haven rather than in a bank here. You'd have to be crazy to keep large deposits in our banks now wouldn't you?
    Rotoha
    25th Jun 2018
    12:08pm
    It is absolutely ludicrous and I agree it is discriminatory. It is hard to survive on the amount we receive but if we manage to save a bit or have travel gifted to us, we have to go without finances after 4 weeks? What other group of Australian's does this apply to? Aged pensioners don't have this restriction. The Government is wrong in it's restrictive ruling and wrong in saying it isn't discriminatory. Class action anyone?
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    6:40am
    Every single other PAYG employee without long service leave entitlements. In our modern no union world this is a lot of workers including all the part timers and the casuals.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    6:44am
    Aged Pensioners also have restrictions. So it applies to all dependent on someone else to pay living costs. If you save up like crazy for years like most self funded retirees then you answer to no one but yourself at that point. Of course those savers don't get public money but that isn't classed as discriminatory either.
    Not a Bludger
    25th Jun 2018
    12:16pm
    This rule is absolutely right.
    These allowances are my taxpayers money and deserve respect from recipients.
    The are not a right but a privilege and should not be paid to those choosing to live outside of Australia for any length of time.
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    12:27pm
    Tis amazing how many people who comment like this and probably have never suffered a setback in their lives.

    It's the same as these people who are on super high salaries (like some of our politicians) Who keep saying if you want more money get a better job, Gee Let us millions of people with a normal job and can't afford some luxuries can go out and get a better job. Can someone tell be where these millions of better jobs are.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    12:43pm
    If having cancer twice is not a setback I have no idea what is.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:46pm
    We're all taxpayers and the funding comes from the Social security Fund that was absorbed into Consolidated Revenue.

    It's not 'your' money - it's theirs.

    No argument there in any way.

    Does the dreaded canker prevent you from traveling, OG - and will your funds be cut if you go offshore?
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    4:54am
    If the DSP cuts out at a level of nearly $2000 pf (or is it per week?), and eligibility (entitlement to payment) it is reviewed after two years of earning - why is it not available for two years anywhere in the world?
    lynndi
    25th Jun 2018
    12:51pm
    Centrelink has it all wrong. Last year we had to go to the UK as My husband father has dementia and we have a seriously ill grandchild in the UK. Where dads dementia wasn't too bad , by the time we waited the 12 months he didn't remember us. Mum paid for our flights and we stayed with family. No holiday , we stayed indoors the 4 weeks. Whilst there we had to look after the other grandkids are the boy 8 was admitted to hospital twice. We arrived back into the country 4 hours late due to flight delays and both of our pensions were stopped automatically. No letter until 4 weeks later and no pension payment. We had to reapply. Now this year we face dad dying, and our grandson having a bowel , liver panaceas and Duodenum transplant. We can't go to help , support or if the case either of either of them dying. So we can't spend time with them before they die , attend their funerals or give mum or daughter moral support. We dont have savings or investments and rely totally week to week on our pension. This law is too restrictive. We feel so discriminated against .
    KSS
    25th Jun 2018
    1:34pm
    Unfortunately lynndi, sad though your personal circumstances may be, they are not unusual and frankly part of the 'price' we pay for having family all over the world.

    As a Grandparent you have virtually no rights to demand access to grandchildren no matter what the circumstances even if they lived in the next street. To expect the Government to pay for your trip 'home' is a bit much. Likewise with ageing parents - and I have been through it twice myself - but it is not the job of the Government and taxpayers to fund these trips.

    It is not discriminatory either. Consider this.

    There are millions of working Australians who have close family members overseas, parents, siblings, children etc. The person usually has just 4 weeks annual leave % if you are really lucky). Is it discriminatory for the employer to only allow that 4 weeks of paid leave to allow that employee to travel overseas to see, care for, nurse a family member? Of course not. If the employer wants longer they take unpaid leave or leave the job.

    Being allowed 4 weeks travel overseas on a pension seems equal and fair to me. If you want or need longer you can have it. You just have to be self funding and apply to have your Government support re-instated on your return.
    Rae
    25th Jun 2018
    2:06pm
    People with no savings or investments and needing to work as KSS suggests would not be able to go either. In fact very few people could organise to go. Almost 70%of people spend all their money ever pay and will never experience the freedom that long time savings discipline allows. It's not discrimination at all.

    This was a very good point KSS.
    lynndi
    25th Jun 2018
    3:34pm
    You miss my point we have dying relatives one a boy with a rare condition the only one in the UK and if he is told that they cant do no more and has months to live we can't go see him. Once this line he has gets blocked that is all they can do , he is 8 . The same with Husbands father he has limited life and it will be quick. We cant afford to pay for flights ,but even if his family pays, we arent allowed to go see him ,or go to his funeral . And I don't expect the government to pay for flights, we have no money left after paying bills and grociers, no way we can save for any holiday ,least of all a overseas. But our bills dont stop because we want to see a loved one before they die or attend a funeral. his family pooled together to get us there last time.
    KSS
    25th Jun 2018
    3:58pm
    I understand your predicament and am not without sympathy.

    But it is not discrimination for the Government to say you can travel for 4 weeks and still receive the pension. You are allowed to go and stay for as long as you like. You just cannot continue to draw welfare beyond the 4 weeks. You will be able to reinstate your claim on your return.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:47pm
    It's a global economy out there - travel to see family should be totally free....
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    7:04pm
    Best still - if the aim of this financial gulag for DSP travelers is to retain money in Australia to support our economy - all payments to anyone going off shore should be stopped at the gate....

    Makes sense..... I've been advocating a Gateway Tax on moneys coming in and going out.... such a tax at a relatively low rate would solve all economic and fiscal woes.

    All the cash Malcolm moves around offshore (he says to prevent any conflicts of interest here - I say to avoid paying tax here) would be taxed as the transaction goes through - 'over the twelve mile boundary' so to speak... even online....
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    7:05pm
    All politician (etc) retirement funds would similarly accrue tax as they come in or are transferred to their bank account.

    I'm warming to this idea..... more and more.....
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    10:34pm
    ... and Fat Joe's salary - do hope he keeps his mouth shut - we don;t want to be at war with the US over another gaffe.... with all of Trump's rhetoric about America and its workers first - he'd better not try on any of his 'lifters and leaners'....

    But then - I suppose he would drop that coat and exchange it for a new one, same as his adamant stand while at uni to never have student fees.....(LMAO) .. when it comes to money - Good Old
    Fat Joe has no solid ethics and any stand is malleable to suit.

    Watching the antics of politicians past and present is enough to make you laugh - it's better than crying.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    10:44pm
    TREBOR the many lamp posts will come in hamdy when the time comes. Plenty of swingers out there.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    5:05am
    The government isn't paying for 'your trip home' - you are paying for it out of your own accumulated funds and/or with a little help from your friends..... meanwhile without any sustenance money, your bills etc at home are mounting. Sustenance money is YOUR money for your sustenance from the moment it is approved, so how does an individual suddenly not require sustenance when they are somewhere else?

    Some of you need to resolve the impasse created by your mindset.

    Make rules for permanent residents offshore in 'the old country' - or adopt The Trebor Scheme that stipulates you will only receive pension proportionate to your years spent here and not necessarily the full pension/super (on that issue - if we create an absolute superannuation scheme, what happens to SAHPs? They starve in retirement? A minimum contribution into the fund equivalent to the Social Security Fund is required for all per year).

    On the other hand, I am rather conflicted about the born and bred Australian citizen living permanently offshore - as long as they remain a citizen of this nation, they are entitled to benefit of it once approved for pension etc ..... on the other hand should they be receiving it since it is a direct drain on this nation as much as rich people hoarding their money offshore and in offshore purchases etc is) - I'll need to discuss this with the YLC Kommissariat and derive an answer...

    I'd like to avoid any final solution such as Fat Hank's (aka Jabba The Hutt)... such as cutting them off entirely after any number of weeks...
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    5:15am
    To expand a little - suppose Luigi Papadopolous Kazinsky Al Akbar spends twenty years in Oz when a working life is fifty years.... is it not meet therefor that Luigi receives 40% of Pension if he lives permanently Faroffarea , his 'old country'? Instead of the full pension.... if Luig - in the unlikely event that he does - actually inputs MORE to his ARPF (Australian Retirement Packaging Fund) and then leaves permanently, surely it is not too difficult a figure to calculate how much extra his Entitlement is under that system (The Trebor Scheme).

    Then you have to be alert to a sudden input of mega collars to 'top up' that account, and consider the merit of anyone doing so (as fat cats do now to top up their accounts for their fat tax-free retirement), and consider whether or not they should receive a lump sum refund of SEF (Sudden Excess Funding) or SEPTIC (Sudden Excessive Payment To Increase Collateral) and then calculated pension separate.

    There are always countless situation you need to be aware of and monitor and cover in advance..... so as to avoid rorting, as the current superannuation system has shown us all too clearly.

    With the Social Security Fund treated properly as a superannuation fund, that would be a simple calculation (it is anyway for anyone with basic mathematical skills) ...
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    6:59am
    TREBOR 'deeming" does away with any sort of mathematics and you end up with made up figures.

    Explain why someone who pays 46% of their Superannuation in as post tax non concessional and then the entire amount is now "deemed" to be income. No it doesn't make mathematical sense but I don't believe Hockey could figure any of it out and the Senate isn't terribly numerate either.

    Expecting fairness in Australia is the problem. There is no fair now it's just another "newspeak" thing they use to confuse a poorly educated population.
    Rosret
    25th Jun 2018
    1:01pm
    I think we all know why this rule was introduced. We are not a British colony anymore and our social welfare money was just moving overseas.

    The Government want money given out of the budget to remain in Australia.

    However I think they could at least determine whether the person is an Australian citizen who has contributed to Australia through taxation or whether they are just using the benevolence of a generous social welfare culture.

    They just need a few more qualifications and modifications to the blanket rule.

    As for the lady who was treated so rudely. You definitely need a teflon coat when dealing with Centrelink they have been trained to be nasty on the phone.
    It breaks my heart when I hear people with financial and wellness issues being denigrated on the phone. They have no idea of the damage control we have to go into after dealing with the aftermath.
    Why does the Government even bother with initiatives like Beyond Blue and Black Dog when they have Centrelink to nullify any forward progress?
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:50pm
    So we stop all payments to politicians past and present while they are offshore?

    Sounds good to me.... might force them to cut their paid for trips short, which reminds me - the Annual Flight of The Politicians to Warmer Northern Climes and Specifically Attractive Tourist Destinations is underway, neh? Or nearly so....??

    Need to go to London to check over how they market toilet paper or something... that'll required a committee on full pay and perks...
    Rosret
    26th Jun 2018
    9:31am
    Trebor Politicians do need to travel. It is amazing how different the real world is compared to the media window is presented to us.
    Communication stops wars. Understanding breads acceptance. Trading brings global growth.
    A pensioner on the other hand spends Australian dollars overseas. So unless we have an equal number of tourists to offset their $12-25K a year then it is not serving our country.
    Perhaps if they had a deal where the time was extended on a pro-rata basis if they bought Qantas airline tickets rather than from a foreign airline.
    Japan solved this problem by buying stores and hotels in the Gold Coast and the money goes directly back to Japan. Britain did the same thing with Hong Kong. Perhaps Australia needs to think similarly and start buying real estate in foreign countries to return our money home.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    10:22am
    Our free trade agreements mean we can't buy property in many countries, Ros... either that or you are forced to have a local as 50% owner with you...

    We don't get to buy property in Japan or China, whereas our gates are wide open, and this form of tariff barrier is as ignored as the Chinese tariff of 15%, while we have none.

    It's a question of you controlling the market or the market controlling you - and Australia is adept at the latter.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    10:23am
    .. and the argument is over the 'reason's politicians 'need' to travel ...... and somehow fit in a nice tourist trip at the same time on our expense account.
    Grey Voter
    25th Jun 2018
    1:42pm
    Sometimes I wonder if I am living in wealthy Australia or in a third world country.....may be worse.....in a country where there are so many politicians that the goal posts change at their will and whim. Shame on the way we pensioners and other in similar situations are made to feel guilty that our economically strong country is supporting us in our old age. Perhaps building nuclear submarines at a cost of tens of BILIONS of dollars is far more important to these suckers.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:54pm
    We are living in a Third World country and have been for decades now. We even have our ruling oligarchy who spirit the billions out of the Treasury away to the Caymans for their own benefit...

    It's called the Futures Fund set up by Don Juan Huarte and Don Pedro Castella.... and we have yet another Downer seeking a spot in the family business with all the perks.... it's becoming seriously dynastic as well as Third World Banana Republic - El Grande Republica da San Austrador.... senors, senoras - only the ruling clique can get a spot in the family business - without the cigars and sugar and the thriving cocaine trade........
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    5:02pm
    Third World, so much favoured by our political elite. Our cities have become havens for all forms of criminal activity associated with 3rd world nations. All intentional and progressing very nicely.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    5:21pm
    It never ceases to amaze me that the hubris of politicians extends to seeking to revert everyone not 'on the inside' into neo-serfs and impoverished peasants.

    One sure way to wreck an economy... and ruin a nation.

    I used to drive around Sydney all night doing security work - never armed etc - nowadays you'd be taking your life in your hands... the only good thing about the increasing and growing crime wave is that the police now have a real job to do instead of 'rousting' anyone out on his own at night - something that bizarrely happened to me in the hands of a burn-out case on night while I was working. Of course he's now retired on a good wicket.... deserved prison.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    5:21am
    To expand further on the family/crony dynastic aspect of Australian politics - we have, for example, the Young Libs and the Young Labs - who get to learn the ropes as they go along, and who are eventually 'harvested' for a gig as an elected representative or some form of adviser or staffer to an elected representative.

    This ensures a certain homogeneity in their attitudes and policy perspective, and guarantees that ONLY those who are 'part of the family' will ever get a gig in one or more of these lucrative positions.

    In this case 'the family' is rather like a Mafia family - not all are blood members, but rather a group with nearly precisely similar approaches to 'issues' etc, thus guaranteeing solidarity of purpose.

    Juz bis'ness, you unnerstan'? Not'ing personal.... we only remove your pension toes one at a time for policy reasons, Hokay?
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:02am
    Yes TREBOR. You only have to look at the number of politicians who arrived here from overseas. Moving to Australia and entering the political party is a great way to end up rich apparently.
    SuziJ
    25th Jun 2018
    2:22pm
    It's a joke! Why can't we travel overseas for longer than 4 weeks in any rolling year? I'm waiting to take my 2nd trip to the UK until my ex, who's also my carer, is receiving the Age Pension. Then we can go for 6 weeks, and have the full payment, and any time over that, it'll reduce for the rest of the time we're away, but won't get cut off, like most other payments. In the mean time, it's save, save, save :)
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    4:53pm
    Seems to me you are a real winner in the pension lottery already. Everything worked out to the cent no doubt. Just wonder how much you ever put in for this nation.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    4:59pm
    "ex and carer"!! Um!!
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    5:22pm
    I'm carer for my ex - nobody else has the time or the patience....or the intense streak of loyalty I possess above all other things... not that it's ever gotten me much.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    6:12pm
    Trebor it's given you an Ex. take pleasure in that.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    7:08pm
    Yes - there is a god after all... that's what I say when I lose her in a supermarket .... I need a 6'4" lass with flaming red hair.... so I can pick her out in a crowd...

    25th Jun 2018
    2:29pm
    These unfair restrictions remain me so much of communist regime...

    Is Australia still the same country...?
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:55pm
    Still waiting for my Internal Passport and my Work Card without which I cannot leave or get a job.... or even travel around to find one....
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    5:30pm
    In a word NO.

    25th Jun 2018
    2:54pm
    As an employee first and then part business owner I have paid heaps in tax over many years, therefore in my opinion, it is only fair to be paid a well deserved pension and live wherever I wish. Especially, when the cost of living in Australia has gone through the roof!!
    Rosret
    25th Jun 2018
    4:08pm
    If you have been all those things then I would imagine you have private superannuation as well.
    What about our 1st generation immigrants who qualify for a pension and then return to their homeland. We have so many new immigrants. Can you see the conundrum? Unfortunately there just needs to be a bit more give in the rules.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    4:58pm
    You have a good point, Ros - the risk is that if you start decreeing that pensions to First Generationers will be cut if they move back offshore, then you are indeed discriminating.

    The whole deal would be resolved by the Trebor Scheme - such offshorers would still receive the due benefit from their active contribution while here - and no more. A bit like someone who worked for two years in Britain before coming here - they still get a small pension from The Old Dart.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:06am
    No unfortunately we don't do fair here anymore. You can pay lots and lots of tax and never be given anything much in return.
    MandM
    25th Jun 2018
    3:19pm
    My wife is on the DSP and I am her carer.I emailed our federal member as to why she was limited to 4 weeks overseas travel and received a reply stating that "the DSP is for working people and as Australian workers receive 4 weeks holiday a year the DSP is built around that."
    I sent an email back saying that was fair enough and because she had been disabled for 19 years could she claim long service leave. We haven't heard anything back ????
    Wstaton
    25th Jun 2018
    3:28pm
    That is right. Request a logical question and bong! silence.

    Why? becuase they cannot provide a logical answer.

    The reply also disregards the fact that disabled people are suffering whereas workers are not. In this case shouldn't they also be allowed sick leave.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    5:01pm
    Yes - I've heard a young disabled man say he should be getting super and long service...... fair enough.

    As The General, my grandfather, said - once you take command, old boy - you're on your own.... (quote from Michael Caine in Zulu) - once The Guv'nah takes command of the economy and employment etc and runs it their way - they take full responsibility for all aspects fairly and equally... and that includes ensuring that those thrust off the breadwinner line will at the very least receive some super payment at a minimum level, so as to ensure that their ultimate 'cost' in retirement is partially offset by savings etc. LSL... hmmmmm.....
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:10am
    Long Service Leave and Sick Leave is one of those old fashioned working conditions left over from when we had unions. It no longer applies in many jobs now unfortunately. The employers were big on talking about hoe bad unions were but neglected to mention how bad it was before we had unions. As we head back to those days workers have no rights much at all and lately no pay increases either.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    3:40pm
    It seems that this rule does not apply to so-called refugees (aka scroungers) many of whom receive a DSP. They apparently can come and go as they please and also bring in as many family members to Australia as they wish. There is no such thing as a refugee they are all economic migrants using this country and many others as a bank account which is continually funded and topped-up by the real taxpayers. One of the biggest scams ever seen.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    5:05pm
    I raised the spectre recently of certain ethnic groups viewing Social Security payments as a base pay for simply being here.... and then finding work, often within their own tight-lipped community..... but not declaring it.

    Mahomed borrows his cousin Mohamed's taxi and licence .... you must have heard of that.... but Effendi, back home taxi driving is not licenced or controlled at all... why is this problem? Any man with car can be taxi..... same in Fiji....
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    5:27pm
    Trebor it is their 'uman right aint it.?? Down trodden people who deserve everything at the expense of those who are "obligated" to pay for their excesses. The biggest scam that is still gaining momentum here and all western nations. All going to plan as dictated by the haters of white people. Many haters being white themselves.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    7:14pm
    Unfortunately - no matter how many we take in, the world will still end up over-crowded and disintegrating socially more and more, with wars and endless rumours of wars going on and on.

    We really can't help them - not in the long term - and as things currently stand, we are destroying ourselves and making of our nation another one of those Third World toilet blocks (nice way of putting it) with open sewers, with all the evils of crime and lawlessness and parallel universes of 'culture' including paying taxes. Mahomed above doesn't pay tax on earnings .... just collects Social security every fortnight as well.

    Australia -the 'lucky country' is lucky because it IS girt by sea all round... and if we view it as a lifeboat of the future - it is no good filling the ship with steerage passengers who actively contribute very little.

    it's not as if we're flocking to eat Arab food.... Effendi, the Camel Toe Soup with Goat's Eyes and Sheep's Gonad relish is very good today......
    Rae
    26th Jun 2018
    8:20am
    Well it will break the welfare system and I gather that is one of the things on the IPA's wish list.

    Western Civilisation has had it good for so long those you speak of forget why?
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    9:13am
    Because we had not only initiative, but solid work ethics, and latterly a reliable and trustworthy social security network providing a reasonable fair go for everyone.

    Only a century ago, I recall a short story of a grafter horseman who sold a fine horse to a cheap and shifty dealer, after painting a black spot on the horse's forehead. The horse was a 'trick horse' who would respond to his master's whistle, and leapt the fence, whereupon the black spot was removed and the horse could not be identified as the one sold. The horseman sent the twenty five pounds he got for the (forged) horse to a woman living in a shack with a bunch of kids and whose husband had gone off looking for work anywhere he could get it, and might not come back. She had no means of sustenance.

    Even in the history of the accursed non-convict colonies, such as WA, people used to live on-farm and be paid in supplies just sufficient to sustain them, and maybe a few pence occasionally, while the 'master' lived the life of Riley. It wasn't only Aboriginal stockmen and house girls who were robbed of their wages.... it was EVERY 'servant'.

    That's the kind of nation we used to live in - that's the kind of nation some here and in other places would like to see us return to.... masters and serfs.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:15am
    Yes indeed TREBOR. The period of social democracy enjoyed by workers for around 3 decades after WW11 appears to be diminishing into the realms of "once upon a time...".
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    3:40pm
    It seems that this rule does not apply to so-called refugees (aka scroungers) many of whom receive a DSP. They apparently can come and go as they please and also bring in as many family members to Australia as they wish. There is no such thing as a refugee they are all economic migrants using this country and many others as a bank account which is continually funded and topped-up by the real taxpayers. One of the biggest scams ever seen.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    4:09pm
    It is predominately white Western nations are being coerced ( forced is the real word) to have their countries flooded with people from other societies who are incompatible with those of the host country. The concept of multiculturalism is a failed experiment, yet the elite persist with their cause to eradicate the white people . Europe is a blatant example of this project. In actual fact white people are a minority group which represents only about 8 % of the world population. Where are the cries to help these people. (Look no further than the plight of the White South Africans) There is none and this alone reinforces the belief that the extermination of the white population is paramount in the eyes of the Politicians (elite) across the globe under the direction of the UN .
    Our voices are being muted more and more every day with censorship of opinions becoming standard practice . Australia in line with many European countries is progressing towards a dictatorship where the suppression of thought and opinion will be enforced with severe penalties for the dissidents.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    5:34am
    On another forum I voiced the concern that those with apparently 'dissident' views seemed somehow to suffer harassment etc in this nation. I gave the example of Salim Mehajer's lawyer, who was well-known for being attorney for accused terrorists and a few other 'anti-social' things legal - she was harassed to the point of actual suspension of her licence to practice over a series of petty 'issues' raked up by The Law Society.

    Now I am one of the greatest critics of 'Slim' Mehajer and his endless antics - but I smell a rat when I smell one... and suppression of 'anti-social' actions is the tip of the iceberg of any oppressive nation/society - which always end with gulags and konzentrationslageren.

    This is not the first time in this nation that a 'dissident' lawyer has suffered in this way.

    Then we have the spectre of a(nother) former serving Veteran who is carrying on the good fight against the slowness and ineffectiveness of VA handling of claims, to the point of extreme stress leading to suicides, and also of a few other issues, including is (in my eyes valid) objection to the concept that women should comprise 50% of the combat arms (glooms- Indonesia and China must think we're insane - but wait for the casualty lists to start coming in, and be ready for a massive increase in PTSD claims - even now cooks etc are 'getting PTSD').

    He's been harassed endlessly with compalints to various unelected tribunals (Star Chambers which make up their own rules outside of Law - as occurs in oppressive societies/nations) and forced to defend himself at huge cost, leading to the loss of his home, and has even faced defamation actions.

    This is precisely the kind of thing that happens in a society turning into a dictatorship, where any differing opinion is silenced by threat, intimidation and abuse of legal process, and even false accusation.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    5:35am
    It's called 'show trials' in some arenas.....
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    5:46am
    Oh - and let us not forget what happened to Pauline Hanson the first time around.... again I'm no fan of Hanson, but..... that was the first stirring of the waves of abuse and criminal misuse of power that are building to the point of threatening our democratic government.....

    Government needs to be removed from its high horse for the good of the nation and its people.
    MD
    25th Jun 2018
    3:54pm
    According to the DHS spokesperson - no discrimination exists whatsoever.

    All social beneficiaries are subject to laws, restrictions, limitations and requirements, all of which must needs be met to said Departments' satisfaction. Regardless of whether anyone either agrees or disagrees is irrelevant... as is comparing other countries welfare system(s) to ours.

    Personal hardship, whether experienced by Australian residents or their family abroad is neither reason for DHS to waive protocols or the existing claimants to expect special consideration. Hardship loans are available through DHS for extenuating circumstances.

    Surely I'm not the only one somewhat perplexed by expectations of some people who, whilst totally/partly reliant on welfare, seem to think the system should be adaptable to suit their circumstances. Although this situation has nothing whatsoever to do with pollies or how they manage to twist circumstance to their advantage, at least they don't expect to screw the system - do they ?

    Most site commentators totally reliant on a social benefit would have us believe they live hand to mouth, how then can/do they consider, much less manage overseas trips ?

    Remember the old adage: "The buck stops here".
    Rosret
    25th Jun 2018
    4:14pm
    MD they go to live in places where it is cheaper than Australia and the pension goes much further. Unfortunately Australia needs the money to stay here in Australia.
    The rest who count every penny of their hard earned savings in retirement cannot afford to go overseas for a week let alone more than a month.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    10:39pm
    ... 'cause round here there IS no discrimination and no prejudice! We treat everyone badly, so no discrimination and don't even have to consider how much we despise them for coming in for welfare... we certainly don't think about it in advance - it's a given!

    That's a send-up, heemie - you understand what is this word 'send-up'?
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:25am
    Yes and our balance of payments is looking decidedly shaky as Australian dollars need to be used to buy foreign currency. In Australia it's not so bad as only a portion needs to be converted to cover all the foreign stuff we buy now.

    Welfare shouldn't be available to those "coming in for economic reasons". They should have to work in my opinion. It has all been very badly organised and could very well collapse leaving those dependent on the state destitute.
    Jules57
    25th Jun 2018
    4:30pm
    I am on DSP payment and i cant save for a holiday I think that its fair if your needing a Pension to live on because you cant work...We have to remember our taxpayers pay these pensions and should NOT have to pay for holidays as well. I am just thankful that there is a pension for me to survive on i many disabilities and cant just lay on any bed i have to be half way sitting up so i cant travel but my chronic pain wouldn't allow me to either. Just a trip to the local shops in my wheel chair is a enough. I am grateful for the help i get
    Meg
    25th Jun 2018
    4:54pm
    To all those who begrudge those on DSP being able to travel a little longer: Please consider that this may be to see relatives....not a so-called "fun" trip, but perhaps a restorative, family reunion trip. I am a carer for my dear son, who is on DSP. I'd like to take him to see his brother and maybe stay a while, as it would not be something we would do very often...I'd be paying for that trip with my savings...on which I've paid tax, thank you very much. So to all of you cold hearted folk...try to think outside the box a little more often.
    Hairy
    26th Jun 2018
    1:10pm
    I agree meg ,it’s no wonder Australia is going down the tubes there are no aussies left they have turned into self serving nieghbor police.just like the goverment they elected.wouldnt you hate to live beside some of these commentates here.god help you if you bought a new car.HOW can they afford that . Must get my Sherlock Holmes kit out .live and let live .stop judging and surmisation.your serving the current gov well.OG , Raephael well Karma is your follower . Disgraceful humans.
    Suze
    28th Jun 2018
    4:00pm
    Why should the taxpayer pay for you ??
    Anonymous
    3rd Jul 2018
    8:14am
    Why not, Suze? The taxpayer will pay if the disabled DON'T go anywhere. It's not like anyone is getting extra. Why shouldn't they maintain the same level of support when travelling to visit loved ones abroad. They can even go 6 times a year for short trips and not lose, but if, for example, someone has to travel by sea due to their disability or there is a crisis while they are away and can't get back, they are punished financially. How is that reasonable?

    I agree with cutting off pensions for people who go to live overseas, but a genuine trip for genuine reasons should not result in disadvantage just because it can't be completed in a few short weeks.
    venturers
    25th Jun 2018
    4:56pm
    After working for a government department for decades I have come to realise that the public is viewed,at best, as a nuisance.
    Methods designed to cut psyments might be seen as a "feather in the instigators cap".
    Instigators rarely, if ever, come face to face with their victoms(public).
    after numerous budget over runs our department NEVER laid off any staff.
    The list goes on.
    Most obvious discrepancies appear as our returned combat vets battle for their entitlements.
    My now deceased mother battled the "faceless villians" for years to get her full pension.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    7:18pm
    Yes the struggle for Veteran benefits is harder and harder... started long ago in the Howard years when they suddenly realised they were facing a rash of TPIs for stress-related illnesses and such.

    Between one and two veterans a week suicide (I think that was the figure) many of them the younger generations, especially those who suffer the hardship of being not well and having to fight DVA as well.

    Mate of mine did himself in.... and I don't blame DVA staff - again it is their political masters who are ruining the show..... for base reason of their budget base line..... people don't count.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    7:21pm
    Sorry - that's around 2.3 a month.... higher than the civilian community. Don't want to be caught exaggerating.
    CarolAT
    25th Jun 2018
    6:49pm
    Discrimination occurs when there are different rules BECAUSE of having a disability. If you are on the Age Pension you can leave the country for 6 weeks without losing benefit, but only 4 weeks if you’re on the DSP. Clearly the Abbott/Turnbull government was too frightened to tackle Grey Power, but the disabled are a much easier target.

    Disclaimer: my husband is a Disabled Pensioner and I am on the Age Pension. We’re having our ‘trip of a lifetime’ while he is still able to travel - I don’t get docked anything, but he does. Fair? Hardly.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    5:37am
    Indeed the disabled are an easy target - someone above labeled those living in Asia 'dole bludgers'.

    Shows the attitudes clearly .....
    Rae
    26th Jun 2018
    8:32am
    Earlier in my life I travelled and I was always docked for doing it over the annual holiday limit of 4 weeks. Just the way it is.

    I had to save for the trip and for the period of leave without pay.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    9:30am
    Yeeee-usssh - but it could be argued that since you were in a job, you were not there to do it so, docking was acceptable... on the other hand a pensioner is still doing the job of pensioner....... wherever he or she is.....
    Rae
    26th Jun 2018
    3:45pm
    We are talking DSP though which is like extended sick leave which you aren't really supposed to use as holiday time.

    They get the same 4 weeks the other "serfs" get.

    I'm a great believer in largess for the less able and unable but extended holidays you don't save for yourself is a tad too far.

    They can save and take the time but the taxpayer isn't going to pay for it.
    Anonymous
    28th Jun 2018
    7:52pm
    And when going abroad is necessary to treat the condition? Should we stop people receiving life-sustaining income because they went overseas seeking relief - or perhaps even, ultimately, a cure?

    The issue I have is that these rules are indiscriminate. They ignore special circumstances. There should be exceptions in particular circumstances.

    I also have an issue with a disabled person not being able to attend to the needs of immediate family abroad. Disabled doesn't mean dead. A genuine disability does not necessarily prevent someone travelling and fulfilling the emotional - and even some physical - needs of close family abroad. I would have no problem with the rules if there were some discretion permitted - an avenue of appeal and facilities for special circumstances to be considered.
    OnlyDaughter
    25th Jun 2018
    8:25pm
    Some of the comments made are disgraceful. Heartless, soulless, self-righteous, cynical are all words that come to mind. They make me feel very sad that too many Australians have become like this. Yucky people. Disability isn't limited to physical impairment. My 30 year old daughter has an intellectual disability caused by oxygen deprivation at birth. She has worked 10 hours a day at the same job since she left school. She is in receipt of a disability pension. Would she travel overseas by herself. No. She couldn't do it without a guide. Does she travel overseas? Yes, with me. I go to the UK to visit my ancient relatives - now aged 95'and 93 respectively. My daughter cannot stay home by herself. I don't have any family members I can leave her with and she would be distraught at being put into respite. At first she was terrified of flying but my daughterloves seeing my elderly rellies more than being frightened of flying. Every time I go to see my relatives, I stay 5-6 weeks and so my daughter's disability pension cuts out after 28 days.

    I think it is discrimination against those with a disability, but there again, I think there is a discrimination against any person in receipt of welfare support, including the Aged Pension. However, it is not Centrelink that is the nasty in this. Centrelink only put into practice the decisions and policies of the government of the day.

    If I remember rightly it was the Gillard Labor government that first introduced restrictions on overseas travel for Disability Pensioners. Up until that time, the Disability Pension was treated exactly the same as the Aged Pension. So when the gillard/Rudd government lost power and the LNP was elected, Messrs Abbott and Hockey put the screws on Disability Pensioners who were portrayed as bludgers with fraudulent disabilities,and it would have been a lot worse if Labor and the cross benches in the Senate hadn't stood up and said no.

    Perhaps we need to look carefully at the politicians we elect to ensure that the disabled are treated with dignity and the aged are similarly treated. But, although Labor may be a fraction more compassionate that the other mob, don't ever count on them to really care - they do care but like the other mob, they care for themselves more than others.
    OnlyDaughter
    25th Jun 2018
    8:25pm
    Some of the comments made are disgraceful. Heartless, soulless, self-righteous, cynical are all words that come to mind. They make me feel very sad that too many Australians have become like this. Yucky people. Disability isn't limited to physical impairment. My 30 year old daughter has an intellectual disability caused by oxygen deprivation at birth. She has worked 10 hours a day at the same job since she left school. She is in receipt of a disability pension. Would she travel overseas by herself. No. She couldn't do it without a guide. Does she travel overseas? Yes, with me. I go to the UK to visit my ancient relatives - now aged 95'and 93 respectively. My daughter cannot stay home by herself. I don't have any family members I can leave her with and she would be distraught at being put into respite. At first she was terrified of flying but my daughterloves seeing my elderly rellies more than being frightened of flying. Every time I go to see my relatives, I stay 5-6 weeks and so my daughter's disability pension cuts out after 28 days.

    I think it is discrimination against those with a disability, but there again, I think there is a discrimination against any person in receipt of welfare support, including the Aged Pension. However, it is not Centrelink that is the nasty in this. Centrelink only put into practice the decisions and policies of the government of the day.

    If I remember rightly it was the Gillard Labor government that first introduced restrictions on overseas travel for Disability Pensioners. Up until that time, the Disability Pension was treated exactly the same as the Aged Pension. So when the gillard/Rudd government lost power and the LNP was elected, Messrs Abbott and Hockey put the screws on Disability Pensioners who were portrayed as bludgers with fraudulent disabilities,and it would have been a lot worse if Labor and the cross benches in the Senate hadn't stood up and said no.

    Perhaps we need to look carefully at the politicians we elect to ensure that the disabled are treated with dignity and the aged are similarly treated. But, although Labor may be a fraction more compassionate that the other mob, don't ever count on them to really care - they do care but like the other mob, they care for themselves more than others.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    8:54pm
    I respect your comment and your views on this issue. Unfortunately it is laced with feminine emotional subdued wording. Many western leaders, who happen to be women , have too much emotion to really handle or cope with problems in society today. Look at the leaders of Germany, Sweden, the UK, for examples of their ineptitude in dealing with reality. Tough situations need tough solutions and in my opinion men are better euqipped and skilled at doing this.
    OnlyDaughter
    1st Jul 2018
    11:48am
    Just read your comment niemakawa and laughed myself silly. I was going to let it go, but what the heck? You posted utter tripe and need to be told so.
    I guess you work on the premise of "if I can't argue with something, I'll just post put downs and that'll shut 'em up".
    "Feminine emotional subdued wording"..hahaha…..mate,I don't know if you are male or female, but get a life... we are living in the 21st century now, not in the dark ages when the little woman was chained to the kitchen sink and was expected to do her duty for her husband every night.
    As far as women being incapable of handling or coping with problems today because they have too much emotion, both men and women have emotions - it's part of our biological make-up, but at least women don't have that funny little appendage that jumps to attention given the least encouragement and which has guided many a disastrous decision.
    Whilst I don't agree with many of the decisions female politicians make, including those of Germany and the UK, I hold all politicians equally responsible for their disastrous decisions and so should the electorate, including you. No excusing politicians because of your party loyalty. Australia was once an egalitarian society which we prized, but no more. It has become a society of haves and have-nots because of the decisions of our politicians - and it happened on our watch.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:36am
    Well said OnlyDaughter.

    There is a lot of discrimination and not just for welfare recipients.

    I know several self funded retirees who can't afford medical treatments and medicines now as the cost has blown sky high for those who have to pay full price for everything.

    Instead of around $6 for a script it can be tens and even hundreds of dollars.

    The people who bought an investment property expecting to live on the rent are the worst effected as rents have not kept up with prices so they now get no part pension and lose the concessions.

    Of course they may be able to sell up if lucky enough to have bought in Sydney or Melbourne.
    Marian
    25th Jun 2018
    9:07pm
    The is not in any others system or Governments more abuse & Discrimination Citizence Pensioner as is the Gestapo Minister m.Keenan & the P.M. the is Fascist the only restriction is the same as is in Dictatorial law of colonial Slave ask the Governments members who law the have for them self the family & the restrictions the never relay that or the from centrelink or others A.P.S. the is not any limit for them ???.
    Chooky
    25th Jun 2018
    9:32pm
    Yes Rosret, there was a time when claimants we’re leaving Oz and taking their DSP dollars with them, but four weeks is just another attack on pensioners by the Libs. The time limit prior was six weeks overseas which is a little more reasonable but not enough.
    You see you as a pensioner are a member of a sub-class. You should not have the same rights as a regular person and how dare you expect to be treated any better. You should be grateful for the crumbs the government throws you and don’t complain about it.
    The current federal government is running a very successful campaign against pretty much all Centrelink payment recipients. They want the general public to look upon Centrelink recipients with disgust, disapproval, annoyance, loathing. Take your pick. Well no sympathy folks, you were warned and you voted for them anyway.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    10:53pm
    I think in many ways the older generation 65+ have lived in a time where work was plentiful and society was relatively safe. God help the younger who have been brainwashed by successive Governments and led to believe that they have a bright future. Lambs to the slaughter more like.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    10:53pm
    I think in many ways the older generation 65+ have lived in a time where work was plentiful and society was relatively safe. God help the younger who have been brainwashed by successive Governments and led to believe that they have a bright future. Lambs to the slaughter more like.

    26th Jun 2018
    7:08am
    Neighbour complained yesterday that someone he knows has a huge HECS debt and is boasting that if the debt collectors can't find him for 4 years, it's written off, so he'd going abroad. So the government allows people to escape a HECS debt by having an extended overseas holiday, but deprives honest pensioners - regardless of their often GENUINE need to be out of the country for more than 4 weeks.

    A veteran with severe PTSD cannot fly, so to see his child who lives permanently abroad and whom he hasn't seen for 20 years, he has to be out of the country for at least 3 months, and even then it's hardly worth the 8 weeks on a ship to have just 4 weeks with her. And you people think this is reasonable - after his life was ruined defending his country? Sure, it's taxpayer money. And if people hadn't sacrificed their health and well-being, there might not be any taxpayer money, and you whinging self-righteous taxpayers might not be in the comfortable position you enjoy so much.

    Many disabled and aged have made massive sacrifices for this nation, and now - when they are in need BECAUSE they made those sacrifices, they are treated appallingly by people who are well off because THEY DIDN'T SACRIFICE. Where is the appreciation? It's about time the self-satisfied arrogant pricks here pulled their selfish heads in and started to think about how their lives would be if we didn't have a portion of the population who are less obsessed with their own welfare and are willing to contribute to society.

    Stop pretending pensioners are leaners and start acknowledging that many of them are where they are today because while you were enjoying the good life, they were working to make this country a place in which you could prosper.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    9:31am
    Well said......
    Rosret
    26th Jun 2018
    9:37am
    Yes - there needs to be more exceptions to the blanket rule.
    As for the HECS debt - are you saying foreign nationals are getting a free education at Australia's cost?
    Governments do find these people now that databases are linked world wide. They would have to stay off the grid for quite sometime - and it is theft.
    Anonymous
    26th Jun 2018
    11:52am
    Rosret, according to my neighbour, the HECS debt is put in the hands of a private debt collection firm and these firms just give up if they can't contact the debtor after a certain number of attempts. They buy the debt from the government for a tiny percentage of what is owed, and they are happy to write off any that are difficult to recover as it is uneconomical to pursue people extensively if there is little hope of success.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jun 2018
    2:59pm
    I believe they are now stopping people going overseas with such HECS debts until they are paid now. I know of a fellow who got stopped from going overseas as he hadn't put in a tax return for 5 years.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:48am
    The HECS idea was pretty stupid really. Was far better when Uni was free but you had to achieve a certain standard to get a scholarship to attend and run the gauntlet of application tests etc.

    Far cheaper as well. Turning Universities into profit making businesses was a neoliberal mistake in my opinion.

    A free for all loan scheme for anyone to spend sometimes a decade or more at Uni having a fine old time playing academic at taxpayer expense was always going to backfire.

    Some people unfortunately don't know when to stop taking and when to start paying back.

    A lot of people will lose a lot of money betting on the derivatives of student loans before it's over.

    26th Jun 2018
    9:45am
    Wow - healthy enough to travel and live overseas for more than 4 weeks in a year and still claim a handout
    The disability pension scheme is once again shown to be overly generous and the criteria very lax
    Anonymous
    26th Jun 2018
    10:57am
    Some DSP recipients from Europe are living permanently in Asian countries and there are questions in some European parliaments about people living a royal life style and strangely getting better. Considerations are spoken about cutting their allowances back as long as they're staying there. So obviously Europe is more generous with DS pensioners.
    Anonymous
    26th Jun 2018
    11:07am
    Raphael, again you show your ignorance and arrogance. To be classified disabled, one has to have an evidenced disability that prevents one earning an independent living. Many disabled are able to travel. The man I mentioned earlier is mentally disabled, and being able to visit family abroad is very good medicine. He needs a carer to travel with him - who is also denied their pension despite working hard the entire time they are out of the country.

    No, we are NOT overly generous or lax. We are downright mean and cruel and overindulgent of the GREED and SELFISHNESS of the overpaid, undertaxed privileged who rort the country for its resources and take a very unfairly excessive share of everything this nation has to offer.
    Anonymous
    26th Jun 2018
    1:19pm
    It is unfortuate that the greedy few who rort the system means that tougher rules have to come into play.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jun 2018
    3:13pm
    Raphael anyone who wants the DSP can get it if they know the rules and how to paly the game. If you are disabled enough to get the DSP and are genuine how can you possibly afford to travel overseas for more than a month? If you relatives pay your way then you simply don't need your DSP.
    JAID
    27th Jun 2018
    5:29pm
    That makes sense to me OG.

    Naturally, individual cases may vary but largely even the name suggests: a support pension is something paid where support is needed. Where 'needed' implies the ability to live at a level that we seek that all do not fall below.

    If not 'needed' then there are plenty of other places to spend the money. There are kids living under bridges. Kids going hungry and cold. Kids and others who have had circumstance steal confidence, that can't see themselves managing to get a job or participate in the way that may enable.

    We want as a community to make sure people are clothed and fed, have a warm place to sleep, have access to medicine, information, the arts able to voice their opinions democratically. We, for our people, even want and provide more than that. The well built on the backs both of our children's labour and the future's resources isn't endless though and efficiency in provision needs be matched by integrity and the responsibility to take only what is necessary.
    Suze
    28th Jun 2018
    4:02pm
    Well put Noodles
    inextratime
    26th Jun 2018
    11:03am
    OG - The trouble with having such a one sided perspective on life means that at times you talk absolute tosh. If someone lives overseas with their relatives for more than a month doesn't mean that they shouldn't be getting the pension because they can afford to live overseas for that amount of time. It may even be cheaper for them to do so since they could be subsidised by their rels. The trouble with having such a one sided view is that its difficult to take any of your comments seriously.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jun 2018
    3:10pm
    If they are being supported by the relatives then they have no need for their pension so it doesn't matter if it cuts off after 4 weeks then.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jun 2018
    3:14pm
    My trouble is I know all the lurks in the system and what stunts people pull to getting away with what they should be getting at all.
    MD
    26th Jun 2018
    5:39pm
    Never doubted you Geezer - "know all the lurks" - I'm sure you do. After all said and done, you are a winner... aren't you ?
    Old Geezer
    27th Jun 2018
    10:41am
    MD I may not be a winner but I do very nicely thanks to my knowledge of the rules on how things work. I then use those rules for the best outcome for me. I just can't understand why others are too lazy to do so too. It's like money for jam.
    Old Geezer
    27th Jun 2018
    10:43am
    We can't afford to have those on a DSP living on cruise ships instead of nursing homes can we? Too many empty beds in nursing homes.
    Rae
    28th Jun 2018
    1:46pm
    It may be cheaper on the cruise ship though than in the hostel that wants half a million just to get in and then tens of thousands to be there.

    And the nursing home often has no nurses where the ship always has one or two on board.

    I'm surprised the nursing homes haven't priced themselves right out of business.
    Anonymous
    1st Jul 2018
    2:32pm
    The cost of medical treatment on board ship is horrendous and I doubt if someone decided to spend the rest of their life on board that they would be able to afford the travel insurance as I would imagine it would be beyond the reach of many people unless were millionaires.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    7:56am
    I was being sarcastic Noodles although I have met a few very rich people who live on the Cunard Ships. One delightful lady even has a nurse/companion travel with her. Very rich American family.

    A few gentlemen also live at my city Club quite nicely paying $900 a week plus restaurant bills and bar bills when due.
    It's all relative.

    My comment was about the $500 000 bond needed to enter a hostel type accomodation, with no nursing staff and then pay another very large bill on top. Unless you are broke and own nothing and then it's subsidised.
    Nerk
    28th Jun 2018
    11:58am
    It tends to amuse me refugees have been traveling home on quite a few occasions for holidays, a home that the fled from in fear of persecution, death, etc.
    Old Geezer
    28th Jun 2018
    2:51pm
    Most are economic refugees escaping from the bad economics conditions in their country. Persecution of not being able to make enough money in their own country I guess one would call it.
    Suze
    28th Jun 2018
    4:07pm
    @Nerk
    Hardly amusing ..someone has to pay for it
    .... comes out of the Senior's pension which is getting squeezed resultantly.
    Anonymous
    29th Jun 2018
    8:00pm
    Well Nerk - we allow them to do that and so they will do it and then why not if we are that stupid. I would wait till they're gone and wouldn't let them back in. But the bleeding hearts would not like that.
    Anonymous
    1st Jul 2018
    6:57pm
    At long last Italy has woken up to the fact the they cannot handle all the "refugees" constantly arriving and have shut the gate.

    Germany is in a mess because of their open door policy and the people there are not happy.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    8:01am
    I find it surprising that the articles by left wing bemoaning the need to look after all these people never ever mentions where all the funding will come from. You can bet anything it won't come from them and they aren't working hard to raise funds to cover the expense.
    Quite possibly the immigration crisis in Europe will break the European Union. How many people from failed States can lob into a country where they can't find work before the economy collapses there as well?
    Charlie
    29th Jun 2018
    4:14pm
    Doesn't bother me. You can get dudded on disability pension long before you consider anything as adventurous as overseas travel... Heading overseas without good health insurance and a good size nest egg would seem a bit risky to me.
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    8:04am
    Yes Charlie and Skype does work to keep families in communication and a three week stay is better than none if you need to visit for that last time when family needs you.
    Justsane
    30th Jun 2018
    2:10pm
    This seems very restrictive and an unnecessarily cruel extra burden for people with a disability. And particularly because Australia is so far away from the rest of the world. We (not disabled) live in country WA and even when we just go to Perth, a few hundred kms away, we stay for a week or two to make it worthwhile. Overseas air fares are expensive - you should be able to stay for a decent length of time.
    bundy
    1st Jul 2018
    12:37pm
    That./s weird...the U/N disability laws say it/s discrimination...to stop or hinder anyone traveling with a disability...But Australia has laws to Imprison you in your own country..The whole thing is about the Gov/t...giving you fewer rights...controlling your life and like Hitler doing what they say..while they do what they want..Australia will only sort this out with a full revolution...and the GUILLOTINE for the politicians..The people of Australia have been abused and kicked around for tooo long..while the Pollies fill their bank accounts//
    Rae
    2nd Jul 2018
    8:14am
    That is not fact though. Anyone able can travel for as long as they like but the taxpayer will only pay them for 4 weeks away. They can save up to stay away longer if they wish.

    Many of us get no government funding at all even after decades of working, paying taxes and saving so we have to save up every cent needed to travel and to pay costs at home while we are gone.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jul 2018
    9:10am
    You are correct Rae!
    ozrog
    1st Jul 2018
    2:57pm
    Yes they are and as mentioned only started in 2015.
    Maybe the discrimination commissioner should have a look at this one.
    Mutley
    1st Jul 2018
    5:09pm
    It is definitely discriminatory. Whilst Narelle is overseas her electricity, her rates continue on for which her pension pays. And any other expenses like insurances.
    Hairy
    3rd Jul 2018
    12:57pm
    Yes of course it is. This goverment is one of the worst in the world at the discrimination of pensioners and welfare recipients.its ok for them to discriminate because they have a fine print disclaimer and laws made up so they can stand on the world stage and lie there ignorant heads off.


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