Centrelink Q&A: Which pension should you choose?

Barbara is unsure whether she is better off with the carer’s pension or the Age Pension.

Centrelink Q&A: Which pension should you choose?

Barbara is unsure whether she is better off with the carer’s pension or the Age Pension.

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Q. Barbara
My husband and I are separated, but we live in the same retirement village. I am on the Age Pension and he is a disability pensioner. I am still responsible for driving him to all appointments. I cook his meals, clean his unit and do all his admin. Am I entitled to a carer’s pension for looking after him? 

Also, how do I go about making an appointment with a Financial Information Services representative for financial advice? 

A. If your husband’s care requirements meet the standard, you may be eligible for a carer’s pension, but you will then have to choose whether you would rather receive an Age Pension or a carer’s pension.

The Carer Payment and the Age Pension have the same rate of payment, the same income and assets test is applied, and both pensions entitle you to a Pensioner Concession Card.

There can, however, be advantages to receiving either the Carer Payment or the Age Pension depending on your circumstances. For example, if you are intending to travel outside Australia, the guidelines for being an Age Pensioner during an absence from Australia may be more beneficial.

If you choose to receive the carer payment, you will be contacted every two years by Centrelink to confirm that you are continuing to provide care and you may be required to provide a medical report about the care receiver.

You may be entitled to a higher rate or rent assistance on the carer payment than you are on the Age Pension, depending on your exact circumstances.

If you choose the carer payment you may also be entitled to a bereavement payment on their passing, which you will not be eligible for on the Age Pension.

You can make an appointment to visit a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer by calling 13 2300.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The RetirePlanner™ 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 the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.





    COMMENTS

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    Ducky
    12th Aug 2019
    10:30am
    I applied for a carer's allowance and received a Centrelink letter telling me he wasn't ill enough, he had Parkinson's disease and died a week after I received the letter. They told me I could re-apply, what was the point. And because he was sleeping in a separate room we were considered separated so received no help with funeral money nor did I received any of his pension bonus scheme money. That all caused me enormous hardship.
    thommo
    12th Aug 2019
    10:44am
    If Barbara is a carer, then she should be paid for the work she does...Totally unfair that she should have to choose...Take the OAP and "relax"and do nothing, or take the carer's pension and work your guts for nothing...This government should be ashamed of itself for forcing others to do their work for them without any recompence...
    I never vote for the LNP any, and never will...
    Bridgit
    12th Aug 2019
    1:07pm
    You do get additional payments to recompense you - and it is a very big help.
    Article is incomplete as there is a lot more info on Carers Pensions - my advice to Barbara is pick the Carers you will be better off and as for asking questions every 2 years - it has never happened to us!
    leek
    12th Aug 2019
    10:53am
    The article did not mention the Carers Allowance, which is an extra $129.80 a fortnight. This person can keep the Aged pension and apply for the Allowance. It is not income tested for the aged pension. Also there is a $600 supplement paid at the start of every financial year.
    KB
    12th Aug 2019
    12:47pm
    This is true as I received the allowance for looking after my mother and received other benefits. Always bets to seek advice from Centrelink
    KB
    12th Aug 2019
    12:47pm
    This is true as I received the allowance for looking after my mother and received other benefits. Always bets to seek advice from Centrelink
    thommo
    13th Aug 2019
    9:37am
    to Leek...the extra $129 per fortnight is a pittance and amounts to slave labour employed by the government...the stingy bunch of morons..
    Bridgit
    12th Aug 2019
    1:03pm
    I am on the Carers and have been since 2009 and - am well past Aged Pension age - my husband was on DSP and they switched him over to Aged Pension when he hit 65 - they told me I was better off staying on the Carers than going onto the aged so I am still on it. They do not contact me every 2 years, nor do they require medicals. Also the is a extra supplement you receive fortnightly - which is not in the article nor is the payment you get in July each year. Hubby has had Parkinson's since 2011 and is now stage 3 - so I don't understand why Ducky was refused irregardless of sleeping arrangements - some of the meds cause night terrors and flinging of arms and legs mean you do sometimes have to get out of the same bed. Sounds to me like people need some education into what ails people!
    Colinm39
    12th Aug 2019
    1:20pm
    We are on part pensions and I was receiving the Carers Allowance for my daughter who lived with us.. Sadly she died of a sudden illness a few weeks ago. When that happened she received an extra fortnight's pension and we received an extra Carers Allowance and the Funeral Allowance of about $1,500. Because VCAT were involved in the early days she also received a rental allowance for her board.

    I can only speak highly of my Centrelink office who have helped us since before my retirement 10 years ago. Back then you didn't have to wait for the FIS Officer, but now there is a long wait. Sadly but true.
    Dazza
    12th Aug 2019
    4:01pm
    Boy o boy, from reading the "comments" so far, it seems young Ben Hocking needs to make sure of his comments/opinions before going to print. His "interpretation" of Centrelinks "Rules" Etc. seem to be a tad shy on important details. If one didn't bother to scroll down to the 'Comments" section, you would miss out on some valuable and relevant information which would certainly impact on your decision whether to pursue the "Carers" or stay on the OAP.
    leek
    12th Aug 2019
    4:31pm
    Yep dazza I was shocked as well. The odd thing is that this information is easy to find on the Centrelink website. But saying that Centrelink is complex, and is getting more and more complex. The reason why they need so many people to run it all. The people working there don't know it all as well. They just know their part of it, whether it be disability or carers or job seekers etc. Very few people know the entire picture.
    But there are Facebook groups where the average person can learn about Centrelink from other customers. Some of the admins of these groups have so much knowledge that Centrelink should employ them. They know way more than most of the people working at centrelink.
    maelcolium
    12th Aug 2019
    4:29pm
    Also get the carer bonus worth $1200 each year.
    Chris G
    12th Aug 2019
    4:31pm
    Dazza, I completely agree!!
    Chris B T
    13th Aug 2019
    9:20am
    I not in this situation or would hopefully never find myself.
    Is't there Age Care Packages to help out in these situations and allows Married/Partner/Relative/Friend etc the ability to be supportive.
    Having someone else to take some of the burden would help both financially and physically.
    I not there should be.


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