23rd Jan 2019
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Can you visit a sick relative overseas without losing pension?
Author: Ben Hocking

Elaine wants to take her mother overseas to visit a sick cousin, but is worried it will affect her disability support pension payments.

•••

Q. Elaine
I am on a disability support pension and want to take my 87-year-old mum back to the United Kingdom to see her 86-year-old cousin who has been ill recently. I have heard I can only leave the country for four weeks in any given 12-month period. I have already booked for eight days away in March and a seven-night cruise in October. Will this affect me going to the UK? Will it affect me getting my pension?

A. You are correct that you can only get your Disability Support Pension for up to 28 days in a 12-month period while travelling overseas temporarily. It doesn’t matter if you make a single trip or multiple trips, you will still receive the pension for only 28 days. Your payment resumes however, as soon as you return to Australia.

Centrelink does have provisions to assess your travel more compassionately for overseas trips to attend an acute family crisis, such as visiting a family member who is critically ill.

You will need to discuss your situation with a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer by calling 13 2300 to see if your pension can continue to be paid while in the United Kingdom.

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

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





    COMMENTS

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    ozrog
    25th Jan 2019
    10:56am
    Just to clarify you can go overseas for longer than 28days. I know from personal experience that you can go away for 7 weeks but will only get 28 days pension. Your pension will be suspended until you reenter Australia then it will start again. In the interim centrelink send a healthcare card to you while you are away then send you a new consession card to you when you get back. All this happens automatically as border control is linked to centrelink. The worring part is people think they are only allowed to be out of Australia for 28days and then thier DSP gets cancelled NOT TRUE it just gets suspended.
    Nerk
    25th Jan 2019
    4:12pm
    Don't get caught enjoying yourself, centerlink hates that.
    ozrog
    27th Jan 2019
    1:34am
    Centrelink knows as you have to let them know when you are leaving and when you return. If you don't let them know then they will know anyway as they have a shared database with boarder and customs.
    Arisaid
    25th Jan 2019
    11:01am
    When it states a 12 month period what does that mean i.e. from when to when. Is it based on a calendar year or what?
    sunnyOz
    25th Jan 2019
    7:32pm
    Taken from first day you go overseas....if you leave on Feb 14th 2019, the 28 days will go to Feb 13th, 2020. If you leave on March 10th 2019, period will go to March 9th, 2020.
    Robbo
    25th Jan 2019
    11:30am
    One has to wonder why you even need a pension as you are already booked for 15 days holidays, one a cruise, what a glutton

    The pension is way to generous and needs to be cut back with people like you who don't need it taking full advantage of the tax paying taxpayer.
    thommo
    25th Jan 2019
    11:44am
    Your'e a mean bugger Robbo.
    vinradio
    25th Jan 2019
    11:47am
    She may have saved up, someone else might be paying for her trips. Why should you not have holidays because you are a pensioner?
    Pass the Ductape
    25th Jan 2019
    11:48am
    Jeez mate - you need to get a life! How do you know this pensioner hasn't scrapped and saved every which way possible or gone without a great many other things to afford such a trip. But it's a free world (until you deal with Centrelink) I guess, and flush people such as you appear to be have a right to complain I suppose: doesn't appear as though you have much else to do!
    Robbo
    25th Jan 2019
    12:58pm
    Seems like we have a lot of people on this blog today that think because they maybe bludged all there life they are justly entitled to welfare from the Government paid for by people like me who pay taxes.
    Rae
    26th Jan 2019
    7:37am
    Those holidays are no longer expensive. Neither is a flight to the UK. Travel used to be expensive but it is staying home that costs the most now from all the charges and price rises of everything.
    She possibly doesn't have expensive insurances and lives frugally to save for the cruise and holiday with a friend.
    I visit my kids who are interstate. That counts as a holiday but doesn't cost much.

    Just because people can manage their money doesn't make the pension too much.
    1984
    25th Jan 2019
    11:43am
    as it states you will not be paid for anytime greater the 28 days in a 12 month period but if you've already booked overseas holidays & can afford to travel to the UK then a few weeks or a month without the pension won't be to much of a hardship now, will it.
    thommo
    25th Jan 2019
    11:56am
    Sorry 1984, the pension belongs to the recipient, and they can spend when, where and how they please.
    The sooner the pension is given (it is an entitlement) without restrictions, the better...better still, make this an election issue for oldies.
    1984
    25th Jan 2019
    12:03pm
    She's on a disability pension not an OAP. By centrelink rules she loses payment for any days over 28 days overseas in a 12 month period.
    Your reply doesn't make any sense to my post
    Hairy
    25th Jan 2019
    11:59am
    Oh how this goverment has turned people into judges and haters of their fellow man .your not genuine Australians you are pretenders. You need to go back to wherever the hell you came from . Absolute disgusting humans the lot of you . No wonder aussies a dying breed.
    sunny
    25th Jan 2019
    12:09pm
    Criminals and their ilk have rights, but pensioners? it seems we are being punished for getting older yet we are wiser (except a few whingers on this site)
    The word retired generates an uneasy feeling among people that we don't want or need anything but fresh air.
    YourLifeChoices are what it says, choices, please do not take that from us.
    KSS
    25th Jan 2019
    10:47pm
    This person is not retired on a pension she is on disability support pension. And by all accounts can afford to go overseas at least twice this year And now wants to go for a third time for an extended period taking an elderly relative with her. She clearly is not struggling to manage her money so should be able to do without the disability pension for a while whilst she is overseas. I don't think visiting a cousin (actually her mother's cousin) counts as a close family member so even if there were a compassionate leave period, I doubt a cousin once removed would be included.
    Rae
    26th Jan 2019
    7:45am
    The rise of ageism in those who see all sorts of discrimination everywhere else is a problem. These people are the bigots they rail against only they don't realise it.
    The rise of economic judgement is just as bad.

    If both are well enough for that long haul flight then so be it. I wouldn't have taken my dad on one of those flights and back at 87. It's very stressful and we do have Skype these days which could be set up for visits between the cousins.

    Taking mum on a cruise out of Australia and back is different.

    The big problem might be getting insurance and it will be very expensive for these two ladies, one disabled and one 87.
    trood
    26th Jan 2019
    1:35pm
    good comment KSS, at that age why bother and for a remote cousin, get onto Skype. and the cost of travel insurance will be phenomenal.
    OnlyDaughter
    25th Jan 2019
    2:10pm
    I have to agree that some of the comments here belong in the dark ages and are very un-Australian. Are we to be deprived of all life's pleasures due to us being a mendicant by virtue of receiving government funds. Most of us paid taxes all our lives, I have to ask does anyone think that this Robbo is the new "posting name" for Old Geezer or Lothario, because his comments certainly reflect these two members' divisive ideology, or is he just another self-satisfied smug poster.
    Robbo
    25th Jan 2019
    2:41pm
    No I am neither of those only daughter however they make some good points.
    I am one of those persons you lefties hate I did what Joe Hockey said to do,I went and got a good job and saved my money so as I wouldn,t have to bludge of the Government like a lot of these bogans on this blog do.
    1984
    25th Jan 2019
    5:28pm
    Most of us worked & saved hard Robbo but fat slug Hockey & sleazy Abbott took great delight in Robbing us of what little entitlement one had.
    What was the slugs quote "the age of entitlement is over" but not for him & his mates hey.
    What was the other quote "a proposed increase in fuel excise will not hit the poor as hard as the rich because they "don't have cars or actually drive very far"
    I could go on & on & on.
    And no I'm not a leftie or rightie & don't hate anyone. Just want to see the people of Australia treated fairly with respect & dignity but unfortunately that is highly unlikely with the current LNP government & won't be any better under the ALP.
    Hope you have a nice day
    Robbo
    25th Jan 2019
    8:21pm
    You did not work hard enough 1984 you are a liability to the country like your left wing mates we have to pay for your pension your are a bludger bye byr loser.
    1984
    26th Jan 2019
    1:35am
    Hey Robbo, you're the loser mate lol, a typical right wing wanker. Most of my mates are right wing voters but unlike you not a waste of space.
    Bye bye tosser, have a nice Australia Day
    Andy
    25th Jan 2019
    3:08pm
    I don't know about the rest of you but the government takes 40% tax from my pension so I will be paying tax till the day I die and probably even longer I think Robbo must be an NLP candidate
    Knows-a-lot
    25th Jan 2019
    5:07pm
    Just don't tell Centrelink you're overseas. Simple.
    1984
    25th Jan 2019
    5:31pm
    lol Centrelink know straight away as they are linked to immigration so it doesn't matter.
    KSS
    25th Jan 2019
    10:38pm
    Don't you know that the department of immigration is linked up with Centrelink just like the tax office is. They know if you leave the country!
    Rae
    26th Jan 2019
    8:00am
    Big Brother is here now!
    Jacka
    25th Jan 2019
    10:27pm
    Well lovey, you don't seem to be travelling too bad. I shouldn't think you would be worrying about few days not on the disability pension. Here you are, on a disability pension, being able to take an 87 year old woman overseas for an extended period to visit a sick relative. Most people I know on a disability pension require some form of care, they don't look after others, much less go travelling around the globe on a seemingly regular basis. I think you may have missed your calling, you should be writing a book on how to extend money and travel as a carer while being disabled. May I have a pint of your blood, I need a boost, I'm obviously doing something very wrong. Maybe just jealous, bon voyage, cheers to you all, Jacka.
    BAT
    26th Jan 2019
    12:29pm
    Agree!A very frugal saver.Well done We don't know what she has gone without & probably doesn't drive a car(money muncher)Disability pension comes in many forms not always physical. Travel insurance may be a problem for both.Yes we could do with tips on how to save Elaine?I need a holiday.
    trood
    26th Jan 2019
    1:30pm
    Travel insurance for over 80's will cost a fortune and the deductable will run into thousands if something goes wrong
    Redhead
    25th Jan 2019
    11:28pm
    Absence over 4 weeks, suspended until back home.. Will we get backdated pension from suspension date when back home???
    Rae
    26th Jan 2019
    8:05am
    If you are not a citizen travelling overseas may be problematic now. Keep an eye on that too. I've heard of two cases recently where long term foreign residents had trouble re entering Australia from the other end as they tried to exit the country they were visiting. Part of some new crackdown. Both were able to return but needed confirmation of residency status.
    1984
    26th Jan 2019
    1:19pm
    It is very disheartening to read a couple of posts not just on this topic but also other topics from people who attack others because they happen to be able to save a little to buy a small luxury like a cruise or holiday etc & then accuse those people of ripping of the taxpayer.
    These same people think or expect that everyone, no matter what their circumstances should be able to accomplish the same if not more than what they themselves have. But not everyone is able to, or have the same opportunities etc.
    Some even go as far as saying unless you are a self funded retiree then you haven’t worked hard enough & a bludger on the tax payer.
    About time some of these posters gave others a little bit of empathy, but that might be asking too much.
    These same people usually only post negative comments. They can't be very happy people as one of the things you need to get rid of in life to be happy is negativity.
    And yes, I am very happy with life. Like most it hasn’t been an easy road but you’ve got to make the best under the ever changing situations. Sometimes mistakes are made but we learn from them
    Please remember poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.


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