Are expense reimbursements treated as income by Centrelink?

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Elizabeth does some volunteer work and isn’t sure how Centrelink treats expense reimbursements.

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Q. Elizabeth
I am currently 64 and very active. My husband is 73 on the Age Pension. I no longer work or claim Newstart. However, I do volunteer in a consumer capacity at several health services, contributing to our country’s health services. I do not get paid, but I am reimbursed for expenses, for example, public transport costs, etc. My understanding is that this is not treated as income from a Centrelink perspective, but I thought I would put the question forward to check.

A. Where a volunteer worker receives reimbursement from an agency specifically for out-of-pocket expenses incurred, the payment is NOT assessed as income.

Where a volunteer receives more than the amount of the expenses actually incurred, the extra IS considered to be income.

Even if you were in paid employment, reimbursements for work-related expenses would still not be considered income by Centrelink.

On a slightly different topic, payments (including for out-of-pocket expenses) to people serving, or being summoned to serve, on a jury is also NOT considered to be income.

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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.

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