YOURLifeChoices subscriber Deb is keen to head to Samoa to help those affected by last year’s earthquake but is concerned about how this will affect her Disability Support Pension.
As of April 2010 I will be living in Samoa as a Temporary Resident for up to seven months. At present, my DSP only covers me for 16 weeks. I will not be working whilst here but will be helping in the rebuilding process as a result of the earthquake and tsunami which devastated parts of the country on 29 September.
Am I entitled to an extension of my pension whilst I’m there? I plan to live in Samoa for six months plus each year, as it is much better for my health.
A. Provided by Centrelink
Generally, the Disability Support Pension can be paid up to 13 weeks whilst you are outside Australia. In most cases, payments will cease after the normal 13-week period.
An exception to this rule may apply if you are terminally ill and are leaving Australia permanently. In these cases, Disability Support Pension may be paid for the total period of absence however, your rate may change.
More information about receiving a Centrelink payment overseas is available on the Centrelink website.
If you have not had a Job Capacity Assessment recently you should contact Centrelink. A Job Capacity Assessment is a way of finding out if you can work, how much work you can do and how much help you need to find and keep a job.
It might be a good idea to chat to a Customer Service Adviser to discuss your individual circumstances. You can do this by visiting your local Centrelink Customer Service Centre or you can phone Centrelink International Services on 13 16 73.