Will overseas trips affect pension?

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

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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 [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Written by Ben

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