Can you visit a sick relative overseas without losing 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.

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.

Written by Ben

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