Should I apply for the pension?

Dorothy knows she is not eligible for the Age Pension, but wonders if she should go through the process anyway?


Q. Dorothy
I have reached the age when I’m eligible for the Age Pension. I’m sure I won’t get anything because we have too many assets. However, I’m wondering if I should go through the process of claiming so that I’m “on the books” as it were, in case there are other benefits I can get?

A. This is a very labour-intensive way of finding out the benefits that you are entitled to and we wouldn’t recommend going through the process of applying for the Age Pension as a fun way to pass the time.

Depending on your exact situation, you may be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. This card helps with the cost of prescription medicines and other health services, if you are of pension age but do not qualify for the Age Pension.

If you don’t qualify for a payment from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs, have reached Age Pension age, meet the income test and are an Australian resident currently living in Australia, then you will be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card provides you with cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, a bigger refund for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net and bulk-billed doctor visits (depending on your doctor).

Your state or territory government and local council may offer you more. They may lower your:

  • electricity and gas bills
  • property and water rates
  • healthcare costs, including ambulance, dental and eye care
  • public transport fares

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Related articles:
Pension concessions in the UK
Eat or heat’s tragic consequences
Any issues returning to Australia?

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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