Winners and losers from Centrelink’s July changes

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Three Centrelink payments will be reset or dumped on 1 July 2018. Among those affected are widows, carers and those claiming new payments.

The biggest change will be to the Widow Allowance, which will not be available from that date.

Backdated payments for certain benefits will also cease unless a claim is fully completed.

Widow Allowance
However, Centrelink says that there are other payments that widows may be eligible for after 1 July.

After 1 July 2018, people who would have claimed the Widow Allowance can claim:

  • Newstart Allowance if you’re under Age Pension age
  • Age Pension, or
  • Special Benefit if you are over Age Pension age but don’t meet residence rules for the Age Pension.

If you get Newstart Allowance after 1 July 2018, and you would have qualified for the Widow Allowance, you won’t have to apply for jobs, enter into a job plan or undertake training or study.

Centrelink says current recipients of the Widow Allowance do not need to do anything so long as they are eligible to keep the payment until 2022 or transfer to the Age Pension, whichever is sooner.

Intent to claim
You will no longer be able to submit an “intent to claim” form for certain payments and concession cards, in order to be able to have payments backdated.

From 1 July 2018, you need to complete your claim in full before you can get a payment. This also applies to concession cards. You need to submit all supporting documents before we can start to process your claim.

If your claim is successful, you will get a payment or concession card issued from the date you submitted your completed claim. Centrelink will no longer pay you from the date you started your claim or contacted them about claiming.

If you contact Centrelink, start an online claim or submit an intent to claim before 30 June 2018, you need to complete your claim within 14 days. Centrelink will pay you from the date you contact them about making the claim.

Payments for carers
From 1 July 2018, eligible carers will be automatically paid the Carer Supplement and the Child Disability Assistance Payment, without having to contact Centrelink.

The payments will be made by 31 July 2018. Centrelink says that if a payment is not received by then and you believe you are eligible, you should check your Centrelink online account to confirm your registered bank account details are correct.

The Carer Supplement is a payment of up to $600 for each eligible person in your care.

The Child Disability Assistance Payment is worth up to $1000 for each eligible child.

Will any of these Centrelink changes affect payments you receive now? Do you think that it is unfair of Centrelink to stop backdating payments if you have signalled your intention to claim?


Age Pension or DSP – which is better?

Joe is unsure whether he would be better off remaining on the DSP.

Carer Supplement: will it still be paid and when?

Many people rely on the one-off Carer Supplement so will it be paid this year?

Written by Olga Galacho


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