Colin has advice for anyone who lost their Age Pension when the Government lowered the income and assets test last year.
We lost our entitlements when the Government lowered the income and assets test for the Age Pension, but we now qualify for the pension again. I already have a MyGov account and I tried for weeks to communicate with Centrelink about the reinstatement of the Age Pension, as we have been living off our savings.
I had no luck at my local office, could not get through on the phone, and written correspondence did not work. I finally had a response after an online complaint.
I’ve found I have to reapply either by a downloaded paper form or online.
Do others who lost their Age Pension because of the assets test know they have to reapply when they believe they are still eligible?
A. Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen says:
Anybody who lost their eligibility for the Age Pension due to the income and assets test changes that came into effect on 1 January 2017, must reapply if their financial circumstances have since changed. The Age Pension will not automatically be reinstated.
The Department of Human Services has made a range of improvements to how people can claim an Age Pension.
The new online channel makes it easier for people to apply, and individuals registered with Centrelink can submit their entire application online without the need to visit a service centre.
People can also save the progress of their application while online and log back in to finish it at a later time. This feature is handy for applicants who perhaps need to gather more information or documentation to assist with their claim.
If a person was previously a Centrelink payment recipient, the system will automatically fill in their personal and financial details on the Age Pension claim. Applicants just need to confirm or update the pre-populated information already provided.
Once submitted, applicants can check the status of their claim online at any time using the Claim Tracker.
Applying through the online claiming channel is faster and more efficient, as it ensures all necessary information is submitted at the time of lodgement. However, staff will be available to support people as they complete their claims, whether over the phone or in person at a service centre.
Paper forms are also available to those who need them and can be downloaded from humanservices.gov.au, or by calling the Older Australians line on 132 300 and requesting a copy.