Will his assets be counted?

June has recently separated from her husband and is in desperate need of an Age Pension – will her husband’s income and assets affect her claim?

Q. June
I am 67 and have just separated from my second husband. He has all of the superannuation that we lived on and it was his house, so I’m wondering if I will be assessed under his assets? I really need money and would like to know if I can apply for an Age Pension. Can you help me?

A. It is important that you have your separation recorded, a statutory declaration is usually enough but if you have legal documentation, then all the better.

As part of a couple, you would have been assessed as such and your husband’s assets and income would have been included.

As you are now single you will be assessed on your own financial situation and, therefore, it is definitely worth making an Age Pension claim.

However, it should be noted that the process of assessing claims can take some time, and you may be asked to provide considerable documentation, so you should start the application as soon as possible.

You can apply online – you will need a Centrelink Customer Reference number, and online Centrelink account and a MyGov account to do so. You will need to visit a Centrelink customer service centre to apply for a CRN. Find out more at Humanservices.gov.au

You can also apply over the phone and if you choose, you can ask Centrelink to send you a hard copy of the forms for you to complete and return.  

Even if you do not have all the information required to hand, submit your application – you can always provide the necessary documentation once you have it, or when additional information is requested.

You may find our eGuide, Your Age Pension and Retirement, useful.

Related articles:
Pension eligibility
Income and asset test

Written by Debbie McTaggart