Will illness compo affect pension?

Margaret receives income from her superannuation fund after a battle with cancer that left her unable to work. She wants to know how that will affect her eligibility for an Age Pension.

Margaret:

My husband has just turned 65 and intends to retire in November and apply for the Age Pension, for both him and myself. I do not work and have not worked for nearly 12 years.  I am not 65 until 2020. However, I do receive a permanent disability payment from my superannuation company from when I was diagnosed with cancer. I underwent various medical procedures, which left me unable to return to a my permanent position, and my employer was unable to provide me with a suitable job that fitted in with the permanent physical disabilities I was left with.

Will my disability payment affect our Age Pension?

A: Centrelink bases your eligibility for an Age Pension on a number of factors, one of which is a means test. Under the means test you are assessed on your income and assets and this determines, how much, if anything, you are paid.

Your disability payment is not an exempt income and will be assessed when you make a claim for the Age Pension.

Under the income test, a couple living together can earn up to $300 per fortnight and still be eligible for a full Age Pension. However, the pension will reduce by 50 cents for every dollar over $300.

An Age Pension is also assessed under the assets test. The asset test limits for renting couples is $1,040,000 and for home-owner couples is $837,000, excluding the family home.

If you need further information about how your eligibility for the Age Pension is assessed, you can read this explainer on our website.

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Written by Janelle Ward

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