Age Pension: can I be assessed as a single?

Peter would like to know if he can be assessed as single age pensioner.

Single woman of pension age considers applying-for a singles age pension

Peter’s wife’s Newstart Allowance has been stopped as she’s overseas so he would like to know if this means he should now be paid a single Age Pension.

Q. Peter

I am 67 and on an Age Pension, my wife is 59 and on Newstart Allowance.

We recently travelled overseas for four weeks and my wife continued on over there to visit and assist with her elderly father. She will be there for approximately four to five weeks and she will have left the country for approximately nine weeks in total, of which she informed Centrelink.

Centrelink has stopped her payment immediately and also her Opal Card has been suspended.

As we are treated as a couple for payments and her Newstart Allowance has ceased, should I not then revert to a single Age Pension for that period?

Also, what payment, etc., would my wife be entitled to if she were not to continue with voluntary work and also didn't go onto job search? What rate would my Age Pension then be?

A. The rules that apply to Newstart Allowance and the Age Pension are quite different. As Newstart Allowance is essentially a job seeker’s benefit, it is stopped once you leave the country. As your wife’s Newstart Allowance is not assessed as income under your Age Pension payment, then there is no allowance for you when her payment stops.

If your wife does not receive Newstart Allowance then there is no other payment she is entitled to until she reaches Age Pension age.

Your Age Pension payment will remain the same, as you will continue to be assessed as a couple, with the same level of income and assets that you have currently.

I hope this answers your initial questions, however, the information is general in nature and it may help to confirm your circumstances with Centrelink.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    24th Oct 2016
    Go for a Double Luv !! You wont make it on a Single Pension ! :-) :-)
    24th Oct 2016
    Have a double dip our pollies do it.
    24th Oct 2016
    Yeah ! Tell them your also the Ambassador for China ! That should BOOSTE your Income Substantially :-) :-)
    24th Oct 2016
    This is where the government comes unstuck with the cost of administration, by entering into itty bitty arrangements for overseas travellers.
    24th Oct 2016
    I agree. Given the ATO, Customs and Immigration and Centrelink are all linked by computer - and have been for some years, it should be quite easy to put a stop on all welfare payments as soon as you clear customs and passport control.
    24th Oct 2016
    I'm not sure why someone on Newstart aka the Dole thinks that payment should continue if they are not looking for work, or studying in Australia. The fact that older workers don't have to look for work, but can do 15 hours of volunteer work to qualify is generous eneough.
    25th Oct 2016
    Shes overseas and no hol pay left as with anyone with a job.End of story LWOP.If you can afford to go there then why should taxpayers contribute!
    25th Oct 2016
    Yep !
    Not being of ME Extraction and on the Old Age Pension, I'm not even Game to Scratch Myself, let alone Tour the Planet for a Month or so For fear of them looking at my Pension !:-( :-(

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles