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AUSTRALIAN DISABILITY SUPPORT PENSION Australian Disability

Phone: 13 2717 or 13 1673
TTY Service: Freecall™ 1800 810 586
Web site: www.centrelink.gov.au

The disability sector includes people with a disability, their families, carers, support workers, and organizations in the community that assist people with a disability to live and participate in community life. Supports include health and community services, recreation, education, employment, transport, housing and income.

The 1998 Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers states that an estimated 3.6 million Australians had a disability, with 1.1 million requiring assistance with day-to-day living.

Disability Services is a division of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and comes under the portfolio of the Minister for Community Services, the Hon Sherryl Garbutt MP.

This page provides the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about disability benefits. Click on the questions below to learn the answers. Contact us if you have any questions.

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What Is A Disability?

ANSWER: Each person's experience of disability is different. Experiences are influenced by what happens in your life, your access to information, services, opportunities, the environment where you live, and the attitudes of people in your community.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) classify "disability" as "an umbrella term for any or all of the components: impairment, activity limitation and participation restriction, as influenced by environmental factors".

There are many different types of disability. A disability can be caused by a genetic condition, an illness or an accident, and includes:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Physical disability
  • Sensory disability
  • Acquired brain injury
  • Neurological impairment
  • Dual disability (one of the above and a psychiatric disability)
  • Disabilities that are unrelated to ageing
  • Any combination of these

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What Is Sickness Allowance?

ANSWER: Sickness Allowance may be paid if you are temporarily unable to work or study due to a disability, illness or injury and are:

  • aged 21 or over and employed, or
  • aged 21 or over and on ABSTUDY, or
  • aged 25 or over and on Austudy

You must have work or study to return to when you are better. A Medical Certificate from a medical practitioner on an approved form must be supplied when claiming Sickness Allowance. The certificate must state:

  • The practitioner's diagnosis (the name or description of the condition), AND
  • The practitioner's prognosis, AND
  • That you are incapacitated for work or study, AND
  • The period for which you are incapacitated for work or study

Certificates can only be accepted from a person who is registered and licensed as a medical practitioner under a State or Territory law. A Centrelink approved certificate is available from your treating doctor.

A certificate which is not on the approved form can be accepted if all the necessary information is included.

NOTE: The Treating Doctor's Report included in the claim pack does not need to be completed if you are claiming Sickness Allowance.

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What Is A Disability Support Pension?

ANSWER: Disability Support Pension may be paid if you are aged 16 or over, under age pension age at the time of claiming and your disabilities, illnesses or injuries will prevent you from working or retraining for work for 2 years or more.

If you are permanently blind you may also be eligible for Disability Support Pension. Your treating doctor will usually need to complete the Treating Doctor's Report included in the claim pack.

The Treating Doctor's Report included in the claim pack does not need to be completed if:

  • Your only disability is an intellectual disability and you attend or have attended a special school and are able to provide a report from your school which indicates your IQ, capacity for independent living and any other associated problems

  • You are claiming on the basis of permanent blindness and you are able to provide a report from an ophthalmologist

  • You have been assessed as being a profoundly disabled child and you had a carer who was receiving Carer Payment up to the time you turned 16.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance pending the outcome of the Disability Support Pension assessment. You will not be required to satisfy the activity test associated with these payments while your claim for Disability Support Pension is being assessed.

NOTE: You do not need to have an approved Centrelink Medical Certificate completed for Disability Support Pension.

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How Does Mobility Allowance Work?

ANSWER: Mobility Allowance may be paid if you have a disability and cannot use public transport without extra help. There does not need to be public transport in your area to qualify.

Mobility Allowance is not taxable. You do not need to be getting any other Centrelink payments to qualify for Mobility Allowance.

You may qualify for Mobility Allowance if you:

  • Are 16 or over, and

  • Can't use public transport without extra help because of your disability, illness or injury and:

  • Are doing at least 32 hours over a 4 week period of voluntary work, paid work, training or a combination of any of these, or

  • Have an agreement to look for work through an employment service provider, or

  • Are receiving an activity tested payment such as Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Austudy, and

  • Need to travel to and from your home as part of your work, training or job seeking activities

If you are receiving Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Disability Support Pension and you are working 15 or more hours per week, or looking for such work under an agreement with an employment service provider, you may be eligible for a higher rate of Mobility Allowance.

In some instances the higher rate may remain payable if a customer leaves Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Disability Support Pension.

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How Do I Claim These Payments?

ANSWER: There are two different claims for the above payments:

  • Claim for payments for people with disabilities, illnesses or injuries which covers Sickness Allowance and Disability Support Pension, and
  • Claim for Mobility Allowance

For further information call Centrelink on 13 2717.

NOTE: To be eligible for Sickness Allowance, Disability Support Pension and Mobility Allowance you must satisfy residence requirements. Income and assets tests also apply, except for Mobility Allowance and certain categories of Disability Support Pension.

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Do I Need To Prove Hours I've Worked Or Trained? (Mobility Allowance only)

ANSWER: Yes. Centrelink will need proof of the hours you are working or training. The documents listed below might give details of your work and/or training. If you cannot supply proof of hours, Centrelink will send you a form to take to your employer or training organization. The form will only be sent to you after Centrelink has received your claim.

If you are employed:

  • Two recent pay slips showing the name of the employer and number of hours worked, or
  • A letter from your employer stating when you started work and how many hours you work over a 2 and 4 week period, or
  • A copy of a recent attendance sheet

If you are self employed:

  • A letter from your accountant stating the hours you work over a 2 and 4 week period

If you do voluntary work:

  • A letter from a welfare, charitable or community organization stating the hours you work over a 4 week period

If you participate in a vocational training course:

  • An enrolment record which shows the hours you attend, or
  • A letter from the training organization stating when you started the course, when it will finish and how many hours you attend each week

If you participate in an Independent Living or Life Skills Training course:

  • A letter from the training organization stating how many hours over a 4 week period of your course relate to Independent Living Skills or Life Skills (do not include time spent on recreational activities)

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Can I Get Help From Centrelink?

ANSWER: Yes. Some Centrelink customers may have difficulty managing their Centrelink affairs, often because of a disability or illness or problems reading, writing, understanding information or handling money. If you receive a payment or service from Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office, a Person Permitted to Enquire or Nominee arrangement is available.

Person Permitted to Enquire (PPE) arrangements provide for a Centrelink customer to authorize a person or organization to make limited enquiries only and confirm information held. A PPE is not a nominee arrangement. A Nominee arrangement authorizes a person or organization to enquire, act and make changes on your behalf and/or receive your Centrelink payment on your behalf. A form is available for customers interested in such arrangements, Authorizing a person or organization to enquire or act on your behalf form (SS313).

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How Do They Decide Which Payment I Get?

ANSWER: The type of payment you may get will depend upon:

  • For how long your disabilities, illnesses or injuries are expected to stop you from working or studying
  • Whether you have a job or study to return to
  • The severity of your disabilities, illnesses or injuries
  • Whether you are able to undertake some rehabilitation or training

Centrelink will assess your circumstances and determine the most appropriate payment for your situation. This means that if you are not eligible for one payment your claim can be assessed for another payment.

If you wish to claim Mobility Allowance, Centrelink will need to assess your eligibility for Mobility Allowance and further information will be required. Call Centrelink on 13 2717.

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What Is A Job Capacity Assessment?

ANSWER: A Job Capacity Assessment is a comprehensive assessment of an individual's barriers to participation, work capacity and may include a referral to appropriate programs of assistance.

A Job Capacity Assessment is very important if you are receiving or claiming a disability payment. Centrelink needs to know:

  • How severe your disability, illness or injury is
  • Whether you can do any kind of full-time or part-time work
  • When or if you will be able to return to work, or
  • Whether rehabilitation or retraining would help you become fit for work

To undertake an assessment you may be required to attend an appointment with a Job Capacity Assessor.

The assessor will consider the report from your own doctor as well as any other medical information you bring with you. The assessor may also request more information from your own doctor or seek a report from a specialist before completing a report for Centrelink.

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What Happens At The Assessment?

ANSWER: If you require an interpreter please let Centrelink know and we will arrange one for you. This includes Auslan interpreters.

You may have a friend or relative with you during the assessment, unless the assessor feels that having another person present would impede the assessment. If you would prefer an assessor of the same sex this can usually be arranged as long as you let Centrelink or your employment service provider know when you are contacted with the details of your appointment. If an assessor of the same sex cannot be arranged, the assessor can arrange to have another person of the same sex present.

The assessor will ask you detailed questions about your health, your ability to do work and related issues. The assessor will not make any decisions about your payments. The assessor will provide a report to Centrelink and Centrelink will make the decision about your payment. The assessor may refer you to an appropriate program of assistance.

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What Should I Take To The Assessment?

ANSWER: If you have any of the following, you may need to take them with you to the appointment:

  • X-ray reports and medical reports relating to your medical conditions
  • A list of all medications that you are currently taking
  • Spectacles (glasses) or contact lenses
  • Hearing aid(s)
  • Specialist reports
  • Workers compensation medical reports
  • Rehabilitation assessments
  • Medical test results, and
  • Any information you have about your medical conditions

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What Are Australian Residence Requirements?

ANSWER: To claim Sickness Allowance, Disability Support Pension and Mobility Allowance you must be an Australian resident. An Australian resident is a person who resides in Australia on a permanent basis and is one of the following:

  • An Australian citizen, or
  • The holder of a permanent visa, or
  • A special category visa holder (a person who arrived on a New Zealand passport) who was in Australia on 26 February 2001 or in a limited number of other special circumstances

You also need to have been an Australian resident for certain periods, with some exceptions:

  • Under the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period, you may not be eligible for Sickness Allowance and/or Mobility Allowance until you have been in Australia as an Australian resident for a total of at least 104 weeks. There are some exemptions for refugees, the holders of certain other visas, Australian citizens and their partners or dependant children and people who are partners or dependant children of a person who has been a permanent resident for a continuous period of at least two years.

To meet the residence requirements for Disability Support Pension:

  • You must have been an Australian resident for 10 years continuously, or at least five years continuously at any time and more than 10 years in total, or
  • Your continuing inability to work or permanent blindness occurred while you were an Australian resident, or
  • You arrived in Australia as a refugee

If you have lived in a country with which Australia has an agreement on social security, there may be special rules that overcome logement and residence requirements for Disability Support Pension.

If you are claiming Disability Support Pension, you and/or your partner may be expected to take reasonable action to obtain any payment to which you are entitled from another country. We will check if you may be entitled to a foreign payment and send you information about how to claim. Even if we don't send you information you can still request to claim a foreign payment.

Check with Centrelink if you are unsure about your circumstances.

NOTE: You must be able to provide proof of your residence status. This is separate to the requirement to prove your identity.

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How Much Payment Will I Get?

ANSWER: How much payment you get will depend on your circumstances and your (and your partner's) income and assets. Centrelink calculates the amount that could be paid to you and, if applicable, to your partner under both the income test and the assets test. The test giving the lower rate of payment is the one used to pay you and/or your partner.

Mobility Allowance is not income and assets tested.

Disability Support Pension paid to customers who are blind:
Disability Support Pension paid to blind customers is not subject to the income or assets test. If Rent Assistance is claimed however, income and assets must be declared. The income and assets tested rate is compared to the non income and assets tested rate and the higher amount is paid.

Income and assets must also be declared if a blind customer's partner is claiming a payment from Centrelink. If the partner is also permanently blind, income and assets do not have to be declared unless Rent Assistance is claimed.

The rate of Disability Support Pension paid to blind customers is affected by compensation payments.

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What Is The Income Test?

ANSWER: Income includes money received from employment and money deemed to be earned from investments. It also includes money from outside Australia.

You can have income up to certain limits without having your payments reduced. These income limits are called "allowable income limits". For information about your allowable income limits contact Centrelink.

Your income may include:

  • Deemed income from financial investments
  • Gross income from earnings
  • Net income from business, including farms
  • Family trust distributions or dividends from private company shares
  • Income from rental property
  • Income from boarders and lodgers
  • Superannuation and pensions from other countries
  • Income from income stream products, such as annuities and allocated products
  • Compensation

Your rental income may be exempt if:

  • You entered an aged care home, and
  • You pay an accommodation bond by periodic installment, and
  • You rent out the home you left to enter care

Income maintenance period
If you receive or are going to receive leave entitlements or redundancy payments from your work, including annual leave, long service leave, sick leave and maternity leave, you may be required to serve a waiting period before you are entitled to payment. Income Maintenance Periods generally apply from the date the leave or redundancy payments are received, for the period covered by the payment.

Seasonal work preclusion period
If you or your partner have done seasonal, intermittent or contract work in the previous six months before lodging a claim and earned a higher than average income, you may have to wait an additional period before being paid.

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What Is The Assets Test?

ANSWER: Most things you own have a value and can be counted as assets. For the purpose of calculating your payment, the value of your assets is what you would get for them if you sold them.

Generally, any debt owing on an asset is deducted from the value of that asset.

Your assets may include:

  • Home contents, excluding fixtures like wall-to-wall carpet or wall heaters
  • Cars
  • Boats, trailers
  • Rental properties, farms, second homes, holiday houses
  • Capital value of investments
  • Some income stream products
  • Money in the bank, building society or credit union, term deposits, managed investments and shares
  • Outstanding loans you have made to other people
  • Value of your business
  • Antiques or other collectibles

Your assets do NOT include:

  • Your principal family home (and up to two hectares of privately used surrounding land on the same title document as the home), and any permanent fixtures such as wall-to-wall carpet and wall heaters
  • Some income stream products
  • Cemetery plots
  • Pre-paid funeral expenses
  • Accommodation bonds paid to an aged care home
  • Assets up to a certain limit held in a Special Disability Trust (SDT)

These are called exempt assets. If you are unsure about what is counted as an asset, contact Centrelink.

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What Should I Do Before Accepting A Compensation Payment

ANSWER: You or your solicitor should call 13 1021 and ask for your nearest Compensation Recovery Team. The people in this team can tell you:

  • How a proposed lump sum compensation payment may affect social security payments from Centrelink
  • If you will need to repay any social security payments to Centrelink from your compensation

Compensation Income, such as weekly workers' compensation payments, is assessed under a separate income test. For each dollar of compensation income the social security payment (including pensions paid to blind customers) is reduced by a dollar. Lump sum compensation may stop social security payments (including pensions paid to blind customers) from being paid for a period of time. If a person gets a lump sum compensation payment which contains an amount for economic loss, Centrelink will work out a period (called a "preclusion period"), during which a person cannot get payments from Centrelink. The preclusion period can be in the past, in which case all payments from Centrelink received during the period must be repaid, or in the future, in which case no payments can be made until the period is over, or both. Family Tax Benefit Part A is not affected by the compensation rules. Lump sum compensation payments are also subject to special rules.

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How Does A Compensation Payment Affect Couples?

ANSWER: If your partner also receives social security payments (including pensions paid to blind customers) from Centrelink, their payments are only affected by your regular compensation payments if your social security payments have been reduced to nil and there is still an amount of compensation "left over". The amount "left over" is then treated as ordinary income like any other income.

If you receive a lump sum compensation payment, your partner will not be affected by the preclusion period and they can still be paid social security payments provided they are otherwise eligible.

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What Is Deeming?

ANSWER: Deeming is a simple set of social security rules used to assess income from financial assets. Under these rules we assume financial assets are earning a certain amount of income, regardless of the income they actually earn. The deeming rates are monitored to ensure that they are achievable in safe investments such as term deposits. Most financial institutions offer at call savings accounts that earn the deeming rates.

Financial assets include:

  • Bank, building society and credit union accounts
  • Term deposits and debentures
  • Friendly society bonds
  • Managed investments (e.g. unit, property trusts)
  • Listed shares and securities
  • Shares in unlisted public companies
  • Gold and other bullion
  • Certain income streams
  • Approved deposit funds, deferred annuities and superannuation fund investments
  • Short-term asset tested income streams
  • Loans, including those to family trusts and companies, and
  • Gifts of money or other assets of more than $10,000 in a pension year and $30,000 in five years

If the actual income you receive from your investment is more than the deemed income, the extra income is not counted when assessing your rate of allowance or pension. The deeming rates are continually monitored to ensure that they are appropriate. The deemed income is added to any income you have from other sources such as income from employment. Your total income is then used to work out how much you can be paid.

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Do I Have To Prove My Identity?

ANSWER: Yes. As a Centrelink customer you are required to prove your identity when claiming a pension, benefit, allowance or service. You must establish your identity by providing original documents (not photocopies) from this approved list. Centrelink requires you to prove both your:

  • Commencement of Identity (proof of your birth or arrival) in Australia; and
  • Use of this Identity

NOTE: The document you use to show your Commencement of Identity cannot also count towards the POINTS required for the payment or service claimed. If you have any difficulty in obtaining or providing these documents, you should contact Centrelink as soon as possible.

If you have previously met the proof of identity requirements, and you are reclaiming within 52 weeks of receiving a Centrelink payment, fewer proof of identity documents may be required. If you think this applies to you, contact Centrelink as soon as possible. Where possible, Centrelink will use the documents you provide to prove your age, residence, income and/or assets if that is relevant to the payment or service you are applying for. However, to be eligible for some payments or services, you may need to provide additional documents.

For claims of Disability Support Pension & Sickness Allowance you will need to provide:

  • At least one document (listed below) to show Commencement of Identity in Australia; AND
  • OTHER documents that add up to 100 points from the approved list (see below).

For claims of Mobility Allowance you will need to provide:

  • At least one document (listed below) to show Commencement of Identity in Australia; AND
  • OTHER documents that add up to 50 points from the approved list (see below).

  Commencement of Identity in Australia
Document Explanation/Description Points
Australian Birth Certificate Original Australian birth certificate, extract or birth card in your name/former name. 70
Australian Passport (current) Australian passport in your name/former name. Expired passports are not acceptable. 70
Citizenship Certificate Australian citizenship certificate in your name/former name. 70
Australian Visa Australian visa, current at time of entry to Australia as resident or tourist, showing your name/former name. 70
Document of Identity (DFAT) Document of Identity issued in your name/former name by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to Australian citizens or persons who possess the nationality of a Commonwealth country, for travel purposes. 70
Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status (DIMA) Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status (Form 283) issued by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, showing your name/former name. 70
Certificate of Identity (DIMA) Certificate of Identity issued by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to refugees and non Australian citizens for entry to Australia. 70

   Use of Identity
Document Explanation/Description Points
Defense Discharge Papers Australian Defense Force discharge papers, in your name/former name. 70
Shooter’s or Firearm Licence Current shooter’s or firearm licence showing signature and/or photo and same name as claim. 70
Security Licence Current security protection industry or crowd control licence, showing signature and/or photo and same name as claim. 70
Bank/Financial Institution Card Current ATM or credit card showing your name and signature. Statement or passbook statement or passbook from current savings or cheque account showing your name and same address (if applicable) as your claim. CANNOT accept: Cards issued by organizations other than banks, credit unions or building societies, account documentation issued by banks/financial institutions outside Australia or ATM or internet receipts/statements. 40
Child’s Birth Certificate Australian birth certificate for a child showing your name as parent/guardian. CANNOT accept: Sibling’s certificate. 40
Australian Driver’s Licence - Motor Vehicle Current state or territory issued driver’s licence, learner’s permit or provisional licence showing signature and/or photo and same name and same address as claim. 40
Australian Divorce Papers Australian divorce papers in your name/former name, e.g. Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute. 40
Australian Marriage Certificate Marriage certificate issued by a state or territory government agency. CANNOT accept: Church or celebrant issued certificates. 40
Mortgage Papers Legally drawn mortgage papers for an Australian residence in your name/former name. 40
Name Change Legal change of name certificate or deed poll certificate. 40
Overseas Passport (Issued by a country other than Australia) Current passport issued by a country other than Australia, with valid entry stamp or visa. 40
Registration Certificate from a Professional Board Registration certificate from a national or state/territory professional registration board, e.g. doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, accountants. 40
Trade Certificate Current Australian trade certificate in your name/former name. Must be signed by issuer or claimant. 40
Veterans Affairs Gold Card Current Department of Veteran’ Affairs Gold Card issued in your name. 40
Reference from Indigenous Organization Reference from an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander organization showing referee’s full details and length of time they have known you. 20
Educational Report or Reference Up to 3 school/education reports or references, including enrolment confirmations for different years or semesters, in your name/former name (school/TAFE/university/RTO). 20
Student ID Card Current student ID card issued in your name with signature and/or photo (school/TAFE/university/RTO). 20
PAYG Payment Summary PAYG payment summary, less than 2 years old, with tax file number. CANNOT accept: Centrelink issued payment summaries. 20
Insurance Renewal Current insurance renewal for house, contents, vehicle, boat, crop insurance in your name and showing same address as claim. 20
Tenancy Agreement or Lease Current formal residential tenancy agreement or lease in your name and showing same address as claim. 20
Medicare Card A current Medicare card showing your name. 20
Motor Vehicle Registration Current motor vehicle registration showing your name, same address as claim and proof of payment. 20
Other Overseas Documents (documents issued by a country other than Australia) Up to 3 documents issued by a country other than Australia (equivalent to Australian documents listed of at least 20 points value), includes lapsed passports issued by a country other than Australia. 20
Other Licence Up to 3 current Commonwealth, state or territory licence for coxswain, boat, aircraft etc. Must have your photo and/or signature and same address as claim (if applicable). CANNOT accept: Recreational fishing licenses. 20
Proof of Age Card Current proof of age or photo identity card issued by a government agency in your name with photo and/or signature. 20
Rates Notice Paid rates notice in your name and showing same address as claim, less than 12 months old. 20
Utility Account Up to 3 paid utility accounts e.g. gas, water, electricity or phone in your name and showing receipt number and same address as claim, less than 12 months old. 20
Electoral Enrolment Proof of electoral enrolment card issued in your name and same address as claim. 10
Other Financial Documents Up to 3 current financial documents, such as superannuation, shares, life insurance, credit card statement or managed investment documents issued in your name. CANNOT accept: Hire or lease agreement. 10
Health Insurance Card Current health insurance card showing your name. 10
Motoring Association Card Current membership card or documents issued in your name. 10
Taxation Notice of Assessment Taxation notice of assessment in your name less than 2 years old. 10
Employment Records Termination notice, separation certificate, report or reference from employer in your name. CANNOT accept: Pay slips 10

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What Changes Must I Tell Centrelink About?

ANSWER: After you claim Sickness Allowance or Disability Support Pension, you must tell Centrelink within 14 days if any of the following happens.

If you have a partner, you must also tell us if any of the following happens to your partner.

If you have any changes to declare, make sure you understand all of the changes you must tell Centrelink about. If you don't tell Centrelink about changes you could have a debt. If you have a debt you may have to pay all or some of the money back.

To advise Centrelink of changes, call 13 2717.

Changes To Your Work
You must tell Centrelink if:

  • You start or restart work (for any number of hours)
  • You change jobs or become self employed (this can be full-time, part-time or casual work)
  • Your income from employment changes
  • Your hours of employment changes
  • You no longer have a job or study to return to

Changes To Your Personal Circumstances
You must tell Centrelink if:

  • You sell your home and buy another house
  • The amount of rent you pay changes
  • You start to share accommodation with another person
  • You stop sharing accommodation with another person
  • You change address
  • You move into a retirement village
  • Your marital status changes, e.g. you marry, separate, become widowed, get back with a former partner or start living with a new partner
  • The number of dependants changes
  • You start to get child support/maintenance or the amount of child support/maintenance received changes
  • Your child or children stop full time studies
  • You are admitted to a nursing home or hostel
  • You change or close the account your payment goes into
  • You are sent to prison
  • Your Australian residence status changes
  • You claim compensation

Leaving Australia Temporarily or Permanently
You must tell Centrelink if:

  • You leave Australia temporarily (even for a holiday) or permanently - you must contact Centrelink before departure and on return to Australia (this is to ensure you are aware of your entitlements to payments during your absence from Australia)

Changes To Your Financial Situation
You must tell Centrelink if:

  • You sell/acquire shares or units
  • You have the dividends from your shares or funds reinvested to purchase shares or units - you must advise of the number of shares/units you receive
  • You are issued with bonus shares
  • You receive unexpected gains like NRMA demutualisations
  • Your income stream payments/investments change, e.g. annuities or superannuation pensions
  • You buy or sell an investment property or the income you receive from an investment property changes
  • You sell or buy other investments
  • You start to receive payments from a country other than Australia or if your investments or payments in a country other than Australia change
  • You become involved in a business, company or trust
  • You receive compensation payment(s)
  • You (and/or your partner) receive any leave payments
  • You (and/or your partner) receive or have received a redundancy payment since 20/09/06

Mobility Allowance
After you claim Mobility Allowance you must tell Centrelink within 14 days if any of the following happen:

  • You change jobs or become self employed (this can be full-time, part-time or casual work)
  • You change address
  • You change or close the account your payment goes into
  • You are sent to prison
  • Your Australian residence status changes
  • You travel, or are planning to travel outside Australia - you must contact Centrelink at least six weeks before you leave and on return to Australia (this is to ensure you are aware of your entitlements to payments during your absence from Australia)

If you are receiving Mobility Allowance at the standard rate, you must tell Centrelink within 14 days if any of the following happen:

  • You stop looking for work, including when you stop assistance from a Job Network member, or a disability employment service provider

  • You stop working (this includes voluntary work and self employment)

  • The number of hours you work and/or undertake voluntary work and/or spend in training (including Independent Living Skills or Life Skills training) falls below 32 hours over a 4 week period

  • You stop your training course

  • You receive a "gift car" from the Department of Veterans Affairs

  • You stop your Independent Living Skills or Life Skills course

  • You commence training as part of a rehabilitation program with a vocational rehabilitation provider, or

  • You are receiving Newstart or Youth Allowance and become exempt from the activity test

If you are receiving Mobility Allowance at the higher rate, you must tell Centrelink within 14 days if any of the following happen:

  • You stop working or your hours of work fall below 15 hours per week at or above the relevant minimum wage, or

  • You stop undertaking job search activities under an agreement with an employment service provider, or

  • You are receiving Newstart or Youth Allowance and become exempt from the activity test

If you do not tell Centrelink about these changes you may not get paid the right amount of money. To advise Centrelink of changes, call 13 2717.

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What If I Disagree With A Decision?

ANSWER: If you are not happy with a decision Centrelink has made about your payments there are several steps you can take. You can also take someone with you when you talk to Centrelink.

  • You should first discuss the matter with the person who made the original decision at your local Centrelink Customer Service Centre.

  • If after this you are still unhappy with the decision you can request a review by an Authorized Review Officer. This is an independent Centrelink officer who can take a fresh look at the facts. You should request this review within 13 weeks of the decision. This is because arrears (where payable) will usually not be paid if a review is sought after the 13 week period expires.

  • If you do not agree with the decision of the Authorized Review Officer you can apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) for a review. The SSAT is an organization not related to Centrelink. The SSAT can only look at a review after it has been reviewed by an Authorized Review Officer. This service is free of charge.

  • If you are unhappy with the SSAT decision you can have this decision reviewed by applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT is a body that provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian Commonwealth Government. This service is free of charge.

For more information about your review and appeal rights, or to lodge an appeal, call Centrelink on 13 2717.

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