Disability Support and Age Pension Increase September 2015
The Commonwealth granted Centrelink Disability Support and Age Pension increases on 20 September 2015. DVA Pension and Income Support Supplement also increases from 20 September 2015.
The full rates of income support Pension benefits increased by 0.8%. The Age Pension related daily care fees for Commonwealth regulated aged care were increased to reflect the Age Pension increases of 20 September 2015.
Disability Pensions and Age Pensions increases 20 September 2015 for Single Pensioners.
The new maximum total payment for a Single Pensioner is $867.00 per fortnight, an additional $6.80 per fortnight
The maximum payment for a Single Pensioner includes the full rate of Pension of $788.40 per fortnight.
Pension Supplements totaling $78.60 per fortnight are paid to Single Centrelink clients who receive at least one dollar of Pension per fortnight.
Income and Asset Test cut-off levels after Pension Increases 20 September 2015
A Single Age Pensioner would need to have an income over $1,736 per fortnight, $45,100 per year, before the Income Test cut-out her final one dollar per fortnight of Age Pension and all of the Supplements. If your only Income were the deemed rate on your financial assets then you would need more than $1,410,000 of financial assets to generate an Income at Centrelink of $45,100 per year.
But if a single senior had assets of $730,500 in addition to her home then the Asset Test would exclude her from any Age Pension.
A Single non-homeowner with assets of $879,400 could get one dollar per fortnight of Age Pension plus all of the Supplements provided that she was not excluded by the Income Test.
Remember that the Pension you receive is the lower amount after checking against the Income Test and The Assets Test.
Carer Payment reflects Pension Increases 20 September 2015
Carer Payment provides financial support to people who are unable to work in substantial paid employment because they provide full-time daily care to someone with a severe disability or medical condition, or to someone who is frail aged.
The amount of Carer Payment depends on the income and assets of both the carer and the person receiving care. Read more about Adult Carer benefits
The maximum rate of Carer Payment is equivalent to the full Age Pension rate. Therefore Single people receiving the maximum rate of Carer Payment would have their fortnightly Carer Payment increased to $867.00 per fortnight including the Pension Supplements. Remember that if you qualify for Carer Payment, you automatically receive a Pensioner Concession Card.
Disability Support Pension and Age Pension increases 20 September 2015 for Pensioner Couples
Each member of a couple at Centrelink, could get a maximum Pension of $594.30 per fortnight plus Pension Supplements of $59.20 per fortnight. Each member of a couple living together could receive a maximum payment of $653.50 per fortnight, that is, $5.10 per fortnight more.
Remember that a ‘couple at Centrelink’ is any two adults who share domestic arrangements and present socially as a couple. Changes in ‘personal circumstances’ such as becoming a member of a ‘couple at Centrelink’, take effect from the day that a partner moves in until the day that one partner moves out.
The lower rate for members of a couple living together is intended to reflect the shared use of some facilities and services.
The Couples Income Test reduces each person’s pension by 25 cents for each extra dollar of Income of the couple. After the Pension Increases 20 September 2015, an Age Pensioner couple living together could have a joint Income of $2,661 per fortnight, $69,190 per annum, and not be cut-off by the Income Test from entitlement to that last one dollar per fortnight each of Age Pension and the Pension Supplement.
For a Couple with financial assets of $2,166,000 the deemed financial income would be $69,190 per year. But the Assets Test would exclude a couple from receiving any Age Pension if they had financial assets of $2.166 million.
A homeowner couple living together could have $1,082,000 of assets in addition to their home before the Asset Test excluded them from that last one dollar per fortnight each of Age Pension and the Pension Supplement.
A non-homeowner couple living together could have $1,231,000 of assets and get that last one dollar per fortnight each of Age Pension and the Pension Supplement provided that the Income Test had not excluded them from any Age Pension.
Disability Pensions and Age Pensions increases 20 September 2015 for Pensioner Couples separated by illness
Centrelink allow for each member of a ‘couple separated by illness’ to receive the Single person rate of Pension but reduced according to the Income Test and Asset Test for the couple. Thus each member of a couple separated by illness who have very few other resources, could receive the new maximum rate of $867.00 per fortnight each including the Single rate of the Supplements.
Help is available. Christine at Financial Care Services is experienced with Centrelink Pension Applications and the many Centrelink financial means tests.
Financial Care Services offers Short Consultations to help you check your financial position against the means tests for an Age Pension, DSP or a Carer Payment.
If you think that you might be eligible for a part Pension or Carer Payment you can call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to arrange a Short Consultation, 45 minutes in person or by telephone and/or email to check your position. Please ask for a special ‘short consultation’ when you book your appointment.
Short consultations are limited to estimating your potential Pension amount. Financial Care Services charges professional hourly rate fees for all consultations that include financial advice and/or discussions about your financial position.
Christine could also assist you with collating your personal data, estimating how much Pension or Carer Payment you could expect to receive and completing the Centrelink forms for you to sign. Normal hourly rate consultation fees apply for assistance with personal data collation, completing Centrelink forms and attendance at a Centrelink office with you.
DVA War Widow Pension increases 20 September 2015
The amount of the DVA Pensions paid as compensation to War Widows increased on
20 September 2015 to $880.90 per fortnight including Supplements. This ‘compensation’ is not subject to any financial means testing.
The means tested Income Support Supplement, ISS, is paid to War Widow and DVA Disability Pensioners who have limited financial resources. The maximum rate of ISS increased to $259.90 per fortnight including Supplements.
Veterans with ‘qualifying service’ can claim the Service Pension from DVA. The Service Pension is paid at the same rates and subject to the same financial means testing as the Age Pension. Read more about veterans pensions and compensation at DVA Pensions and Benefits
Financial Care Services offers Short Consultations to help you check your financial position against the Centrelink financial means tests for a DVA Service Pension or an Age Pension, DSP or a Carer Payment.
Christine could also assist you with collating your personal data, estimating how much Pension you could expect to receive and completing the Centrelink forms for you to sign. Normal hourly rate consultation fees apply for assistance with personal data collation, completing Centrelink forms and attendance at a Centrelink office with you.
Financial Care Services is an independent aged care financial advisory service specialising in aged care entrants and Centrelink Pensions.
Financial Care Services core value in financial advice is to assist with your money plan in the responsible management of your assets to generate the cash flow needed for your lifetime planning. Christine at Financial Care Services understands both the DVA and Centrelink Pensions systems and the Commonwealth aged care fee arrangements.
To book an appointment for confidential, independent and professional advice about Commonwealth regulated residential aged care, Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper 03 9808 0338 or email your enquiry.
Disclaimer. These Insights are a general over view based on our understanding of the Centrelink and DVA Pension arrangements. Individual entitlements to Centrelink and DVA benefits are determined based on your actual situation as documented to Centrelink or DVA.
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