Volume 7 Edition 4 Financial Care Services Newsletter
Online at Permalink: http://financialcareservices.com.au/newsletters/vol-7-ed-4/
Financial Care Services Newsletter by Christine Hopper
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 7 Edition 4 – 28 April 2017
Without any fanfare Centrelink have tightened their process for confirming the identity of customers.
The new ‘confirming your identity’ process is applied to both new customers and any existing Centrelink customers who change their customer status at Centrelink.
The ‘confirming your identity’ process has three parts.
The first part of confirming your identity process is ‘Commencement of Identity in Australia’. This segment could be satisfied with a current Australian Passport or a full Australian Birth Certificate, not just an Extract.
The second part of the confirming your identity process is ‘Primary Use in Australia’. A current Australian State or Territory issued Motor Vehicle Driver Licence showing your signature and/or photograph could satisfy this part.
The third part of the confirming your identity process is ‘Secondary use in Community’. Centrelink have a long list of acceptable documents for this part. The document that you submit needs to show your full name clearly linked to your residential address or signature.
Bank issued credit cards or ATM cards showing your name and signature could be adequate. If you are still in the paper based world your current bank passbook or printed bank account statement could be acceptable.
If you do not deal with an Australian bank or credit union, then you could just show a recent utility bill in your name for your home address.
Confirming the identity of an active retiree
An active retiree could show a current Australian Passport, an Australian Driver Licence for a motor vehicle and a bank issued credit card or a recent utility bill for her home. Healthy retirees could be expected to be able to ‘confirm identity in the community’ without drama.
The next challenge is the practicalities of showing Centrelink your personal documents for confirming your identity.
You could send your documents to Centrelink by mail and have them returned by a secure mail service. But few seniors want to be without a Driver Licence for a month while Centrelink perform the confirming your identity process.
The more efficient option is to visit a Centrelink office for the confirming your identity exercise.
Centrelink offices are usually less busy midweek. But the confirming your identity process can still take an hour on a good day.
Thus for some retirees the challenge of the ‘confirmation of identity in the community’ exercise is just remembering to take your Passport when you visit Centrelink; the other items would be in your wallet for everyday use.
For an active retiree the confirming your identity process could be easy. Once your identity has been confirmed at Centrelink you would not expect to have to provide proof of identity documents ever again even if you switch Health Concession Cards.
Confirming the identity of a senior
The unexpected challenge is that current Centrelink customers will also be required to undergo the confirm your identity process when changing Health Concession Cards.
For example, your mother might also need to confirm her identity if she moves from Age Pension to Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Yes this could happen, if you sell your mother’s home to finance her aged care and her remaining cash could exceed the Asset Test cut-off for an Age Pension. But then she might be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card if her new ‘taxable income’ is modest.
For a mature aged self-funded retiree the confirming your identity process looks impossible.
These seniors could face an extra challenge of having no documents for Commencement of identity in Australia or Primary Use in Community. The challenge to confirm identity in the community can be daunting for seniors who were born in Australia and never travelled overseas.
But there is hope. Centrelink has another route to confirming your identity.
Not listed on the Centrelink website list of Customer Forms is a new form for ‘confirmation of identity in the community’.
You must actually visit a Centrelink office without enough documentation to confirm your identity according to the above process. Only then will the Centrelink officers to give you the new form.
The new Centrelink form could be satisfied with as many of the following items that are relevant:
• the customer’s date and place of birth;
• contact details for close family members such as siblings or children;
• contact details for any carer or personal support service, such as aged care at home, Council home help or personal care service, or residential aged care;
• the date and names of the medical centre and treating doctor for her most recent medical treatment/consultation;
• her last three residential addresses plus evidence of ownership or lease.
Finally remember that if you are senior enough to have no photo ID then you are senior enough to have a family member or friend accompany you to Centrelink. Your accompanying person can fill in the special Centrelink form for you to sign and hand in while you are at the Centrelink office.
Financial Care Services assists clients complete Centrelink forms and collate supporting documents. Christine supports seniors to attend a local Centrelink office for confirmation of identity in the community interviews. The Financial Care Services charges hourly rate fees for assistance with Centrelink matters.
Financial Care Services your independent financial adviser
Financial Care Services is an independent financial advisory service specialising in retirees of modest means and aged care entrants. Our core values of working with clients in their lifetime financial planning supports claiming DVA and Centrelink entitlements.
Financial Care Services charges fees based on the work involved in advising you about pensions and aged care financial solutions and arranging your investments.
To make an appointment for confidential, independent and professional advice about aged care, retirement lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper or call +61 3 9808 0338.
Financial Care Services Pty Ltd
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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299570 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/flb.html)
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations.
All eligibility for Commonwealth benefits will be determined by Centrelink or DVA, based on your personal position as documented and the legislation and Regulations in force at that time.
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