Claiming Blind Pension
Claiming the Blind Pension involves proving both that you are ‘blind’ and that you are an Australian resident eligible for Centrelink Income Support Benefits.
The advantage of claiming the Blind Pension is that no financial means testing applies to the Blind Pension. The value of your assets and those of your partner, and the amount of your income do not impact on the amount of the Blind Pension payable.
Pensioners who are ‘blind’ are eligible for the full rate of DSP or Age Pension without any financial means testing.
But remember that if you are a member of a couple at Centrelink your Blind Pension is payable at the lower couple rate whilst you are living together.
An additional benefit of the Blind Pension is the ‘free public transport pass’ available in some cities.
Claiming Blind Pension – proof of permanent Australian residency
The first step to claiming any Centrelink Social Security benefit is to check your residency status. Only long term permanent Australian residents are eligible for Australian social security benefits.
If you are already a Centrelink customer, you could have completed the residency check earlier. New customers must show that they have always lived in Australia or that they have been permanent Australian residents for the required period.
Claiming Blind Pension – proof of such low vision as to be classified as ‘blind’
The second step to claiming the ‘blind’ rate of Pension is to provide a certificate that you are ‘blind’ as defined in the Social Security laws. The ‘blind’ definition excludes many people who have some ‘low vision’ or a restricted vision field.
Centrelink require that you have a medical specialist ophthalmologist complete the Ophthalmologist/Optometrist Report, also known as the “Vision Certificate” and sign the form to certify that you are ‘blind’.
The Request for Ophthalmologist/Optometrist Report Age Pension or Disability Support Pension – on the basis of blindness including the Vision Certificate together with the notes is on the Forms section of the Centrelink website. http://www.humanservices.gov.au/spw/customer/forms/resources/sa013-1403en.pdf
Claiming Blind Pension – administration and proof of Identity
The final step to claiming the ‘blind’ rate of Pension is to take the completed Ophthalmologist/Optometrist Report /Vision Certificate to Centrelink and apply for the Blind Pension.
If you are already a Centrelink customer then you need to show Centrelink your current Pensioner or Health Care Card and ask to be transferred to the DSP Blind or Age Pension Blind as a ‘blind’ person.
If you are not a Centrelink customer and you have not attained your Age Pension Age then you would apply for a Disability Support Pension Blind. New Centrelink customers who have attained their Age Pension Age, currently 65 years, could apply for the Age Pension Blind.
If you are not already a Centrelink customer then you must prove your identity as part of your application for a Blind Pension. The documents that you could show in support of your identity are listed on the Centrelink ‘form’ http://www.humanservices.gov.au/spw/customer/forms/resources/ss231-1407en.pdf
Help is available. Christine at Financial Care Services is experienced with Blind Pension Applications.
Financial Care Services offers personal Consultations to help you check your position against the means tests for an Age Pension or DSP.
Christine could 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.
To make an appointment for confidential, independent and professional advice about pensions, lifestyle aged care or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper 03 9808 0338.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website 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.
Centrelink, or DVA, will determine eligibility for and the amounts of any DSP Age or Service Pension based on the regulations in force at the time of your application.
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To make an appointment for professional advice, call Financial Care Services 03 9808 0338