How to claim a pension?
Centrelink usually require the pension to be lodged online, you will need to register with MyGov (i.e. www.mygov.gov.au) & create an account. Then once you have created an account with MyGov, you can then link other services like the ATO, Medicare or Centrelink). Once you are linked to Centrelink you can then lodge a pension claim. Most Centrelink officers don’t accept paper pension claims anymore. However, if you don’t have a computer or you are not online, you can still insist on lodging a pension claim at the office. Most of the clients we claim the pension for must be made in person at a Centrelink office
However, you will still need to go to a Centrelink office to provide your Identification (ID). You need three forms of ID, you will need;
- Primary Source
- Secondary Source &
- Tertiary Source of ID
Usually the Primary source is your original commencement in Australia, which for most people is their birth certificate, or if you were not born here, but became a citizen later, your naturalisation papers. Centrelink do not accept copies or even certified copies of ID, you will need to take originals, they will take a photocopy & give the originals back to you.
Secondary ID is usually a Drivers licence, passport, but these must be current, they usually do not accept expired driver’s licences or passports. You can look on Centrelink s website to get the details of all acceptable secondary sources of ID.
The Tertiary sources of ID can be bank accounts, council rate notices, water rates, tax assessment notices, utility bills like electricity or gas bills.
Other than ID, you will also need to provide evidence of your assets & income e.g.
- Bank accounts- bank statements or passbooks
- Shares- dividend statements
- Managed funds- statements
- Property- tax returns, lease agreements, real estate statements
- Self-Managed Super funds- tax returns, balance sheet & profit & loss accounts
- Private companies- Tax return of the company, balance sheet, profit & loss accounts, evidence of actual shareholding
- Private Trusts- Trust Deed, tax return of the trust, balance sheet, profit & loss account of the trust
- Inheritance received, a copy of the will of the deceased
- Super Pensions, Defined Benefit Pensions- letter from the provider of the pension confirming the details OR a “Centrelink Schedule” from the provider of that pension
- Allocated Pensions, Allocated Annuities, or Term Allocated Pension- statements of current balances. If it was a Pre 1st January 2015-pension, a “Centrelink Schedule” from the provider of that Pension.
The commencement of the pension will be from the date that all documentation has been provided. It does not matter that you may have provided some of these things in the past, you will be asked to provide them. The sooner you provide it, the sooner you will receive your pension.
Once again, we urge you to keep copies of what you sent & record when you sent it.
You then need to wait for the process to happen, it could be as quick as 2-3 weeks or up to 10-12 weeks (sometimes even more). If you haven’t heard anything by 88 weeks, I suggest you follow up. Because it is possible they have lost it, or never received it. This, is why it is a good idea to keep copies, & record of posting it (if you posted it). It would be even better if you posted it to post it by registered mail or by express post then you have evidence it was posted. We keep a postage register for our clients which is acceptable evidence in court.