Social Security Reviews & Appeals
The Aged Pension is a financial safety net for people who are not self -funded retirees and who qualify under criteria set by Centrelink. To qualify for the Aged Pension a man must be aged between sixty five (65) and sixty seven (67) years, and woman qualifies at different ages depending on their date of birth. Your right to a Pension depends on either an income test or an assets test, which ever gives you the smallest pension, and also depends on your period of permanent residence in Australia.
An Income Test is based on your family situation, that is whether you are single or a couple, a couple with children, separated couple or a single parent. The Assets Test applies to a number of pensions as well as the Aged Pension. Your own home is not counted in the test, and in addition you may have assets up to a certain value before the Pension is affected.
If you are a single or a couple and wish to give away combined assets, which are worth more then $10,000.00, each pension year your pension entitlement will be affected.
The Aged Pension is taxable, but not if it is your only source of income. The income test may reduce your pension depending on how much you earn, from part time jobs or from investments.
Pension Rates vary for married and single people, and are adjusted periodically to take into account inflation. Federal, State and Local Governments provide fringe benefits to pensioners these include health benefits, reduced charges for council rates, telephone, gas and electricity, car registration and concessions rates on public transport. If your spouse is intellectually or physically disabled or seriously ill, and you have to take care of them at home for a long period of time you may be eligible for a spouse carers pension.
If you do not agree with the decision made by Centrelink, for example Centrelink withholds a Pension or a benefit from you then you are entitled to seek a review of that decision. If you are not satisfied with the result of that review you may appeal against it.
You can appeal to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, and if you are not satisfied with its decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
At Bateman Battersby Lawyers Penrith we can advise you on the process of appealing to the Tribunal and represent you, if you wish or assist you to make written submissions in respect of your case.