To access the Age Pension, you will need to have a myGov account or Centrelink online account set up, however, you can apply in person
You'll need to provide different financial and personal documentation to back up your Age Pension claim
You can track your claim through your myGov account or Centrelink online account after you send off your application
You will need to provide information about yourself and your personal situation as well as a lot of financial documentation, like tax returns and bank, superannuation and investment statements.
Once you have all the documents filled out and signed and collate together all your personal documentation, you can then begin the application process.
What you need before starting
You will need to have a myGov account and Centrelink online account before you apply for the Age Pension. Your Centrelink account needs to be linked to your myGov account to get this process started. This is similar to how your Australian Taxation Office (ATO) account is linked to your myGov account.
If you don't have internet access or computer, there is information below on how you can apply for the Age Pension.
Before you start your claim, you will need to confirm your identity with Centrelink. This could be with a passport or photo ID in person or provide one document across three different categories over the phone.
These documents can be talked through over the phone or supplied online, however, if Centrelink can't validate it, you will need to go in person.
It's best to have all the required documentation ready before you sit down to fill out these forms.
If you are wanting to make a joint Age Pension claim with your partner, they also need to have all of their financial and personal information prepared as well.
What if I can't apply online?
If you don't have internet access, a computer, or don't feel comfortable or knowledgeable to apply online, then you are able to apply for the Age Pension by completing and submitting a hard copy application by contacting Services Australia on 13 23 00 or visiting a Centrelink office.
The two forms you will need to complete are the Age Pension and Pension Bonus form (SA002) and the Income and Assets form (SA369).
Set aside time to fill out your personal and financial details as the Government requires a lot of information.
If you are applying on a hard copy, you will need to provide personal documents to assist your application which are listed below.
You can return your forms by post or by visiting a Centrelink office and dropping your application off with the supporting documents. Keep in mind that you will need to provide several pieces of original identification documents as Centrelink will not accept copies of certain documents.
Centrelink will ask you to provide certain personal details before submitting an Age Pension Claim, which needs to be backed by the correct documents. Some of these documents can be utilised for multiple areas of your application.
Documents that show your age, like a drivers licence or birth certificate
Bank account details
Your Tax file number
Proof of identity
You will also need to provide a range of documents supporting your identity. These include one document from each of these categories below:
commencement document to prove your birth in Australia or arrival in the country, like a birthday certificate, Australian visa, Australian passport, or Certificate of Identity.
a primary document which you use in the community to identify yourself, like a drivers licence, Australian marriage certificate, a proof of age card, or a foreign passport.
a secondary document which you use in the community to identify yourself, such as Australian divorce papers, an educational certificate or certified Australian academic transcript, motor vehicle registration, a utility or rates account, electrical enrolment, and more.
Australian residence status
You can provide either a passport, citizenship documents, or other documents that prove your residence status.
Whether you are in a relationship
Income and assets
Fill out an income test and assets form, this needs to include a lot of financial documents.
This includes providing:
Statements for savings, term deposits, superannuation, investments, shareholder and share dividends, and mortgage
Rate documents for any owned properties,
Most recent tax return for investment properties
Statements for profits and losses on expenses you have
An income stream schedule
Life insurance information
Real estate asset documents - for part and full owned properties.
Current living situation
You will need to provide a rent certificate, any current lease agreements, if you live with anyone else (including roommates), and/or documents of property ownership that you live in.
If you still work, you will need to provide your tax returns, payslips, and your PAYG certificate. If you don't work, you will need an employment separation certificate.
Centrelink may request more information or documents, however, the above documents are normally what is required when applying for the Age Pension.
I'm prepared, now what?
To start the process, you need to sign into your myGov account and click on the Centrelink option. Alternatively, you can apply in person at a Centrelink office.
From the Centrelink page, you click on the Payments and Claims option from the down menu, and request to make a claim.
Follow the prompts, like selecting 'seniors' as your claim option, and then you can start filling out the questions.
Each question will be related to your claim and will require you to submit all of the documentation you have prepared beforehand to support your claim. This means you will likely need to have all of these documents scanned onto your computer to upload them.
Near the end of your application, depending on the answers you have provided, Centrelink will ask whether you are claiming the Age Pension for your partner as well. So if you are applying for a joint claim, this is when you need to highlight your intention to do so.
Your partner should receive a text message or email from Centrelink to direct them to sign into myGov on their own account and undergo the same process you have just completed.
If you are doing a joint claim, your partner needs to fill out their application within three days of you finishing your claim. If this isn't down within the three day time frame, you will need to start the whole application process again.
Once you have both filled out your application, you can submit your Age Pension claim.
Waiting for approval
After you submit your initial application, Centrelink will send you a document containing all the relevant information, like when you submitted the claim, your claim ID number, and when you will likely find out if you were successful.
You are able to track how your claim is going through your myGov account Centrelink portal. During this time, you may be asked by Centrelink to provide more information or details to bolster your claim.
The results of your claim will come in either your myGov inbox, your Centrelink account portal, or in the mail if you don't have much online access.
There are financial organisations that can assist you with your Age Pension process. Going to a consultant will help you lower the amount of times you need to provide information and reduce the amount of times you need to enter a Centrelink office.
The financial consultant will explain the Age Pension process, figure out if you are eligible, and then manage your application to reduce your involvement in the claim process.
They can also complete the forms necessary and collate your supporting documentation before lodging the claim on your behalf.
It can be beneficial to have assistance in your application, as they may be able to make sure you get other benefits you are eligible for besides the Age Pension.
If you don't want to deal with Centrelink, your nominee will work with Centrelink on your behalf, keep your information up to date with Centrelink, and make sure you are aware of any reporting requirements you need to keep too.
*Content created with the assistance of Alteris Financial Group
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