By Hank Jongen
Department of Human Services
IT is now quicker and easier for older Australians to apply for Age Pension thanks to the introduction of the Australian Government Department of Human Services’ new online claim.
In 2015/16, the department assessed more than 156,000 Age Pension claims and more than 10 per cent were rejected because they lacked crucial information.
The new online claim form helps ensure claims contain all the required information to be processed quickly.
Online applications save automatically as they are being completed, meaning you can come back and finish the claim later if you need time to gather the right information.
You can now also check the status of your online claim using the online Claim Tracker tool, so there’s no need to call the department for updates.
Transferring to Age Pension if you currently receive an income support payment:
If you already receive an income support payment, you will be contacted nine-weeks before you meet Age Pension eligibility age.
Your existing financial information will be pre-populated into the new online claim, which you can confirm or update as necessary.
If you do not currently receive an income support payment:
If you are not currently receiving an income support payment, you can submit a claim up to 13-weeks prior to reaching Age Pension age.
To submit a claim online, you must first apply for a Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) and a Centrelink online account.
Help is available:
Department staff are still available in service centres and over the phone to help people with their online claims.
Additionally, paper forms are available on the department’s website and in service centres for those who are unable to use the online channel.
Changes to Age Pension eligibility age:
It is also important to note that since 1 July 2017, the eligible age for Age Pension has changed.
People who were born on or after 1 July 1952 will need to be aged 65-years and six-months before being eligible.
The Age Pension age will then go up by six-months every two-years until 1 July 2023, when the Age Pension eligibility age will be 67-years.
The new online claim form is available at humanservices.gov.au/agepension or by using a self-service terminal at a department service centre.
More information about Age Pension and claiming online is available on the department’s website at humanservices.gov.au.