Lorraine - Correcting Centrelink Age Pension

Lorraine – Correcting Centrelink Age Pension entitlements

Numbers Speak For Themselves!

1 %
Increase in Age Pension entitlements from Centrelink's initial assessment
$ 1
Annual increase in benefits following our successful complaint

What Were The Client’s Goals and Frustrations? this is her story!

When Lorraine* (69) approached us, she had recently ceased work and was trying to figure out how she was going to fund retirement. She owned a small rental property and had also established a detached AirBNB in her backyard (however, due to COVID lockdowns this had not generated much income). 

Lorraine did not believe she would be entitled to any Centrelink Age Pension benefits due to her income and asset position.

*Lorraine is used as an alias to protect the privacy of our client. All other information contained in this case study is based on the real outcomes we were able to achieve.

Challenge Highlights

Like many people we encounter, Lorraine was unsure how Centrelink decide who gets an Age Pension benefit, or how much to pay them. As she owned an investment property and was running a small AirBNB she assumed this would disqualify her from eligibility. In addition, she had no idea where to start regarding the Age Pension application process if there was a benefit to be claimed.

THE SOLUTION: HOW DID WE HELP Lorraine SOLVE HER PROBLEMS AND WORK TOWARDS HER GOALS?

To assist Lorrain we reviewed her situation and calculated her estimated Age Pension entitlements to ensure she was indeed eligible for Age Pension benefits. 

Following this, we assisted her in completing the application and relevant supplementary forms, and to gather the supporting documents. This was then packaged and submitted to Centrelink and we managed the application process going forward.

Following her successful application and a review of the outcome we discovered a range of processing errors and worked with Centrelink over to  have these corrected and for Lorraine to be back paid.

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Initial eligibility calculations

Calculation of expected entitlement 

We gathered information on Lorraine’s situation, such as her current asset and liabilities, her rental income and expenses, and her business income, allowing to calculate her estimated Age Pension benefit before beginning the application process.

This provided Lorraine with the information she needed to decide if the estimated benefit justified the hassle of dealing with Centrelink of the costs of receiving assistance to apply.

Application preparation and management

Completion of application forms and supplements forms

Due to the number and variety of assessable income sources and assets that formed Lorraine’s overall situation, not only did she have to completed the normal mountain of Centrelink forms, but also a range of additional supplementary forms (all requiring supporting information). 

We assisted Lorraine in determining what forms would be required, along with gathering the appropriate supporting documents and packaging this in a way that, when provided to Centrelink, would increase the likelihood of a smooth and correct assessment. 

When lodging the application with Centrelink, we had Lorraine nominate us as a contact point for the application, allowing us to manage the application going forward. 

Throughout the process, we liaised directly with the Centrelink personnel assessing the application, directing them to the supporting material and explaining the assessment of each part of Lorraine’s situation to them and how it should impact on her application. 

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Centrelink Complaint

Review of application assessment

In-depth review of Centrelink’s application assessment and fighting for a review

Following Centrelink’s assessment of Lorraine’s Age Pension application, Lorraine was assessed as being eligible for $443 per fortnight in entitlements – as she had initially expected that she would not be entitled to anything, she was pleased with this outcome.

However, as we had completed initial calculation around expected benefits, we knew something was not right and that Centrelink had made errors either regarding the data entry for the claim, or the assessment of some aspect of Lorraine’s situation.

We conducted an in-depth review of how Centrelink staff had entered Lorraine’s income, assets, liabilities, and business operations when assessing her application and identified a range of processing errors, leading to Lorraine missing out on on around $336 per fortnight.

We contacted Centrelink via phone multiple times, updated her Centrelink records to have the correct information (correcting the payment), and provided detailed explanations on what and why things were updated and argued for a corrective back pay as this was not a fault on the client’s side.

After months of arguing we lodged a formal complaint on behalf of Lorraine and requested a review of her initial application outcome – this eventually (after 8 months from initial application to resolution)  resulted in a reversal of the initial decision, an increase in her entitlements, and a back payment of the shortfall to the date of initial application.

The Results: WHAT WERE WE ABLE TO ACHIEVE FOR Lorraine?

By working with Lorraine, we were able to guide her through the Age Pension application process, remove the stress and hassle of dealing with Centrelink,

We were then able to review her assessment, identify errors, and work with Centrelink to have these corrected and back payment made, resulting in a 75.85% increase in Age Pension entitlements, amounting to $8,736 extra per annum for Lorraine to meet her living expenses, along with a generous back pay for the 8 months he had received the incorrect payments. 

HOW MUCH DID THIS assistance cost Lorraine?

As part of assisting Lorraine through this process, we conducted initial calculations on her expected benefit, assisted in the completion of applications and gathering supporting documents, managed the application process once submitted to Centrelink, and then identified issues and worked with Centrelink to have these corrected.

Value GUARANTEE

Still not convinced that our services may be able to provide you with the same value as our exisitng client? We understand; taking the step of reaching out for help and putting your trust into a Financial Adviser is a big step, especially when you are unsure what the outcome may look like.

That’s why we offer our Value Guarantee! 

If you would like to see what receiving advice may look like, we are able to complete some basic strategy and product modelling, and a set of financial projections to demonstrate the value our services could add to your specific situation.

If we are unable to show a benefit of over $1 (after fees) then we will refund the initial cost, and if you like what you see and would like us to provide you with full financial advice, we will deduct any amount already paid from your overall quote.

Now you can reach out for help with the comfort of knowing you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

MORE CASE STUDIES

Important Information

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Please note, the information on this page contains information that is for Australian Residents only

Making It Happen Pty Ltd trading as The Wealth Affect is an Authorised Representative of Lifespan Financial Planning Pty Ltd AFSL 229892

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