centerlink and savings?

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centerlink and savings?

Post by nilmerg » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:00 pm

I was lucky to leave my marriage with mostly cash assets and am soon to inherit some money. I'm currently not working (studying and being a SAHM to my 4 and 6 year old girls) so am surviving on single parent benefits etc and child support.

My question is, does anyone know how much you can have in savings before It affects the benefits you are on? I don't want to take from centerlink what I'm not entitled too, but I also don't want to be spending what will essentially be part of a deposit on my own home (one day) on groceries.

I've searched the centrelink web page, but am struggling to find the info I need. Do any of you ladies know where I could find this information?

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Post by fellare » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:03 pm

not sure, but you also got to be careful with lump sums as they can reduce your payments! I think anything over $1000 from memory, but not sure.
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Post by Parla. » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:11 pm

I don't know if it's a specific amount, or just that you have to serve a waiting period when first claiming. I think fellare might be right about receiving big sums of money, but now idea how it's treated.
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Post by Mummy woo! » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:22 pm

Hi nilmerg

When people do estate planning they often try to structure things so that government benefits are not affected. I'm not sure about thresholds etc, but I'd suggest you contact your local Centrelink office and go in for a chat about what might happen.

If the inheritance hasn't been distributed yet it might also be worth talking to the solicitor handling the estate about any options they have to do that in a way that maximises your Centrelink entitlements (not sure that they can at this late stage, but worth asking).


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Post by Ronale » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:05 pm

What Mummywoo said. I'm getting a payment and we had some money saved (more than 1000) but it didn't affect my payment, so I'd suggest that there are different thresholds applied to different payments and different amounts for different families (e.g. no of kids, parenting vs studying, partnered or unpartnered etc)
Having talked with a few people from Centrelink though, you are best off calling them than going into the office. It seems from what I've been told the phone people have more knowledge (or can transfer you to those that do) than those in the office (who also might just be more busy and unable to see everyone in the office hours) calling at 8am exactly gets me through within 5 minutes most of the time ;)
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Post by Rachwa » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:30 pm

My understanding is that there is no liquid assets waiting period for parenting payments (whereas there are waiting periods for unemployment benefits). The assets limit is around $150k for a homeowner (not including value of primary residence) and $250k for non homeowners. Best to call centrelink to get the most appropriate advice for your circumstances though.
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Post by Feebes » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:18 pm

OTT, but how are you going as a signle Mum now? Hope that things are going smoothly for you.

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Post by akinasmum » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:00 pm

My situation has been
No work = full payment, when working = reduced payment.
I started working prior to be required to but once I started to earn an income it impacted on my payment. I don't have a heap saved - was saving for a home deposit and have one (depending on how happy the share market is!) but not enough income to make the repayments. The interest and deemed amounts from my savings bought me to, maybe above, the income threshold so my benefit is reduced for every dollar. DD is 9 so I would expect some changes from when I started. As everyone has said, give them a buzz on Monday.
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Post by nilmerg » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:09 pm

Thanks for the help guys. Might give them a call.

Feebes - things are actually going quite well - ups and downs as you expect! Decided to get myself out there and have found a guy to spend some time with - how serious that becomes is early days yet! Study is going great - this is also a new addition to my life, but I'm enjoying it. ExDH is trying to get me to sign divorce papers, which I'm happy to do apart from the fact that it contains a huge section about the arrangements for the kids, something that we still massively disagree on (he wants 50% custody, I know they are too young to benefit from that arrangement) and refuses to attend mediation. So at the moment it's a bit of a stand off! I just need to wait for him to make the next moves - mediation or legal and then I can sort it out - nothing I can do before he takes action.

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