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Facebook post - December 20th, 2013

DO YOU OR A WHANAU MEMBER HAVE A DISABILITY OR ONGOING HEALTH PROBLEM THAT HAS AFFECTED YOUR ABILITY TO WORK AND DAILY ROUTINES? 

Have you been to Centrelink and they've told you you're not entitled because you're a New Zealander? If so they could quite possibly be wrong. 

Read the agreement between NZ and Australia. 

 

Disability Support Pension

In order for Disability Support Pension to be paid under the Agreement, you must be assessed to be "severely disabled".  Claimants must have a total of at least ten years residence in Australia and/or New Zealand and have become “severely disabled” while living in Australia or New Zealand and have resided in New Zealand for at least one year.  

The term "severely disabled" is defined as a physical, psychiatric, or intellectual impairment that makes a person unable to work more than eight hours per week or benefit from a rehabilitation program, for the next two years.

Carer Payment

Carer Payment is a pension.  To be eligible for Carer Payment under the Agreement, you must be caring for a partner who receives Disability Support Pension.  You must also have lived in Australia and/or New Zealand for at least two years to be eligible. 

Related links: http://www.dss.gov.au/about-fahcsia/international-social-security-agreements/current-international-social-security-agreements/social-security-agreement-between-australia-and-new-zealand

Almost all Centrelink workers have no idea of this agreement at all. On it are contact details and information to help you get started.

You may be eligible to apply for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and your spouse allowed the Carer's Allowance once DSP has been approved. 

Please print this off and take it in to Centrelink or see a social worker. Make contact with the International Services in Hobart and ask for the paperwork to be sent to you immediately. 

I find the entire practice and lack of trained staff at Centrelink simply appalling. How many of our people get turned away continuously because of the incompetence and lack of care this department has towards us? 

If you think you might qualify please contact us as we're here to learn and provide as much moral and practical support as best we can. All so we may help the next person and so on.

Part of the criteria for DSP: 
Disability Support Pension 
You may be able to get Disability Support Pension (DSP) if: 
you have a disability, or 
you are permanently blind, and 
your disability/blindness occurred while you were living in Australia, or 
the total period of time you have lived in Australia and/or your periods of Working Age 
Residence in New Zealand add up to more than 10 years. 

http://www.humanservices.gov.au/spw/customer/information-in-your-language/resources/014/014-1302en.pdf

Let's hope more people get what they've been entitled to all along. 

Naku noa and blessings,
Erina