Claiming Rent Assistance on the move...

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 09:20
ThreadID: 80184 Views:5836 Replies:7 FollowUps:17
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We are interested in how other pensioners 'on the move' claim Rent Assistance. We were made aware of being able to claim rental assistance through Centrelink as pensioners who do not own a home.

Interestingly, the literal instructions from Centrelink state "whilst you are travelling, you must notify Centrelink of your new accommodation details on the day you change address and/or start to pay a different amount of rent. Arrears of Rent Assistance can only be paid from the date you notify Centrelink."

We have been on the road for the past few months and have been claiming rent assistance for stops in van park stays of 3 days or more. Our only advice to Centrelink has been lodgement of the Rental Assistance form. Given the literal instructions/advice from Centrelink we are a little confused.

We are interested in others experiences.


Julie & John
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Reply By: Member - Peter M (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 09:37

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 09:37
We go on line (if we can, otherwise we go to a public phone and call them) and advise Centrelink of our change of residential address each time we change Caravan Parks that charge a different rate whether up or down. We have asked Centrelink to keep our main address as our post box number. But they still insist on sending us out new cards every time we advise change of parks.
Centrelink have their own rules get their staff to explain them don't try to self educate yourself with their brochures and forms.

Bucasia Beach Mackay Qld
AnswerID: 424588

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:30

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:30
Since July last year you have been able to tell them to STOP SENDING ME CARDS.

FollowupID: 695083

Reply By: 3GoBush - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:34

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:34
Claiming rent assistance while travelling, what a RORT.

It is great to see my tax money funding your trip.
AnswerID: 424600

Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:54

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:54
Yes .... I agree.

Hopefully tho, they are all travellers who have been paying taxes in the past ... out of their private enterprise paypackets ... and probably deserve a few perks ....

Compared to those members of the last coupla generations born into the welfare system without contributing to it .... I wouldnt get too hot under the collar about travellers and rent assistance.
FollowupID: 695058

Follow Up By: Rock Ape - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:59

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:59
They asked for advise, not for an opinion.

They presumably have worked all their lives and paid taxes.

They don't own a home so their caravan is their home, if they are entitled to rent assistance then so be it.

I don't know these peoples circumstances at all, so I don't have the right to criticise them or judge them.

FollowupID: 695059

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 12:17

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 12:17
Let them do their own thing, just depends on the circumstances and values .
FollowupID: 695061

Follow Up By: peterll - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 12:18

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 12:18
An interesting I can see both sides in many ways. Working life and taxes paid to me have litttle to do with the laws covering rental assistance.

My understanding is that such assistance is for when someone renting has fallen upon hard times and needs assistance for the short term.

I understand the raised blood pressure by some who might suggest that it is rorting the sytem. Again, paying taxes and receiving perks is a side issue.

I am with Rock Ape in that I am not criticising nor judging anyone who uses the sytem for this purpose.

I do, however, feel that the assistance provided could be open to abuse. The easy fix for Centrelink is to make a slight change. Add something about the address has to be consistent for three consecutive months. And is only payable to the last address.

The suggestion that funds are made available for stays as short as 3 days does to me at least make the idea of Rental Assistance doubtful for such a purpose.

And yes, I appreciate that for some, the van is home...the home is transportable and so a change of address is likely..but..every three or four days ??

Reminds me of the 60's with some living in a tree in Byron Bay.put their name down for the dole and in the section on job sought...Lion Tamer..they then received the money until a lion tamer jobs became available.

Just my non judgemental opinion.
FollowupID: 695062

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 12:30

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 12:30
I wonder if the lack of a house is through choice or circumstance.

FollowupID: 695064

Follow Up By: Member - Peter M (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:57

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:57
Because of the "World Financial Crises that we had to have" our home & contents had to be sold to cover debt caused by bad investment advice. But I accepted the advice when it was given as it seemed to be a way to get ahead. Having nearly lost our home back when we had "the recession we had to have" and interest rate rises that were in our best interest we needed to trade our way out of debt. We failed.
I worked full time from 1956 to June 2009. I'm a deprived person because up till July 2009 I had never been on the dole, never been out of work for more than one day & never had workers compensation. I paid my taxes without the benefit of fancy tax loopholes and expensive accountants.
Some people seem to think that the rent assistance is a RORT well it isn't. you have to pay rent/site fees for each day of each fortnight to be eligible for a very small amount.
I do not want to be a burden on our children or on the Federal Government but I will claim every cent that I'm entitled to.
FollowupID: 695088

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 17:37

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 17:37
Good Peter well said, and for those who think it is a rort try living on what they pay a pensioner.
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

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FollowupID: 695106

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 18:29

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 18:29
My sister does in her tiny government supplied single bedroom flat and even though its hard she manages. She has her once a year trip to her daughters. But she cannot afford to go tripping around Australia claiming rental assistance whilst effectively on a holiday. Okay so she does not have her daily lattee and chardonay. But she is content and smiles a lot.

Bad choice Isuzumu

FollowupID: 695112

Follow Up By: skulldug - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 18:41

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 18:41

At least Julie and John are out there rather than sitting at home. If they are entitled to rent assistance - they are entitled. I'd be more worried about the wealthy and working tax avoiders. They take more from Australians than any pensioner ever did.

FollowupID: 695113

Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 20:29

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 20:29
Thanks mate, i grew up on welfare because my mum was and still is a pyscho, i was on the dole and got a job, being out of work for no mre than 3 months on average every 3-5 years. when i left school there was no oppurtunity for an apprienticeship. Put myself thru school and tafe. Suffering mental health problems now. Applied for Newstart (dole) and rent assistance.

I worked my guts out for you to go and say that.

Fair shake of the savaloy my friend!!!!!

not everyone who applies for rent assistance or the dole are bludgers. I'm sick, i have a disability, fair enough that i am not a parapelgic or anything else. But i do have a mental health condition which robs me of a fully functioning mind. yes i am getting help paid for by medicare. I am yet to recieve any monetry benefit from centrelink.

off my soapbox.
FollowupID: 695128

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 20:41

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 20:41
And I am not able to work since 2005. And get NOTHING from centerlink nor any court case either.
FollowupID: 695131

Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 21:31

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 21:31

take it up with your local member

there is 0 wrong with people claiming what they are entitled to claim

maybe theres something wrong with the system - buut not with the people using it
FollowupID: 695136

Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 13:07

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 13:07
Hi Julie & John. I say good luck to you both! From past experiences with Centerlink on behalf of some people less fortunate than myself I resolved to be financially independent so as to never have to make a visit. I appreciate that if they assist you then you certainly have a basis. For my part I am not prepared to surrender large slabs of my remaining time trying to deal with a bureaucratic monster that cannot cope with anything out of the ordinary. Happy and long travels to you both! Cheers Leigh
AnswerID: 424607

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:49

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:49
Here is the absolute truth of the matter.

We have been doing it since February 2nd last year

If you dont own a house of any sort LIKE NONE AT ALL. Centrelink consider your Caravan to be your home.

If you are travelling you are entitled to rent assistance.

If it was a boat you are entitled to MOORING FEES. (Read the form doubters)

You must ring them ON THE DAY YOU CHANGE ADDRESS or at least the next morning.
This because in the west by the time you get there it may be after closing time in the east.

We always rang or WENT IN on the day to them and just handed in the forms.

They wont backpay if you forget

They will allow you to ring on Monday if you have shifted over the weekend.

AS WELL you must have the signed forms in their hands within 14 days or you wont get paid. We were late once (Didnt get paid)

You have to pay over an average of $22.50 A DAY to get the full amount of $109 approx per Fortnight.

As I said above since July last year you can ask NOT to have new cards sent out.
However they keep sending rent certificates non stop

To the knockers.

It is no different than if you were renting in a retirement village, that while you buy the unit you only lease the land and dont pay your own rates.

That is also considered renting.

We have bought a retirement house in a village but it is freehold and we pay our own rates so we can no longer get rent assistance with the van while travelling.

So if you dont know the rules kindly dont comment.

It is not a RORT it is an ENTITLEMENT and I have no shame in claiming it.

If fact Centrelink offered it to me or I wouldnt have known about it.

So there!!!!!!.

Hope that sets a few myths to rest.

AnswerID: 424612

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:55

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:55
In my rant I neglected to say that of course you have to be on a QUALIFYING pension like AGE pension to get this.

I fail to see what difference it makes if you shift every few days, still paying fees,
just at a different place.

Can I say that whilst the help is appreciated it doesnt even come to the price of a tank of fuel once a fortnight.

After working for 53 years I feel that anything we get has been well and truely earned.

Enough said.
FollowupID: 695087

Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 17:59

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 17:59
well put Graham, that seems to put the true situation into perspective. Centre link, in my opinion, are a pretty good organisation and offer fair and meaningful advise.
We do have a financial adviser, and for the most part are self funded retirees but when I was approaching retirement, we approached centrelink with our financial situation & they offered very good advise as to how to take advantage of our Entitlements that were available to us.

It might surprise some on this Forum to know that as a person who owns our own home & vehicles and who have healthy super funds & draw an allocated pension from those funds, that I also collect the old age pension, amounting to $528.50 fortnightly. My wife, seven years my junior collects a similar amount from centrelink fortnightly through "job start". No, she is not seeking employment, she qualifies for centrelink "job start" requirements by doing 15 hours per week voluntary work with the elderly, taking them shopping, Dr. appointments etc. & loves it & at the same time makes a very valuable contribution to our community.

A rort as some have suggested? Not in our opinion, but to each his own, so good luck to the original posters, collect all your entitlements as you have no doubt earned them.
FollowupID: 695108

Follow Up By: Joe n Mel - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 18:51

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 18:51
and why would you not do it, we all work knowing full well of the systems in place and what we are entitled to and if you don't take advantage of it well sit at home and complain on this forum as you wont get out and see this wonderful back yard that we have....... more fool you i say.

Now just think about this for one minute ..... that money gets given to the person for rent assistance, it then goes back into the parks, shops and people employed in that system and keeps the BACKBONE of Australia going ......
Give rent assistance to some one that rents a unit owned by some Corporate high flyer and where does the money go, OVERSEAS faster than you can blink .......

Increase the rental assistance for those that support the jobs for our kids and cut it for those that sit on there bums at home winghing ......
Now i may just have to offer discounts for those on that system, thinking about it eh... at least the money is staying here and going around...
Now if you look CAREFULLY i think you may find there is assistance for the fuel you use as you after all are re=loacting from one accomodation to another, re-location assistance HAHAHA
Go hard guys, good on you for doing it, i support you 100% ...:-)
FollowupID: 695114

Reply By: Ian & Chris - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 16:25

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 16:25
Julie & John,

Please ignore the knee jerk reactions from ignorant bigots.

They fail to realise that its an entitlement, not an undeserved benefit.

My 86 year old mother is in a nursing hostel, she gets rent assistance and did prior when she was in her own retirement village unit. From my observations there a few in retirement villages who don't rental assistance.

It's an extremely small return for a woman who went full time into the workforce to single handedly raise and educate two children in an age of next to no Government support. She worked alongside male bigots who did the same job but got paid a third more for equal work.

I'm fortunate to own my own home, something my mother was never able to do through no fault of her own, just like many other out there.


AnswerID: 424623

Reply By: Chipsy - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 19:48

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 19:48
Julie and John,

the information about advising on the day of change is correct, only you can decide if its worth the trouble.

often in the cities the staff arent up to speed with this stuff but in the places where people are travelling often the staff are well versed in this stuff and can explain it to you clearly.

its not a moral issue whatever people might think, the government has legislated this entitlement and if you qualify you can claim it. I cant see why its any different to claim rent assistance in one place for a long time or many places for a short time.

have a great trip!

AnswerID: 424647

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 20:02

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 20:02
My oath its correct.

I have been doing it for 15 months

I have spent hours on the phone in remote places trying to get in the queue to report

To make it easier here is the number you ring which bypasses the usual "oldies" line

Ring 132300 to change your address

You need the place, the daily amount, the date you moved there and your convict number. Then post the signed form ASAP.

Also tell them you dont want the receipts posted back or they waste money sending it to your Postal address in a registered Post bag.


Must get the wife on Newstart LOL

FollowupID: 695122

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 21:23

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 21:23
The Grey Nomads are going to do Centelink over!
I love it!

But remember just like those on the dole.....some are entitled to it and have earned it!

But it doesn't make you exempt from a bit of stirring either!

Ignorant bigots...thats a bit hard....Im sure youve mumbled the word , DOLE BLUDGER before?

If its there, and your entitled to it....good on ya!

AnswerID: 424665

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