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Australia Retirees left high and dry without benefits because of Centrelink delays

16:28  12 july  2018
16:28  12 july  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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Picture: 9NEWS (9NEWS). Every month, he is forced to outlay 0 on medical bills for diabetes without any benefits . Retirees now being urged to prepare for delays , and have so-called stand-by savings sitting in the bank.

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It's being dubbed the aged pension disgrace: retirees hoping to put their working days behind them, but sometimes waiting up to eight months to have their pension applications approved.

Australia's peak seniors advocacy group told 9NEWS it's unacceptable, and is calling for an urgent overhaul of the pension process.

"The age pension is one of the pillars of old age. People depend on it. They expect to be able to get it if they're eligible," John McCallum from National Seniors said.

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BLN Retirees is a chapter of the Boeing Leadership Network, an association of Boeing managers and leaders. With over 8,500 active, associate, and retired members, BLN consists of three regions – in addition to the Retirees Chapter for retired members

You really left me high and dry when you forgot to pick me up last night. I had no way of calling or getting home! The departure of several key employees has left the business high and dry .

Frustrated family members are venting their anger on the Department of Human Service's Facebook page.

One granddaughter complained her grandfather retired on March 4 and still has not received his pension.

a sign on a pole: Retirees are being forced to wait for their pension applications to be approved. Picture: 9NEWS © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Retirees are being forced to wait for their pension applications to be approved. Picture: 9NEWS

Every month, he is forced to outlay $200 on medical bills for diabetes without any benefits.

"They get so tired of waiting and so frustrated by it, they just don't want to go anywhere near it and they miss out. So that's really unacceptable," Mr McCallum said.

Retirees now being urged to prepare for delays, and have so-called stand-by savings sitting in the bank.

The Department claims the average time to process an age pension is 49 days if they receive the right documents, but in more than half of cases that is not the case.

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Some workers leave the workforce involuntarily because they lose their jobs and can't find new ones, or because poor health makes working impossible. Before you let your boss know you're ready to start your life as a carefree retiree , consider these five benefits of delaying retirement a little longer.

For individuals who retire later, the higher monthly benefit takes into account the shorter period of time they are received. The primary reason for encouraging delayed claiming is so that retirees have more monthly income in their later years, when personal savings, if any, are more likely to be depleted

Pensioners say the whole process is too time-consuming.

Seniors groups claim the welfare system needs an overhaul with pensioners being left to wait for their payments. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Seniors groups claim the welfare system needs an overhaul with pensioners being left to wait for their payments.

"I don't wait. I find it quicker just to go over there and get into the queue. I don't bother with the phone.

"They hold you up. It's like everything these days. Anything up to an hour, of course. Until you give up."

Applications can be submitted up to 13 weeks before reaching pension age.

So if you are planning to apply, it might pay to get in early.

Elderly desperate as Centrelink pension approvals lag .
Elderly Australians say they’re being forced to take desperate measures while they wait for financial assistance from Centrelink. In a study of 530 pensioners, research from National Seniors Australia (NSA) shows more than forty percent of people applying for the aged pension are dissatisfied with their experience.“It's such an issue and it's being pushed aside, it's sort of like Centrelink has become a bad joke and people are comfortable with that,” NSA chief executive John McCallum told A Current Affair.

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