Centrelink Entitlement As Kiwis in Australia

Centrelink Entitlement As Kiwis in Australia


First things first, let us define Centrelink.


It is an Australian agency that is responsible for government benefits and payments. Centrelink delivers a range of government payments and services for retirees, the unemployed, families, careers, parents, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians, and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and provides services at times of major change. Majority of the services focus on disbursement of social.


New Zealand citizens arriving in Australia are normally granted a temporary Special Category Visa (SCV) that allows them to stay and study or work indefinitely. Yet it is not a permanent visa. New Zealanders are therefore subject to the same conditions as other foreigners if they wish to apply for permanent residence and Australian citizenship.


And being a Kiwi in Australia corresponds to some Centrelink entitlement.


There are several kinds of financial help may be available from the Australian government. To qualify for these benefits, you must be an Australian resident. You will most likely be a resident — as a result of your New Zealand special-category visa, meaning you have a New Zealand passport allowing you to live and work in Australia permanently. You can claim benefits immediately, provided you intend to live in Australia permanently. Even for your children you claim, as long as they are Australian residents or be living with you. You can apply for any of the Australian government payments listed by registering for Centrelink Online Services.


There’s also Family Tax Benefit that intends to help you with the costs of raising your children. These tax-free payments are Family Tax Benefit Part A which is available if you have dependent children. The other one is Family Tax Benefit Part B that gives extra help to single parents and families with one main income.


For the pension entitlement, an agreement has been set with the New Zealand government. This is to allow New Zealand citizens, living in Australia to claim the following:

  • Age Pension – main income support payment for people aged at least 65 years and 6 months. To be eligible with this benefit:
    • An Australia resident, normally for at least 10 years
    • Under the income and assets test limits
    • 65 years and 6 months old of age, at least


  • Disability Support Pension – this is a financial help if you have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working. Eligibility are as follows:
    • Have a permanent medical condition that prevents you from working 15 hours or more per week within the next 2 years
    • At least 16 and under age pension age
    • Under the income and assets test limits


  • Carer Payment – an income support every 2 weeks for people giving constant care, in a private home, to someone who is disabled or too old. For this one, you and the person getting care must be under the income and assets test limits. You must:
    • Give constant, daily care to someone who has a severe disability or severe illness or is frail aged
    • Care for them in a private home for at least 6 months
    • Spend no more than 25 hours a week away from caring for work, study or training
    • Not be on another income support payment


Australia also entered into an agreement with New Zealand to share responsibility for social security coverage. Australia’s social security system is different to those of most other developed countries. Each

person’s pension is paid by the Australian Government out of general funds, rather than through contributions paid by individuals and employers into a social insurance fund. For this reason, Australian pensions are income and asset tested.


Want to be happy and productive Kiwi in Australia? Get in touch with Cornerstone Migration for an absolutely free session. Contact us at 07 3191 2407 . Skype and email: info@cornerstonemigration.com.au


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