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11.4.3 Effect of Going Overseas on Payment of Supplements and Allowances
Effect on pensioner
If a pensioner is absent from Australia for any period of time, but continues to receive pension under the portability arrangements, the following table summarises what happens to any allowances payable to that pensioner.
If a pensioner goes overseas and he or she is receiving...
Then that allowance...
Can continue to be paid to the pensioner for the first 26 weeks of his or her absence as long as the pensioner continues to be an Australian resident and continues to pay rent in Australia.
Remote Area Allowance
Can continue to be paid to the pensioner for the first 8 weeks of his or her absence as long as the pensioner continues to be an Australian resident and continues to have their primary residence inside the remote area.
Can continue to be paid to the pensioner for the first 6 weeks of his or her absence as long as the pensioner continues to be an Australian resident.
If he or she is absent from Australia for more than 6 weeks the pensioner receives only the pension supplement basic amount
Can continue to be paid to the pensioner for the first 26 weeks of his or her absence so long as the pensioner continues to be an Australian resident.
Can be paid to the pensioner if the pensioner has not been temporarily absent from Australia for more than 6 weeks.
1 January 2013 changes.
On 1 January 2013 the 13 week portability period for payments such as the Pension Supplement. Seniors Supplement (ceased 26 June 2015) and Clean Energy Payments (such as the Energy Supplement) were reduced to 6 weeks. As a result of this change pensioners who departed Australia prior to 1 January 2013 will continue to be subject to the 13-week portability period whilst they were travelling. However, on return to Australia on or after 1 January 2013, they are then be subject to a 6 week period for any further travel. Pensioners who depart Australia on or after 1 January 2013 are subject to the 6 week portability period.
Resumption of payment to pensioner on return from overseas
Provided all other eligibility criteria for a specific allowance or supplement continue to be met, payment of that allowance or supplement to a pensioner who has returned from overseas will resume from the later of:
- the date of return to Australia, or
- the date the pensioner advises of his or her return to Australia.
Effect on partner remaining in Australia
If payment of an allowance to a pensioner ceases because he or she goes overseas, and that pensioner has a partner who remains in Australia, the allowance continues to be paid to the partner remaining in Australia but is reassessed at the single rate.
The pension supplement basic amount is an annual rate paid fortnightly from 20 September 2009. It replaces the GST supplement. It is indexed twice a year in line with CPI increases.
The energy supplement is an ongoing, regular payment designed to help recipients meet the cost of living impact of the carbon price.