Media Release: Making it easier and faster to claim the age pension

8 August 2017

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

A suite of changes are speeding up the Age Pension claim process, making it quicker and easier for older Australians.

The Government is streamlining the Age Pension claim process and improving the user experience for those who claim online. In particular:

  • Changes are being piloted to the processing of Age Pension claims, reducing the number of steps required. This will mean shorter claim processing times for all claimants.
  • The online claim for Age Pension has been overhauled to give a better user experience, making it easier and faster to claim online.
  • Applicants can now check the status of their claim online through the online Claim Tracker tool, removing the need to call the Department of Human Services.
  • The Department’s webpages regarding the Age Pension have been improved to provider clearer advice on eligibility, including the requirements regarding age, income, and assets.

In 2015–16 the department assessed more than 156,000 Age Pension claims, and of these more than 10% were rejected as the claims lacked crucial information. The new online claim will help ensure that more claims contain all the information needed to be processed quickly.

Online applications are automatically saved as they are being completed, meaning people can come back and finish their claim later, when they have all the right information.  

A person already receiving a Centrelink payment will have their existing financial information pre-populated into the online claim – which they can confirm or update as necessary. 

Staff are available to support anyone needing help over the phone or if required, at a Service Centre. Additionally, paper forms will still be available on the department’s website and in Centrelink offices for those who are unable to use the online channel.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the Government is committed to transforming the delivery of welfare payments.

“These practical changes are aimed at saving time and providing a better experience for older Australians as they claim the Age Pension.

“The Government is working to ensure that Centrelink and Medicare services are available to all Australians at the time and place of their choosing.”

Older Australians are reminded they can submit a claim up to 13 weeks prior to reaching Age Pension age.  If there is any change to their circumstances during this time, they must advise the department within 14 days.

The changes to Age Pension claims are just one element of our service delivery transformation – it also includes the billion dollar WPIT programme, new $600 million telephony system, streamlining of other welfare payment claims, 250 new call centre staff and other measures to reduce call wait times.