AGE PENSIONER AND STUDENT WAIT MONTHS FOR PAYMENTS

Another media report shows an age pensioner has been waiting five months for her Centrelink payment to be processed.
 
Five months is almost 100 days longer than the average age pension processing time of 49 days.
 
The median processing times for age pension payments increased from 36 days to 49 days this financial year.
 
But stories like this show that the reality is age pensioners are waiting many more months than the median processing times.
 
Median times don’t even take into account instances when Centrelink requests further information, which can further delay the approval process.
 
A student, who lodged her claim for Youth Allowance in March, is still waiting for her claim to be processed four months later. Four months is almost 100 days longer than the median processing times for Youth Allowance, which the Department says is 18 days.
 
Last month, we heard the story of 26 year old student Alex who had been waiting three months for his student payment.
 
Australians are living on the edge of their bank accounts as they wait months and months for their payments.
 
Income support is complex. That’s why it’s important that Centrelink has permanent full time staff who are familiar and qualified to manage these payments.
 
Last year, Malcolm Turnbull axed 1,180 jobs from Centrelink, and now we’ve seen age pension and carer payment processing times completely blow out.
 
At this year’s budget, the Turnbull Government cut a further 1,280 jobs from Centrelink.
 
Meanwhile, the Turnbull Government has outsourced 1,250 jobs to labour hire. This Government is selling Centrelink jobs piece by piece. Morale at Centrelink is at an all-time low.
 
Since these job cuts, it has been more difficult to access Centrelink, pushing people into poverty.   
 
MONDAY, 16 JULY 2018