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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
Page: 829

Mr Cooke asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   Does he intend to have prepared a separate form for use by persons over 75 years of age who wish to apply for a non-means tested age pension.

(2)   If so, what information other than evidence of age does he envisage as being required on the form.

(3)   Will the form require applicants to disclose their assets and income; if so, why.

(4)   When will these new forms be available for use.

Mr Hayden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The new form will ask for sufficient information to establish the age, marital status, residential qualification and identify of the claimant. To be eligible for age pension, a person is required to have lived in Australia for 10 years. A different rate is payable for single and married persons.

(3)   Applicants will not be required to disclose their assets or income.

(4)   The new form will be available for use as soon as the legislation receives Royal Assent. Applicants who lodge their applications on or before 31 December 1973 will be eligible for payment from the first pension payday following the date of Royal Assent

Because my Department is concerned that applicants for pensioners are made aware of their full entitlements, a combined .pension claim form will also be available on which claimants will be able to test their eligibility for supplementary assistance, additional pension for children or fringe benefits, if they wish to do so. This combined claim form will be available at post offices and offices of the Department of Social Security.

However, to avoid possible confusion, and to ensure that claimants do not inadvertently deprive themselves of entitlements to extra benefits, the separate freeofmeans test claim forms will be available only at the offices of my Department.

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