Aged care and pensions are often intertwined. Many of my clients have questions about their pension entitlements after entering aged care. A move into aged care can certainly influence the pension and it pays to seek professional advice and guidance in this area.
We all know how difficult our Social Services systems are to navigate, particularly for some older Australians. Many struggle when confronted with automated systems, robot voices, wait times and confusing terminology. This can make it difficult to report to Centrelink and to realise the correct entitlements.
Fortunately, there is help.
Lee Develyn is the founder of Pensionlink, a valuable service that offers full management and advice around the aged pension. Lee is qualified with a background in business commerce and finance who picks up all of the administrative aspects of dealing with social services on behalf of her clients. Lee has knowledge of the pension system and processes, which allows her clients to claim their proper entitlements.
Pensionlink is the first and only service of its kind in Townsville. Lee also services beyond Townsville, helping older Australians get the most from their pensions and helping them avoid unnecessary debts.
I sat down with Lee in October to discuss her service and to hear how, with the right assistance, her clients can make their aged pensions go further.
What is Pensionlink and what services do you provide?
PensionLink is a service-based business that specialises in the establishment of the Government Age Pension and all areas of application, compliance and maintenance for that pension.
How does your expertise assist people when they are making big life changes?
With PensionLink you have me personally from the start of the claim process, a one-to-one confidential personal service. PensionLink clients enjoy their time in retirement without worry.
This is a new type of service for Townsville. How has Pensionlink been received by Townsville?
I identified this much needed service in the community, as I hear and see the frustration on retirees faces with all that has to be done for receipt of age pension. People always leave my office more relaxed than when they arrived, confident in what I can do, how I can assist them.
What are the difficulties people encounter in managing their pension?
The stringent guidelines Centrelink have in place often see people overwhelmed with what documents they need to update to Centrelink and when. Biggest concern is the online service and navigating this correctly.
What are a few common mistakes people can make in managing their Centrelink pension and what are some of the implications?
Again, this would be understanding their obligations to Centrelink when in receipt of a Government Age Pension, implications – paying back a debt years down the track with a pension that was meant to cover cost of living, NOT debt repayment.
Do you believe a lot of older people with age-related conditions, eg dementia, frailty etc., are missing out on entitlements due to the difficulty in dealing with Government departments?
Most definitely. I have experienced this with clients who come to me after being in receipt of the Age Pension – reviews are very important to ensure correct entitlements are being paid.
In terms of aged care, why is it a good idea to seek independent assistance in dealing with Pensions and income?
To have peace of mind and an understanding of the thresholds in place and what schedule is used that applies to care recipients
For more information on Lee’s service visit her website PensionLink
For aged care placement and submission of aged care financial assessment paperwork, InteCare NQ takes the burden of this process off your hands. For ongoing assistance and management of the Government aged pension, I thoroughly recommend Lee Develyn from Pensionlink.