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CRIKEY, where have we been for the last few weeks? According to the authorities we certainly haven't been in Australia. Maybe we were in Never Never Land. Or even sailed through the Bermuda Triangle without our knowledge. We have just learned - strangely via our Opal Card operators in NSW (we live in Queensland!) - that our concession cards are not working because immigration has logged us as being out of the country for more than six weeks. But that's not so ... we've been here all the time, even welcomed two visitors from the UK into our home for a few days. We were overseas for only TWO weeks. Frantic inquiries today revealed that Immigration somehow didn't clock us back into Australia after our recent two-week cruise from Singapore to Brisbane. Very strange seeing as how we had a face-to-face meeting with immigration officers onboard just before we hit the Australian mainland. Can't blame P&O ... but something needs to be done to stop this happening, particularly as Centrelink and Immigration told us it's not an unusual occurrence when people arrive in Oz on cruise ships. Luckily, it's the first time it has happened to us.  It might be a good idea for cruisers to check with Centrelink to ensure they have been registered back into Oz after their travels on the high seas.

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16 minutes ago, ilikeanswers said:

 about leaving and re entering, the assets test and income stream test got me wonder what is the difference with cruise ship entry VS plane? Why is it being processed differently? 

Perhaps human error by Immigration Officers re data input.  We don't have to worry about that process, even though both 70, Centrelink gives us nowt as I am a self funded retiree, the asset test and income stream means test got me.  😡The boss gets nowt either because she lives with me, if I kicked her out she would get ye old aged pension.  Don't get me started on Centrelink entitlements.😡

Edited by NSWP

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Some things to do before you travel so the government agencies know about it.

Please make sure you update your details before you travel. You can do this by signing in to your Centrelink online account through myGov. Or you can contact us.

Register your travel plans on smartraveller on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Remember to buy travel insurance. If you’re not insured, you’ll need to pay for medical costs overseas.

 

I suggest contacting Centrelink on your return as well, to ensure that any benefits would be maintained.

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I think the myGov site is a bit mysterious to some dinosaurs.:classic_ninja:

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Not new to us, 3 years ago we sat in front of a Centrelink staff member who confirmed we weren't back yet :classic_wacko::classic_wacko::classic_biggrin: .... we had been home for 3 weeks...... knew something was wrong when heart meds were charged at full price by the chemist.....now that was scary........

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41 minutes ago, essandjaybee said:

Not new to us, 3 years ago we sat in front of a Centrelink staff member who confirmed we weren't back yet :classic_wacko::classic_wacko::classic_biggrin: .... we had been home for 3 weeks...... knew something was wrong when heart meds were charged at full price by the chemist.....now that was scary........

It would be scary without PBS concession.🤯 So is 6 weeks the time you are allowed out of OZ without notifying Centrelink if a concession card holder? 

Edited by NSWP

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3 hours ago, NSWP said:

I think the myGov site is a bit mysterious to some dinosaurs.:classic_ninja:

Standard policy is to notify Centrelink of any change in circumstance, as noted below from the website.

What to tell Centrelink

You need to tell Centrelink if there are changes to:

  • your personal and contact details
  • your bank details
  • your relationship status, for example if you become partnered or separated
  • care arrangements for anyone in your care, including your children
  • your work status
  • your gender identity - gender updates are optional
  • your accommodation details – use the accommodation details form to do this
  • your living arrangements if you’re single and start sharing your accommodation with anyone outside your family who’s 16 or older - use the relationship details form to do this

You also need to tell Centrelink if:

  • you're leaving the country, temporarily or to live somewhere else
  • you get a lump sum payment
  • your or your partner's income or assets change
  • you’ve started or finished studying

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1 hour ago, essandjaybee said:

Not new to us, 3 years ago we sat in front of a Centrelink staff member who confirmed we weren't back yet :classic_wacko::classic_wacko::classic_biggrin: .... we had been home for 3 weeks...... knew something was wrong when heart meds were charged at full price by the chemist.....now that was scary........

The higher price would likely make anyone's heart skip a beat.

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4 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

Sounds like the two government departments are not talking to each other.

Nothing novel about that !

Cheers Carole

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2 hours ago, NSWP said:

It would be scary without PBS concession.🤯 So is 6 weeks the time you are allowed out of OZ without notifying Centrelink if a concession card holder? 

Have no idea Les, we let them know even if we are only going for a week. Last big trip we were gone 8 weeks with no issues, we flew in and out though....When you advise online they do ask if you are cruising, guess they are either fully aware of paperwork delays or being nosey 😉😆😆

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18 hours ago, NSWP said:

It would be scary without PBS concession.🤯 So is 6 weeks the time you are allowed out of OZ without notifying Centrelink if a concession card holder? 

We are also self-funded retirees who receive no payment from Centrelink, but for many years we have held a concession card giving various benefits including subsidized medications. Prior to mid 2016 (I think that was the date), whenever we were on a cruise that was longer than six weeks, our card was cancelled and we had to re-apply with all our financial information etc. PITA. There was always a waiting period during which we couldn't get the reduced-price medications.

 

From mid 2016, the period was extended to 19 weeks. Great! We no longer have the problem of re-applying and waiting for a new card. BUT, anyone who is overseas for more than 19 weeks now has to apply under the new rules and they may not qualify for the concessions. We don't intend to go overseas for more than 19 weeks, but now we certainly will not.

 

BTW, we have never advised Centrelink of our travel plans. They always know when we leave the country and when we return. So far this has worked, but reading the previous comments, maybe we should advise them in future.

 

On a cruise in late 2016 we met a lovely couple from WA - retired cop and retired teacher who had been retired for a year or two. They didn't have the concession card because their financial adviser had told them they wouldn't qualify because of their sizeable superannuation. The sad thing was that if they had applied earlier, they would have qualified, but with the new rules, they wouldn't. (I mention their story because I know that Les is a retired cop.)

Edited by Aus Traveller

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4 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

We are also self-funded retirees who receive no payment from Centrelink, but for many years we have held a concession card giving various benefits including subsidized medications. Prior to mid 2016 (I think that was the date), whenever we were on a cruise that was longer than six weeks, our card was cancelled and we had to re-apply with all our financial information etc. PITA. There was always a waiting period during which we couldn't get the reduced-price medications.

 

From mid 2016, the period was extended to 19 weeks. Great! We no longer have the problem of re-applying and waiting for a new card. BUT, anyone who is overseas for more than 19 weeks now has to apply under the new rules and they may not qualify for the concessions. We don't intend to go overseas for more than 19 weeks, but now we certainly will not.

 

BTW, we have never advised Centrelink of our travel plans. They always know when we leave the country and when we return. So far this has worked, but reading the previous comments, maybe we should advise them in future.

 

On a cruise in late 2016 we met a lovely couple from WA - retired cop and retired teacher who had been retired for a year or two. They didn't have the concession card because their financial adviser had told them they wouldn't qualify because of their sizeable superannuation. The sad thing was that if they had applied earlier, they would have qualified, but with the new rules, they wouldn't. (I mention their story because I know that Les is a retired cop.)

Thanks for the information. We do have the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card for the 'cheap stay alive pills.'  Next overseas adventure is only 3 and a half weeks, so should be ok.

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20 hours ago, essandjaybee said:

Have no idea Les, we let them know even if we are only going for a week. Last big trip we were gone 8 weeks with no issues, we flew in and out though....When you advise online they do ask if you are cruising, guess they are either fully aware of paperwork delays or being nosey 😉😆😆

Thanks for information, will bear it in mind.

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4 minutes ago, Dobby_The_Ship_Elf said:

Veterans also have to notify DVA although I think it will be a catch all now that they have moved to the MyGov thingy

That should be correct.

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Well guys, what did you expect Border Force to do with you when you arrived in Australia?

 

You're boat people!

 

 

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