Changes to welfare entitlements for travellers 29



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Travelling overseas? Read on for changes that may affect your entitlements.

Amongst a host of changes to different entitlements, from 1 January 2015 there were two changes to note that may affect your holiday plans if you are a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holder or receive a Disability Support Pension.

  1. Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holders

The good news for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders, from 1 January 2015, you can extend your holiday stay without impacting your entitlement to this card. You can now travel outside of Australia for up to 19 weeks (previously 6 weeks) without the fear of cancellation and the need to re-apply for the card.

Importantly, this extra flexibility should also assist in maintaining the grandfathered status of any superannuation pension that you currently hold.


  1. Disability Support Pensioners

The news is not so good for Disability Support Pensioners travelling abroad. You now have a maximum of four weeks (previously 6 weeks) for which you can continue to be paid whilst overseas in any 52 week period.

If your stay overseas is longer than four weeks, your payment will be cancelled and you will need to re-apply for the card. This will include the assessment of your medical condition(s) and work capacity.

For full details, please see the Department of Human Services website.

And remember, if you plan to travel you need to inform Centrelink of the dates of your travel. This is even in the case when the length of the stay shouldn’t impact upon your entitlements.

Information provided in this article is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should assess your own circumstances or seek advice from a financial adviser. Wally David is an Authorised Representative (318432) of Wealth Managers Pty Ltd, AFSL No. 232701. 


Do you expect to be impacted by these changes? Please share your thoughts below.

Wally David

Wally David is a Certified Financial Planner® with over a decade of experience in the field of financial planning. He is the founder of and regularly appears in the media to comment for news stories, TV segments and other forums.

  1. Wow that is harsh for those on a disability and if they have family overseas. Hard enough for them to cope with illness and then being cut off from their support system. Another form of control by big brother and it will not end there. Those making these ludicrous decisions do they really look at the pros and cons how this may affect those disabled. Not all disabled go on holidays for a good time but sometimes need help from immediate family members who do not live in this Country.

    1 REPLY
    • It is not only the disabled who need a holiday, I am sure their carers get worn out, and they can’t just dump them, they take them too

  2. If you are able & well enough to travel overseas for 4+ weeks, maybe you should not be on DSP in the first place.

    8 REPLY
    • Really? that is one of the silliest things I have heard for awhile.. the blind, and the deaf, those with ms and other illness that require them to have the DSP are all capable of travel, people with children with disabilities can all travel with their children if the doctor allows it. These people should be entitled to a holiday or to spend time with family members overseas

    • We took our Son overseas 7 years ago, he has severe intellectual disabilities plus Autism, he loves to travel, we went to visit our other Son who is in the RAAF and was serving in America at the time. We were gone for six weeks, we could not leave our Son here for period of time nor did we want to!
      Each case is different but everyone gets treated as if they are cheats of some sort!
      Just another way to try to eliminate entitlements.

    • pretty callous comment there Elizabeth, I know a lady who is Thalidomide child, she was born with disabilities because of the drug, she can travel with a carer. Your lack of empathy is appalling

    • Oh dear maybe you should get out a bit and mix with people in your community……everyone is entitled to a holiday! Most on DSP are genuine and hopefully when NDIS is
      introduced the fakers
      will be screened out

    • or the ones with the bit of a sore back i know several and several more working FULL TIME FOR CASHwith 800000 on it i am sure their are thousands.ndis is not about fakers anne .my partner works at a doctors and says they have given patientsd disability for the 20 years she has been there rather than lose them as patients

    • Think this is ridiculous, why bother going on holiday overseas for only four weeks when it costs both time and saving money and how judge mental and discriminatory to those on pensions who have a disability. We have a sick government, when their own members go on extended holidays with their families and the taxpayer pays for it! So also hypocritical as some have family who also have disabilities

  3. There are a few women in our town, who saved for years to go back to England to visit family and the Housing Commission was going to take their units off them , even though they were still paying their rent.

  4. Why are tax payers paying for people on benefits to go overseas? The majority of workers can’t afford it.

    2 REPLY
    • I’m a taxpayer and I can afford overseas travel. I hope you never have to go on benefits then otherwise sone people may say the same about you.

    • U r right but then I know I couldn’t afford overseas travel. I would be grateful for receiving g help in the form if benefits.

  5. I think if you re overseas all welfare benefits should cease as soon as you love Australia.

    1 REPLY
    • That’s harsh. If you are on a disability pension or aged pension why should you not be able to go overseas.

  6. Not everyone on DSP is bedridden. These harsh changes impact on DSP recipients who travel OS for medical treatment, those who are fortunate enough to take a cruise longer than 4wks, those visiting family, & many other situations. Consideration on a case-by-case application should be provided for, without necessity of loss of DSP status and the complexities involved in having to reapply.

  7. Cannot believe the horrid callus remarks some ignorant people make, are they seriously that stupid ? clearly for them stupidity and ignorance is their disability, I’d rather be blind then be them and my favourite thing is to read.

  8. Omg, what vicious remarks from some, says a lot about the person making them. Do you think it is fun living with 24/7 chronic disabilities and pain? Do you honestly believe that because we take a holiday so does our disability? It just vanishes and we are pain free? I wish lol, no such luck. Because we get a whole $350 a week we are not entitled to have any fun in life? My family sent hubby and I on a holiday, our first one in eight years, I enjoyed every minute. So stuff your opinions where the sun does not shine people, I was still in pain but the surroundings were not the four walls of my home, I was out and part of everyday life for a whole three weeks. Reality set in when we got home, I was back to bed rest but it was worth every minute to feel normal again, or as much as you can when in a chair. Think about what you are saying, please show more consideration and less callousness:)

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