Here's what to expect from Centrelink when you receive an NDIS plan

Absolute Care & Health on 8 May 2020

Navigating Centrelink can be a complex process. Centrelink assistance is in high demand, and finding the answers you seek online, via phone, and in person, can be difficult and frustrating.

Not knowing how the system works can be stressful, especially because Centrelink is very strict about compliance. It's important to report to them if your circumstances or income changes.

If you have an NDIS plan — or if you're in the process of getting one — how does that impact your Centrelink payments? Is NDIS linked to Centrelink? To help you in this matter, we've compiled the following, easy-to-understand guide to Centrelink payments for people with an NDIS plan.

Absolute Care and Health is an industry leading service provider. Read more about us, and our approach to quality care. We are registered NDIS disability care providers and can tailor services to suit your needs.

Income tests for Centrelink payments: how do they work?

There are many different payments distributed by Centrelink. For example, there are income support payments to help people with their livings costs. Some income support payments include:

  • Age Pension
  • Austudy
  • Disability Support Pension
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Parenting Payment
  • Partner Allowance

To receive Centrelink payments in full, you must have under a certain amount of income, and pass an asset limit test. For example, if you earn over a certain amount of income per fortnight at a job, the JobSeeker payment will start to be reduced.

Will NDIS support payments reduce payments from Centrelink?

Centrelink does not count NDIS support payments as income. The NDIS exists to help people with a disability get the support they need. That includes:

  • Getting them the assistance they need to be independent socially and economically
  • Provide reasonable and necessary supports
  • Enable them to make their own choices, and pursue their own goals

Because NDIS support payments are granted for very specific reasons. They are not classified as income; they will not reduce income support payments from Centrelink. Support payments from the NDIS are also exempt from tax and are not counted as income when calculating Child Support Benefit.

Will Centrelink payments reduce NDIS support payments?

To line up a plan with the NDIS, a person must fill out an Access Request Form — either verbally or on paper. An Access Request Form does not ask about your income. The NDIS is not means tested, and being on Centrelink will not reduce what a person is entitled to under the NDIS.

Can you receive Mobility Allowance from Centrelink if you have a plan with the NDIS?

 disabled man sitting in wheelchair holding hands on the wheel2

When the NDIS was introduced, 17 commonwealth programs transitioned to the NDIS. One of these programs was the Mobility Allowance. However, Mobility Allowance can still be accessed by eligible people who do not have an NDIS plan. It is a direct payment from Centrelink for people who:

  • Are at least 16
  • Have a disability
  • Need assistance using public transport
  • Are using public transport for approved activities like study, work, training, or job seeking

People who have a plan with the NDIS are not able to receive the Mobility Allowance. This is because NDIS will provide payments to provide support for these transport needs.

Will being on the NDIS mean you can't keep your Health Care Card?

The Health Care Card is a concession card supplied by Centrelink to help people buy cheaper medicines. In certain states and territories, it can also lower the cost of things like:

  • Utility bills
  • Tickets on public transport
  • Car registration

Many private companies also offer discounts to people carrying a Health Care Card. People with an NDIS plan can still keep their Centrelink Health Care Card.

What is the best way to manage Centrelink and NDIS support?

NDIS payments can only be used for very specific services. These include assistance with:

  • Daily activities
  • Household tasks
  • Meal preparation
  • Community Access
  • Travel and transport arrangements
  • Health needs and nursing

On the other hand, many Centrelink payments are for general use. Unless payments are delivered using a cashless debit card, they can be withdrawn from a bank account and spent at will.

The best way to manage your Centrelink and NDIS support is to ensure that you have the right NDIS plan. That way, you won't have to spend your Centrelink payments on things that can be covered by the NDIS. Then, a quality disability support provider, like Absolute Care & Health, can make sure you get the best care possible.

Our team at Absolute Care & Health is committed to providing the best possible care. Find out more about our valuesour team, and the services we can provide as part of your NDIS plan.