Senior claims he's struggling after pension 'blind-side'
WHEN Glenlee pensioner Bill Pascoe went to apply for an advanced payment on his pension two weeks ago, he said he was "blind-sided” by a new requirement that meant he was now ineligible.
Mr Pascoe, 81, said he had been getting the advanced payment for 10 years with no problems before a change was made that required him to be a property-owner.
However, in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Department of Human Services rejected Mr Pascoe's claim and said there was no such requirement.
General Manager Hank Jongen said the department had extended an offer to follow-up the issue directly with Mr Pascoe to "discuss his concerns around eligibility for advance payments”.
"There is no requirement that someone must be a property owner in order to be eligible for an advance payment,” Mr Jongen said.
Mr Pascoe shared how he had been suffering with Diverticulosis, a painful condition which forms tiny pockets in the lining of the bowel, and had stayed in hospital for three days last week.
The condition, which can be deadly if left untreated, was the least of Mr Pascoe's worries when he was discharged on Friday.
On Friday, he said he had been receiving the advanced payment for 10 years with no interest and had always paid it back.
"But this time around, I rang them and I was told that it only applies to pensioners who own a property, so I'm not entitled now,” he said.
"I'm sick of this government. They're a mob of thieves. I've never owned a property and I shouldn't be discriminated against.
"They haven't let anyone know about this. You only know when you call them.”
Mr Pascoe said he will now be "tightening the belt” when it comes to his expenses and said he worries for other pensioners who don't have full-time carers like he does with his daughter Katherine Voois.
"I was going to get get new flooring in my unit, because it's damaged and broken up, but I've had to delay now,” he said.
"I will have to take out private loans, which will cost me more.”
Further information about eligibility for advance payments is available at humanservices.gov.au\advancepayments.