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Paying the price for red tape

Jan Edwards didn’t have the right concession cards to be eligible for the widow allowance.
Jan Edwards didn’t have the right concession cards to be eligible for the widow allowance. Nikita Watts

JAN Edwards lost her husband in 2006 and things have been tough with him gone.

She thought she had followed all the right protocols after his death, but was shocked to discover she hadn't been receiving a widow's allowance on her residential rate payments.

Speaking from her home yesterday, Jan said she took her husband's death certificate and applied for the allowance and assumed a rebate would be added to her notices.

It was only when she received her current notice she realised there was no widow discount - and looking back, she had never received one.

"When your partner passes away you have so much to take care of and a lot of people aren't thinking straight," she said.

"How many people don't know about it (the widow rebate) or if they are eligible?"

She received a letter from Smartservice Queensland that stated her application was declined as she did not have a pensioner concession card.

Council and the State Government offer a rebate on rates for Pension Concession or Veteran Affairs Gold Card holders.

Rockhampton Regional Council also offers a rebate to residents who hold a Health Care Card - Widow's Allowance, which is available from Centrelink.

A council spokeswoman said there were several criteria a widow needed to meet to receive the card.

"Though this rebate is now available for all eligible residents in the Rockhampton region, before amalgamation Rockhampton City Council was the only council... that offered this rebate," she said.

 

PENSIONER REBATE

  • Council and State Government offer rebates on rates for Pension Concession or Veteran Affairs Gold Card holders.
  • Council offers rebate to Health Care - Widow's Allowance card holders (from Centrelink).
  • Once approved council confirms eligibility with Centrelink each year.
  • For more info, phone council on 1300 225 577.

Topics:  pensioner rates rockhampton regional council widow



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