Pensioners Who Volunteer

We live in a retirement village which is for pensioners only, some rent, some purchase a licence to occupy....I know of one resident and his friend, who also lives here......who's telling people that because he does volunteer work he receives an additional $80 per fortnight with his pension payment.....I've searched the Centrelink website and can't find anything to confirm this. It sounds wrong to me as volunteer work is unpaid work, why would Centrelink reward people for volunteering?

My husband and I both volunteer and were interested in finding someone who can answer this question for us.

Thanks - casper.

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This is correct Casper ,It is called a mobility allowance ,I think it is $83.00 per fortnight but I think it is paid to people on the disability pension,I think it is designed to motivate and help people with disabilities to actualy get to work re transport and give them an incentive to keep trying to work even if it is volunteer work . to qualify there are a set number of hours that they have to do every month. wobbly

Thanks Wobbly....that does make sense, since the person I know is not yet retirement age but has to be on some type of pension to live here, therefore I presume he's on a Disability Pension....from what I can see, he's as able-bodied as we are but he's a little bit slow.....but not too slow in knowing how to rort the system though.....we always wondered why he does so much volunteering, now we know, lol.

I find your post very interesting Casper, you say 'but not too slow in knowing how to rort the system though'. I am one who gets very annoyed, no very ANGRY at people who do rort the system, no matter what the system because in the end someone has to pay, that also goes for things like Insurances etc etc, to me it's fraud and should be stamped out (I do know that it would be impossible to do). At least we do have the facilities to report such offenses anonymously, I do believe that most of the reports are put in by the offenders family or friends, not enough in my books. Now I will get off my soap box. Cheers Casper.

I find this post disturbing to say the least, What makes you think that getting a mobility allowance is rorting the system,to be given a disability pension one has to undergo rigerous medical checks by government doctors and to be granted a mobility pension one has to also have reason like difficulty with using public transport or being able to be employed in mainstream positions hence a great percentage of volunteers are recipients of this allowance.The volunteer organisations are grateful for any help and input.This country would be a lot poorer without them.These people get paid$83.00for a minimum of 32 hours work a month although most do more this works out at $2.59 cents per hour they do not get paid any more if they work longer hours,though most do.We have one lady at Vinnies who cannot hold a job elsewhere due to what you refer to as slowness{i hate that Term} but this lady cheerfully irons for 4 hours a day 4 days a week,the allowance does not even cover her taxi fare to work.regardless of how many hours work performed the maximum allowance is $83.00 per fortnight.Would you feel happier knowing that these people were made to stay home and feel useless to society just so you got equal money.If you want more money go out and get a part time job to top up your pensionand be grateful you are mentally and physicaly capable of doing so.wobbly

Sorry Wobbly, you misunderstood me, there is no way on this earth I would say that getting a disability pension is rorting the system, I would be the last one to say that.
I understood Sandra saying that he was a bit 'slow' meaning he was physically slow, not mentally, so I assumed, (and I know one should never assume) that he wasn't as disable as one might expect, but then I guess how do I know as I don't know the person, I wasn't directing my anger on that particular case, there are many cases, and I'm sure you are aware of them, where people are pretending to be disabled, backs, hips, etc to get any compensation that they can, and it's not just in disabilities area, it's right across the board.
I'm sorry that you even thought that I would be angry at a disabled person getting all the benefits that are at their disposal, I consider if they are eligible they should have it, it's the ones who are not eligible that I'm upset about. Cheers.

Deanna,I was not upset by your post at all ,as I also cant stand cheats.I was very upset by Caspers post as I mix with people every week who through no fault of their own have problems getting and holding jobs in mainstream society.Most of these people have a childish innocense and have no idea that they are actualy building resentment against them if they divulge that they are getting a little extra. I know of people on disability pensions with cerebral palsey,multiple scelosis , chronic lung disease and very painful genetic conditions in varying degrees of severity, who still choose to try to contribute something to society,they get rewarded with a pittance to help and encourage them to keep trying.I also know a lot of pensioners who think they are hard done by and resent these people and have no patience ,or compassion . I reiterate if you are on an australian pension and you are fit and healthy and want more money get a part time job ,in this country you are actualy encouraged to do this and still get a full pension .Dont just assume that the system is being rorted as this allowance is not given lightly and is monitered and subject to random checks.Wobbly

No problems Wobbly, I just get so mad at 'Welfare Cheats of any description as it 's the taxpayers who have to foot the bill and there are so many of them out there.
I don't call people "slow" unless they are moving slowly which is why I misunderstood Caspers post. (Derrr, what a silly girl I am)
As far as Casper is concerned, I don't know the person she is speaking of so I can't comment on that particular case. Cheers

Casper, Further to my post,you state that you often wonder why this man does so much volunteering and now you know why!To qualify for this allowance he only has to actualy do 8 hours a week.Perhaps he loves actualy feeling useful needed and respected in the organisation who would find him a job that he was capable of handling and thats why he does so much.Perhaps there he is treated as an important member of the organisation and not someone who is a bit SLOW!!!!!!!!!!! wobbly

I was surprised to see anyone complaining about
a person doing to/so much volunteering also, as it seems
the help given far outweighs the pittance received and
as you say Wobbly just a few hours is the requirement.
Volunteers are the salt of the earth and I wonder do
Politicians or others on huge salaries ever do anything
near, or in fact anything like Seniors and people with disabilities
do to hep others.
It is a shame there are others who give a bad name to anything
bcause they are takers against many who give of their time
God bless all Volunteers as life for many would be a lot less
of a life without the helpers I say :)

Thank you for your post Phyl.I apologise for getting so riled at this subject but as a child I saw so much cruely to people who were considered different.I had an aunt that i adored who was childlike,who was kept at home as there was nowhere for her to go as these organisations did not exist, and also to protect her from the people who taunted her as she was different.Today she would have worked in one of these organisations.I also have a grandaughter who was oxygen deprived at birth and has mild cerebral palsy,to look at her you would not know there was a problem as she is a stunning young woman and very beautiful . She has massive seizures but people dont see these so assume shes ok. My grandaughter works in an organisation and is on a disability pension,she also gets the mobility allowance which contributes to her taxi fares to get her to work. She is incredibly proud of her job and tells anyone and everyone where she works and in great detail what she does. SHe lives in a unit in a complex with like minded people with a shared carer,everone living in the complex pays rent plus contributes to the carers wage out of their pension.Without the mobility allowance my grandaughter would have to stay in the unit feeling worthless every day ,as the pension alone would not meet transport costs and even with the extra allowance my daughter still has to contribute extra .So yes I got rather upset at this post and the suggestion that people who get this know how to rort the system well I will climb down of my high horse now and go do something elsewobbly

Now volunteering, that's another story, I myself, have done a lot of volunteer work through my life, (when hubby was still at work and the kids were at school) I have such a full life now and have decided to spend my time with my family while I can, I was always awarded with much appreciation for the work that I did which was more than I needed, I felt the satisfaction of being able to help more than enough reward. I stopped the volunteering when my last child got her car and licence and could drive herself to Uni, I then got a paid job, gee was I excited about my first pay check in 20+ years LOL.
I have done a couple of Volunteer jobs lately, (I wondering if people are starting to try and ease me back into it LOL)........ I don't want to do that at this point as I'm a very committed person and we like our freedom to just pack up and go at the drop of a hat and if I have committed to some work we won't be able to do that. Three cheers for Volunteers........ :-)

I understand completely Deanna,I started volunteering after my husband died purely for personal motives If Im honest.I was desperatley lonely and just drifting from day to day with little or no structure to my days.Apart from my children and grandchildren I had no purpose in life or motivation to keep going.One day I walked past Vinnies and something prompted me to go ask if they needed help,I have never regretted that impulse as I believe that they have helped me more than i have ever helped them.I worked every day at first gradually cutting back to the 2 days that I do now.Not only do I have self worth and the great feeling of giving back to the community but I have learnt new skills,have more confidence and have made great friends.I also recognise that your family comes first so I spend wednesdays with my little grandchildren and catch up with older ones on weekends,and If im needed I can swap my days with other volunteers.If my husband was alive I would be off in my motorhome exploring the country but he is not, but your husband is so enjoy every moment that you can and dont feel guilt or regrets just feel good about who you are and what you do.You are a wife mother and grandmother,i am still a mother and grandmother but no longer a wife which gives me the time to be a volunteer.Wobbly

"If my husband was alive I would be off in my motorhome exploring the country"
-I am always heartened to find another wanderer who loves the outdoors. For me it worked the other way, I married someone opposite to me in that respect which also hobbles things. It was often through volunteering that I managed to keep the interest, but I had to sell the van.

might have something to add here- i get a part dissabillity pension as a few years ago i had most of my large bowel removed,it left me unable to work full allowed to do 30 hours a week before it affects my pension however i cant do more than 15-20.but its still lucky i can do a few hours a week some cant but i have great respect for volunteers,i did meals on wheel,called hoy for the widows associatin even school canteen and that was when i was alot younger and healthier.i dont think im rorting the system if i didnt have the pension id be up s--t cant judge by looking at someone,you never know whats going on.

Thank you for sharing that information Zzenda,Yes you are right ,unless you are employed by centerlink or a family member or close friend you would not know so cant judge people just based on a presumption or appearance.I find it is the genuine people who are out struggling to perform and lead as normal life as they can unless it is so physically impossible to do so that it is obvious. With the checks done by centerlink i find it hard to believe that rorters even get on a pension in the first place and with ongoing health checks they would soon be shoved of unless genuine.Wobbly

I am starting to think of starting a new business. Can somebody on here please tell me how I can find a few of these people, who are a bit slow, that are prepared to work for $2.59 P/H.
Perhaps I am missing something here!!!! If I contract them out to the local pubs at $16.50 P/H & pay them $2.59 P/H, I can make $13.91 per head per hour. Move over Al Gore, I have discovered a better rort than Carbon Credits.

I ,hope you are joking Innes,as I thought you had more integrity than that but If I was mistaken visit any sheltered workshop in Australia .There you will find any amount of people only too happy to be given a job just for the joy of feeling useful.Then I wish you well with sleeping at night wobbly

Wobbly, I take offence. I made no reference whatsoever to people that are in protected workshops. My reply was a sarcastic reply to the original criticism of people who are a tad slow in their movements, as are most people over 50, who are ripping off the system by collecting $2.59 for volunteer work. If you do a little bit of homework, you will find that it is against the law to employ anybody for less than around $13 P/H + + +, unless they are a volunteer at $2.59 P/H & apparently ripping off the system. I might add that many of these volunteers are working for very wealthy Church businesses who do not pay any tax.
Has it got to the stage that I should get a legal opinion & advice before I make a post on here? I do a lot of volunteer work for seniors & less fortunate people with legal problems
(all Pro Bono) & I sleep very well for 4 or 5 hours every night. Thank you VERY much.

I apologise Innes,I took your post at face value and was shocked as I thought that you actualy meant what you had written.Wobbly

It is funny how things get twisted around.
I don't see anywhere where it says people are working for $2.59 per hour.
How someone can come to that conclusion amazes me.
The standard rate of Mobility Allowance is $83 p/f
There is a higher rate of $116.20 p/f

Mobility Allowance assists people with disabilities who are involved in qualifying activities and cannot use public transport without substantial assistance.

Qualifying activities may include looking for work, or any combination of paid employment, voluntary work, vocational training and independent living or life skills training.

You do not need to get any other payments from Centrelink to qualify for Mobility Allowance. Mobility Allowance is not income or assets tested and is a non-taxable payment.

You may be eligible for Mobility Allowance if you:
a) are aged 16 or over, and
b) cannot use public transport without substantial assistance, and
c) need to travel to and from your home when you are looking for work, doing work or training.

To be eligible for the standard rate of Mobility Allowance, you must also:
a) be undertaking vocational training, voluntary work, paid work, independent living/life skills or any combination of these for at least 32 hours every 4 weeks on a continuing basis
b) have an agreement to look for work through an employment services provider (for example, Job Services Australia or Disability Employment Services)
c) be participating in a Disability Employment Services-Disability Management Service program, or
d) be receiving Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Austudy and be required to meet the Activity Test

You may be eligible for the higher rate of Mobility Allowance if you are:

a) receiving Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment, Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (job seeker) and,
b) be working for at least 15 hours a week on wages that are at or above the relevant minimum wage, or
c) be undertaking job search activities for work of at least 15 hours a week on wages that are at or above the relevant minimum wage under an Employment Pathway Plan or agreement with an Employment Services Provider (e.g. Job Services Australia or Disability Employment Services), or be working for at least 15 hours a week on productivity based wages under the Supported Wage System.

I sincerely apologise for offending some people with my post.....there are more details about this situation that cannot be posted in an open forum.....please accept my apology.

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