‘Centrelink is cheating me’

Frank Vahovec, Nowra, fears he is being paid less than he is entitled to, due to Centrelink's inaccurate projections.
Frank Vahovec, Nowra, fears he is being paid less than he is entitled to, due to Centrelink's inaccurate projections.

No bank will provide Nowra pensioner Frank Vahovec, 83, with the interest rate Centrelink expects him to generate on his savings.

The interest rate, set by the federal government, is 3.25 per cent.

“That’s unbelievable, I can’t get that on the savings I have,” Mr Vahovec said.

“Centrelink is definitely cheating me.”

For two years, Centrelink has overestimated Frank’s income, and failed to accept information that contradicts their estimates provided in bank statements.

Pension benefits and home care benefits are based on assets and return on savings.

And now that Frank needs home care after a number of operations, he’s concerned it will cost him more than it should.

“It’s a double whammy, they’re cheating me on my pension and on home care,” he said.

He has made several complaints to Centrelink, and each time has been told to contact his local MP about the issue, seeing as the rate is set by the government.

Mr Vahovec touched base with Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis’ staff on Tuesday.

“I doubt Ann can do anything, she’s only one person in parliament,” he said.

“The people at Centrelink are always polite, and I’m sure Ann will try, but people need to know what Centrelink is doing to pensioners.”

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