Tasmanian Seniors Week (16 – 22 October) is a chance to shine a light on the growing number of older Australians embracing the Internet.
With more than half of Australians aged 65-plus now online (according to the 2014-15 ABS Household Use of Information Technology survey) there’s strong demand from Tasmanian seniors for the option to do their business digitally.
Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said that online channels are a useful tool for accessing the department’s services, and Seniors Week is the perfect time to encourage seniors to hop online.
“This year we launched our new online claim form with an improved design to make it easier for Age Pension applicants to submit claims,” said Mr Jongen.
“If a person is already receiving a Centrelink payment, their financial information will be pre-populated into the online claim. This means a person can simply confirm or update this information as needed, rather than starting from scratch.
“Claims can be done entirely online, which speeds up the process by removing the need to call or visit a service centre.
“People can submit their supporting documents online from home or on their mobile, rather than posting or bringing them in.
“People can even check the progress of their claim through the new online claim tracker or through the Centrelink Express Plus mobile app.
“There are online tutorials and help functions available at every stage of the online age pension claiming process. Staff are also available to support anyone needing help over the phone or at a service centre.
“Thirty per cent of Age Pension recipients are already using our self-service options.
“With many pensioners using the Internet for services such as shopping and banking, it’s not surprising people also wish to access Centrelink and Medicare online, for convenience.”
The Seniors Update Facebook and Twitter accounts are another good option for keeping up-to-date with important information or asking general questions about our payments and services.
And while online options are always improving, Mr Jongen said the seminars provided by Financial Information Service also remain incredibly popular.
“Our ‘Age Pension and Your Choices seminar’ is being held at multiple locations throughout Tasmania during Seniors Week,” Mr Jongen said.
“FIS officers will be covering topics of income and assets tests, deeming investments, concession cards and tax issues, and your retirement choices.
“This is an excellent opportunity for those preparing for the next stage in life, ready to lodge an online claim, or already receiving the pension to get finance information from experienced FIS officers.”