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A disabled teacher had his pension slashed by $500 a fortnight after a $60,000 lottery win, despite it being tax-free. <br>Craig Hill, 61, who suffered severe psychological damage when he was held hostage by Townsville Prison inmates, regularly enters The Lott's Set For Life game.<br>He scored a modest win on October 14 and will be paid $5,000 a month for a year - a lower division prize - under the terms of the lottery, instead of all at once. <br>The Australian Taxation Office confirmed his winnings were not taxable income, as is the case with all gambling payouts to average punters.<br>However, he was shocked to discover his $821.20 a fortnight disability pension would be cut to about $328.20 because Centrelink considered him a 'professional gambler'.<br>      (image:  )    Craig Hill, 61, won The Lott's Set For Life game that pays $5,000 a months for a year, but because it is regular payments not a lump sum, Centrelink will cut his payments from $820 a fortnight to $320<br>Mr Hill claimed after he asked for a review, Centrelink officers also cut his wife's carer's allowance by about the same amount as his pension.<br>'I did the right thing and contacted Centrelink and they told me because it was paid monthly it counted as income from gambling,' he told Daily Mail Australia.<br>'So I asked if I could deduct all my gambling losses over the past 20 years and they said no, you only become a professional gambler on the day you win.<br>'If I'd won $600,000 on the Powerball it wouldn't affect my pension but because it's paid monthly I'm a professional gambler, it's ridiculous.'<br>Mr Hill claimed Centrelink officers told him he could take the dispute to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal but then his entire pension for the past seven years could be audited.<br>'There's a culture in some of these departments where they see clients as the enemy but if they didn't have clients they wouldn't have jobs,' he said.<br>      (image:  )    Mr Hill claimed after he asked for a review, Centrelink officers also cut his wife's carer's allowance by about the same amount as his pension<br>Mr Hill said he was very far from being a professional gambler, only playing Powerball when the jackpot got high and buying Set For Life regularly since 2015.<br>'I'm not betting on the horses or going to the casino, I maybe have a bit of a lash on the poker machines once in a while,' he said.<br>Mr Hill, a former Australian Democrats vice president, said Government Services Minister Bill Shorten could intervene but his office had not been cooperative.<br>He also asked The Lott to ask if the winnings could be paid all at once to avoid the issue, but he claims the company refused to do so and didn't give a reason.<br>'Everyone has the capacity to fix the problem but no one wants to,' he said.<br>Mr Hill was diagnosed with PTSD and schizophrenia 18 years ago from his work as a prison guard, but was able to keep working as a teacher.<br>However, since he was held hostage by eight inmates who threatened to kill him, he suffers from severe anxiety and can barely leave his Brisbane house.<br>He does sporadic clerical work from home that he declares on a profit and loss statement he submits to Centrelink every three months.<br>The Social Services Department said unless specifically exempted in legislation, few income amounts were excluded from welfare calculations.<br>'Lottery winnings that are received periodically, for example on a monthly basis for an indefinite length of time, are assessed as income for the period to which they relate,' it told Daily Mail Australia.<br>'This is consistent with the principle of targeting assistance to those who need it most.  A periodic lottery winning is an ongoing source of income which can be used for a person's own self-support.'<br>      (image:  )  The Lott's Set For Life lottery has a top prize of $20,000 a month for 20 years.  Mr Hill won a lower division that pays $5,000 a month for one year<br>The department admitted that if Mr Hill had received the payout as a lump sum it wouldn't have been assessed as income.<br>However, any assessable assets bought with it would be, and any ongoing income - such as rent from a property or bank interest - would be.<br>Just because the lottery winnings were tax free didn't have any bearing on whether they could be assessed as income.<br>'The social security system measures a person's need for income support and their capacity to contribute towards their own support,' it said.<br>The department said Mr Hill's wife's carer payment was affected because the pension income test uses the gross income of both partners, even if one of the partners does not receive a pension.<br>'This is based on the principle that couples are able to pool their resources for their mutual benefit,' it said.<br>'Accordingly, the income of each member of a couple is assessed for the purposes of the social security pension income test.'<br>    Here is my website  https://maps.google.ae/url?sa=t&url=http%3A%2F%2Fhttps://pusatslot4d.com/%2F
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Sunday, November 13, 2022

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