Last September the federal government announced changes to social security legislation which, incredibly, has left many aged pensioners considerably worse off. There are also fears that many pensioners are at risk of criminal prosecution because of misinformation, confusion and exasperation about the Centrelink reporting rules that were introduced with the amended legislation.

Initially it was widely believed that, as a result of the amendments, the amount an aged penioner would be able to earn would be increased by up to 50%. It was explained that under the new "Work Bonus" scheme, pensioners, whether single or in a partnership, would be able to earn about $300 a fortnight without loss of any pension.