An update on government support, April 1, 2020.

We are a bit confused so you probably are as well...

The below is how we think it works after sourcing some good technical support.

The first bit is easy…

Who is eligible?

Generally Australian residents with an eligible income support payment or those who hold an eligible concession card such as the Pensioner Concession Card or the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card.  If you lost this benefit for some reason before the twelfth of March this year, you will have missed out.   You had to be eligible on the 12th of March or later. 

What do I have to do?

Not much.The $750 payment will be made directly into the account Centrelink currently provide your payments to.  The payment process will start from 31 March but it isn’t crystal clear when you will actually get paid – just keep an eye on your bank account

Is the payment, $750 for the family or will each person with a concession card or entitled to a payment receive it? For example would a couple both on the pension receive $750 or $1500 between them?

  • A normal pensioner couple household will receive $1500 now and a further $1500 on the 10th of July as long as they remain eligible for the pension.

What about families on Family Tax Benefits?

This is policy on the run so as best as we can understand it applies to the following.

The Family Tax benefit is treated differently and there can be variations.

  • If you are just receiving family tax benefit, no parenting payment and you don’t have a partner receiving Job Seeker allowance, you will receive $750 now and if still eligible, an additional $750 on the 10th of July.
  • If you are receiving Family tax benefit and you receive the parenting payment you would be eligible for the $750 payment now but not for the second payment in July.
  • If you are receiving Family tax benefit and have a partner on job seeker payments, you should receive $750 for the household and your partner should also receive an additional $750.  However, based on the current legislation neither of you would be entitled to the additional household support payment of $750 on the 10th of July.

We would love to be definitive here but the world of Centrelink can get very complicated so hopefully this will help families when querying payments and knowing what to look out for and how they are being assessed.

Patience is definitely a virtue in the current environment and we know from our own dealings with Centrelink, they are swamped, so please bear this in mind if you need to call them.

The government link is below if you require further assistance: