More than 5.5 million Aussies will see their Centrelink payments and pensions rise in two weeks, as part of the government’s regular indexation.
The twice-yearly indexation, which also occurs in March, is made to ensure welfare payments keep up with the rising cost of living.
From September 20, Aussie singles receiving JobSeeker and ABSTUDY payments will receive a base payment of $749.20 per fortnight, an increase of $56.10. This includes the $40-per-fortnight boost announced in the budget.
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Aussies receiving the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment will also receive a boost. The single pension rate will increase to $1,096.70 per fortnight, an increase of $32.70. For couples, it will increase to $1,653.40 per fortnight, a boost of $49.40.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the government recognised Aussies were continuing to grapple with cost-of-living pressures.
“Indexation is a vital mechanism to safeguard the purchasing power of social security payments, ensuring they keep pace with the cost of living,” Rishworth said.
“Higher inflation is being felt most within the homes of those on low fixed incomes and these payments are a lifeline for many Australians who are doing it tough or may need some extra support.”
The indexation is in addition to the $40-per-fortnight increase to the base rates of working-age and student payments, including JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment Partnered.
ACOSS has argued the increase does not go far enough while food, rent and other essentials are getting more expensive. It is urging the government to lift income-support payments to at least the pension rate.
Full list of increases
Here are all the changes coming into effect on September 20:
JobSeeker and ABSTUDY Single, new base rate of $749.20 per fortnight - increase of $56.10
Parenting Payment Single, new base rate of $942.40 per fortnight - increase of $20.30
JobSeeker and Parenting Payment Partnered, new base rate of $686 per fortnight - increase of $54.80
Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment Single, new base rate $1,096.70 - increase of $32.70; Couple, new base rate of $1,653.40 - increase of $49.40
Single veterans on service pension, new rate of $1,096.70 per fortnight - increase of $32.70; Disability Compensation Payment (Special Rate), new rate of $1,729.20 per fortnight - increase of $53
Commonwealth Rent Assistance will increase to a maximum rate of $184.80 per fortnight, an increase of $27.60. This is as a result of the government’s 15 per cent increase in the budget, plus regular indexation.
Family payment recipients with one or two children will see the maximum rate increase to $217.28 per fortnight - an increase of $32.34.
Income limits for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will also be indexed, increasing by $5,400 to $95,400 per annum for singles, and by $8,640 to $152,640 per annum for couples.