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3 most common cash payments you didn’t know you could claim

·3-min read
Australian $50 notes in yellow envelope.
Australians have been urged to double check they're not eligible for lost or unclaimed money. (Image: Getty).

Australians have lodged more than 1.5 million claims for lost, forgotten or unclaimed money through the CommBank app and website, with the bank now urging Australians to make sure they’re not missing out.

The app’s benefits finder feature prompts customers to check if they are eligible for certain payments, and the COVID-19 lockdowns have driven a record number of claims.

The three most popular types of benefits claimed by customers in the first six months of 2021 were unclaimed money through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and state revenue departments.

The bank has processed more than 210,000 of these claims, with money in this pool often coming in the form of lost bank accounts or untouched life insurance policies.

Customers are also using the app to claim their four $25 NSW Dine and Discover vouchers, with more than 135,000 claims of this type started. 

WATCH: How to save $1,000 in one year.

The app has also nudged customers to make more than 80,000 COVID-19 Disaster Payment claims. These payments are delivered to people who have lost income due to COVID-19 lockdowns, with weekly payments of $450 or $750 depending on the number of hours lost.

“Since the start of the year, customers in NSW have accounted for more than 50 per cent of all claims started across the country, followed next by Victoria with nearly 20 per cent, and Queensland with more than 10 per cent," CBA chief data and analytics officer Andrew McMullan said.

“When you compare June 2021 to July 2021, the number of claims started in both Victoria and South Australia has more than doubled, while NSW has recorded a spike of nearly 60 per cent.”

He said the COVID-19 Disaster Payment swiftly became one of the most-claimed payments on the app since it added it to the platform.

“That’s not a surprise to us, given that this particular benefit supports those workers adversely affected by a state public health order,” he said.

The benefits finder feature was developed with Harvard University’s Sustainability, Transparency and Accountability Research Lab, and since lockdown has used artificial intelligence to offer personalised support to 4.7 million customers.

The bank’s reminder comes as Australians face heightened financial pressures in lockdown, with Finder research finding 1 in 20 homeowners would need financial assistance if their home loan interest rate increased.

Financial stress fueled 3,500 calls to Lifeline on 19 August, with Lifeline chair John Brogden claiming the high volume of calls is due to a lack of JobKeeper support.

NAB’s latest financial wellbeing survey also found a “growing economic divide” has Australia's most vulnerable under growing pressure.

“This may in part reflect changing assistance measures and disproportionate impacts of lockdowns and other COVID restrictions on some in the community,” the report said.

If you need immediate financial relief, you can contact the Salvation Army’s Doorways service on 1300 371 288.

If you have lost your job or income, here’s a state-by-state breakdown of what you can claim.

If you need mental health support, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or chat online at www.lifeline.org.au.

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