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Last hours for 5 million Aussies to claim $500 payments

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Pictured: Alarm clock, Australian cash. Images: Getty
Are you eligible for the $500 payments? Images: Getty

Australia’s pensioners and self-funded retirees have until 27 November to check they are eligible for the Government’s $500 Covid-19 support payments.

Around 5.1 million Australians will receive two $250 payments under the plan, announced in the 2020 Budget.

Within that, 2.5 million pensioners, 1 million Australians with disabilities and their carers, 760,000 low-income families and 400,000 self-funded retirees will receive the two payments.

Australians receiving Family Tax Benefit payments, the Double Orphan Pension and those who have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

The first will be paid from 30 November 2020 and the second will be paid from 1 March 2021.

Services Australia advises that Australians need to be eligible for one of those support payments, or eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Pensioner Concession Card by 27 November to receive the first payment.

They need to be eligible by 26 February 2021 to receive the March payment.

That means that those who are eligible for one of the two cards but have not yet applied have until Friday to check their eligibility.

National Seniors chief advocate Ian Henschke said he urged all self-funded retirees to “at least check” the eligibility criteria, noting that older Australians have been among the worst hit by the pandemic.

To qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Australians need to have hit the pension age, they must be an Australian resident living in Australia and they can’t be receiving payments from Veterans affairs.

And, individuals need to earn below $55,808 and couples need to earn less than $89,290. Couples who are separated by prison, illness or respite care can earn up to $111,616.

How will I receive the $250 Covid-19 support payment?

The money will be paid into Australians’ bank accounts, or if they’re claiming Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum, they’ll receive the payment as a lump sum.

And Australians who are on Income Management or have a Cashless Debit Card will have the payment flow onto either their Cashless Debit Card or income managed account.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the payments will support older Australians and shows the Government is standing “side by side” with them.

“We can now deliver more practical support to older Australians, families and young people through these targeted, temporary initiatives in our social security system,” she said.

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