Welfare support recipients risk losing access to Centrelink payments if their children are not vaccinated according to government requirements, a Services Australia official has confirmed.
Children of welfare recipients of up to 20 years old must have the relevant immunisation jabs, Services Australia general manager Hank Jongen said.
“So your children will [still] need to receive their vaccines in line with the scheduled timing.
“That’s for two reasons: one, it’s for the health of your child; but secondly, it also means if you fall behind on your vaccinations, it can have an effect on Family Tax Benefit and your Child Care Subsidy.”
Parents who receive the Child Care Subsidy will have 63 days to meet the immunisation requirements.
Meanwhile, parents who receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A can have their payments reduced by up to $29.40 per fortnight per child who doesn’t meet the requirements.
Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program covers individuals aged 16 and over. Children below this age haven’t been cleared for the COVID vaccine, and experts believe that it could be as late as 2022 before they’re approved for children.
Jongen also urged Australians to link their myGov account to their Medicare account.
He also advised people to ensure that their contact information was up to date and to download the Medicare app, which users can use to demonstrate their immunisation history.
“What it means is you will have proof of your vaccination, right there in the palm of your hand,” Jongen said.
Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out began on 22 February. At the time of writing, it has administered nearly 42,000 doses of the vaccine.
Quarantine and border workers, health workers and aged care and disability care residents and staff were first in line to receive the jab.