The high indexation rates that delivered large Age Pension boosts in September have continued for the one million people who receive a Centrelink payment that is indexed on 1 January 2022.
Centrelink payments for carer and student allowances are indexed on this date to help them keep up with the changes in the cost of living.
Under the changes, the Carer Allowance rate, which supports people who are providing additional daily care to someone with a disability, medical condition, or an adult who is frail aged, will increase by $4.60 to $136.50 per fortnight.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), around 299,300 people were in receipt of a carer payment this year.
This figure has exploded since June 2001, when the number of recipients were just 57,800.
As well as there being a large increase in the number of informal carers over the past 20 years, the figures also reflect some key policy changes, including the increased qualifying age for the Age Pension and the closure of various payments and allowances that were primarily paid to women.
The indexation rate of 3.5 per cent, which will be applied to the Carers Allowance from 1 January, will also apply to those who receive the Mobility Allowance.
Payment for those on the standard rate of the Mobility Allowance will increase by $3.50 per fortnight to $103, while those on the increased Mobility Allowance rate will receive a $4.90 per fortnight increase to $144.
Older students receiving Austudy will get a $17.90 fortnightly boost due to the indexation changes, with the rate increasing to $530.40 per fortnight.
As a result of the 1 January indexation, the income and asset limits for the carer payment have also changed, meaning more people may now be eligible for the payment.
The income limit to receive the carer payment has increased by $4416 per annum to $120,605 while the lower asset limit has increased by $27,250 to $744,000 and the higher asset limit by $40,500 to $1,105,250.
You can see all the 1 January indexation changes here.
Social services minister Anne Ruston said these changes were an important part of maintaining purchasing power and built on increases that were announced in April.
“For many of these payments this indexation builds on the $50 per fortnight permanent increase to the rate of a range of income support payments we delivered in April,” Senator Ruston said.
Do you receive a Carer Allowance? Do you feel these increases will help you keep up with cost of living increases? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?
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