Thousands may miss out on $500 handout

Tens of thousands of unwitting Australians run the risk of missing out on a $500 government payment announced in the Federal Budget earlier this month.

The third and fourth one-off Economic Support Payment of $250 will be made to eligible Australians from December 2020 and March 2021.

The payments aim to provide financial support for age and disability pensioners, veterans, people on carer payments and family tax benefit recipients.

Anyone eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) will also receive the payment, which will be paid into around 5 million recipients’ bank accounts. 

While anyone who already has a CSHC or PCC will automatically receive the payments, there are potentially tens of thousands of Australians, including many eligible retirees, who may be entitled to a concession card but who have not applied for one.

Self-funded retirees have been urged by seniors groups to see if they are eligible for the CSHC card, to ensure they receive the payment. 

To do so, single Australians must have an annual income below $55,808, or below $89,290 for couples. 

Around 400,000 CSHC holders will benefit from the payment, as well as the following welfare recipients:

  • Age Pension (including Age Pension (Blind))
  • Carer Allowance (conditions apply)
  • Carer Payment
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Disability Support Pension (including Disability Support Pension (Blind))
  • Double Orphan Pension (conditions apply)
  • DVA Gold card
  • DVA Payments
  • DVA Seniors Card
  • Family Tax Benefit (conditions apply)
  • Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders (covers non-income and asset test PCC holders and customers who have an extended entitlement to a PCC even though their payment has stopped).

“Self-funded retirees who are among the hardest hit by the COVID financial crisis (CFC) could really do with some extra cash in their pockets going into Christmas,” said National Seniors chief advocate Ian Henschke.

If you think you may be eligible for the payment, please contact Services Australia to find out more.

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