Concerns thousands of retirees may miss out on these government handouts

Seniors groups are concerned that retirees may unknowingly miss out on payments.

A man stands on the edge of a gap and looks at a stack of coins

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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    To make a comment, please register or login
    28th Oct 2020
    I think self funded retirees are ok if they miss the $500 hand out. Maybe should have targeted it a bit better.
    28th Oct 2020
    The problem is you don't think, that's probably why you are on welfare.
    28th Oct 2020
    Wrong MB100D far from it. But thanks for your brainless comment.
    The Black Fox
    29th Oct 2020
    MB100D How arrogant can you get. People are "on welfare" for a variety of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with fault. Any decent thinking person will find your attitude disgusting. Clearly you are a troll.
    29th Oct 2020
    Maybe SFRs should have done what the majority of pensioners did - spent more living it up, bought an expensive house, and/or given money to the kids 5 years before pension age. Then they would be pensioners living comfortably and getting all the handouts automatically, instead of struggling on low incomes and worrying about preserving enough to get by on for the rest of their lives. The smart ones are now having a big spend-up so they qualify for a pension.

    That said, any who don't qualify for a Seniors Health Care Card are doing fine. Over $55,000 pa for a single or $89,000 for a couple is a damned good income. Plenty to live on comfortably. Even if their income has fallen a little below those levels, they still have plenty to live on comfortably (unless they want the lifestyle of a retired politician, that is!)
    29th Oct 2020
    Well McDaddy, perhaps you should read your original comment again and reflect on the effects of an ignorant generalisation. In my circle of associates there are many on Welfare for a variety of reasons, some are quite comfortable and some are finding it quite a challenge. A number of the associates are SFR's, again some are quite comfortable, some very comfortable but some are living on the same if not less that the Pension. Some would say these people should spend their capital and apply for welfare, again this is an ignorant suggestion unless you are familiar with the individual circumstance of each person. I am fortunate in that I don't need any Govt. handout and I hope I never will. At 73 I still pay Tax due to my fortunate life and probably will for the rest of my life as long as the economy keeps bubbling along.
    Your reaction and that of the Black Fox is not surprising, generalisations have that effect, so next time perhaps you could stop and think.
    29th Oct 2020
    Well MB100D, what a piece of shit you are, you had a crack at me and generalized that I was on welfare, which I am not. Maybe your self funded mates aren't as self funded as you believe if they need a $500 handout.
    29th Oct 2020
    I rest my case.
    29th Oct 2020
    You have no case to rest.
    The Black Fox
    29th Oct 2020
    MB100D, your initial comment was this ’’the problem is you don't think, that's probably why you are on welfare’’ which is an absurd and cruel generalisation if ever there was. The implication is one of implying fault for being on “welfare”. That is why I reacted with my previous comment – why I called you out.
    What I said to you in response was not a generalisation. It is a fact that the requirement for “welfare” has many causes which cannot be attributed to fault.
    The famous Liberal English statesman David Lloyd George said this one hundred years ago; “Four spectres haunt the Poor - Old Age, Accident, Sickness and Unemployment. We are going to exorcise them. We are going to drive hunger from the hearth. We mean to banish the workhouse from the horizon of every workman in the land.” It was this thinking which led to major social reforms in Britain that still exist today, albeit watered down by successive conservative governments.
    Similar reforms were established in Australia to also be watered down – this most recently, so it seems to me, by a drive toward the Americanisation of society. And we can see the results of this in the huge wealth and power differentials playing out in US society and politics at the moment.
    Your claim to a “fortunate life” if true, strongly suggests that you have never had to walk in the shoes of the many less fortunate. It is a fact that many of those who run this country also come from a much more fortunate situation and, I would suggest, have little understanding or sympathy for those less well off because of this. Certainly enjoy your good fortune but please do not denigrate those who have less.
    30th Oct 2020
    'The Black Fox" - The English Pension is NOT means tested as is the Australian Old Age Pension, which is what creates problems with this handout.
    I am not sure why McDaddy is allowed on this site as he appears not to be a Self Managed retiree nor on the Old Age Pension so none of this has anything to do with him,
    unless he just has a political line to push?
    1st Nov 2020
    When I started my working life at 16 the age pension was a promise not a welfare handout and I still consider it as such. All around the world countries with age pension provision treat it as a well earned payment for a lifetime of work. However, everything is taxed as income - age pension, superannuation and private investment earnings are lumped together and taxed accordingly. There is hardly any cheating going on and people are not pushing all their assets into their private residence to qualify for the pension. Ours here is a stupid system encouraging chiseling and hiding assets and generally waste.
    1st Nov 2020
    You are so right, Mariner. Our pension system is a stupid, short-sighted, uneconomical and unsustainable system that encourages cheating, manipulation, over-spending, over-investment in the family home, excessive gifting, and unwise risky reduction of capital. It also creates social division. It is patently unfair and even cruel to many. Shame on the incompetents who formulated the system and shame on everyone who supports its continuation.
    28th Oct 2020
    Why do holders of seniors health card get the handout but holders of low income health card do not? Does not seem fair.
    28th Oct 2020
    The senior one is permanent, the lower income one could be considered temporary and it is in some cases like mine when my situation improved. Senior is mostly old folks but the health card is helping out when needed. Might have changed since I have aged since I had the health card.
    29th Oct 2020
    My low income was rather permanent. Lasted for 35 of the 50 years I worked. I know plenty whose low income is pretty much guaranteed to continue for at least two decades. And their tax rate will RISE next year with the abolition of the low income tax concession. Doesn't seem fair, Mark? It ISN'T fair. It's downright cruel and disgusting.
    28th Oct 2020
    I'll take any govt payment/handout that I can get - after all I paid substantial taxes all through my 45 years of working, unlike some who pay high priced tax avoidance lawyers and accountants to avoid paying tax on earnings.
    28th Oct 2020
    Same here,
    29th Oct 2020
    Agree, and this may be instead of the CPI increase we should have had in September - just over $19 per fortnight. An better than we could have expected - normally around $8-9 pfn.

    This may be the way they will give us our increases in future?
    29th Oct 2020
    Yep, agree 100%
    Sooty from Marketing
    29th Oct 2020
    I’m only getting half of the part pension I’m entitled to thanks to the changes in the Pensioner Assets Test.
    29th Oct 2020
    Lucky you, Sooty from Marketing. I am getting NOTHING, and my income is well below the basic OAP. But I'm working on fixing that. House renovations will ensure greater comfort in the coming years AND increase my income. Idiotic system we have. Morons in power have no idea how to run an economy.
    29th Oct 2020
    And idiots in Opposition are 1000 times more clueless.
    29th Oct 2020
    I can't understand why people keep voting for the Major parties and their offspings.
    One only has to observe the effect the Independents have on the current batch in power and opposition. It is an Independent that has introduced the latest bill for a National ICAC. Watch ScoMo spin his way out of giving us anything with real teeth. Do some research on the candidates in your electorate, if you find an independent, introduce yourself and get familiar with their agenda and express your concerns. We need to break the 2 party system.
    Instead of whining about the problems, next election vote Independent.
    29th Oct 2020
    an overwhelming truism about politics is those in power wish to stay in power. They are more likely to do that by winning the marginal seats. If you want those in power and those who aspire to power simply vote to make your seat marginal regardless which side of politics is in power.

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