Aussies seek out digital welfare support during crisis

Font Size:

The number of Australians seeking access to welfare support and unclaimed cash through Commonwealth Bank’s digital feature ‘Benefits finder’ more than doubled the month after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, according to new data released by the bank.

Monthly claims started by customers for federal and state government-offered benefits shot up from 39,000 to 78,000 as Australians searched for easy ways to access their entitlements.

The top claims started through Benefits finder in the CommBank app in the four weeks to 5 April were:

  • unclaimed money (34,000)
  • unclaimed super (7000)
  • power saver bonus (6300)
  • coronavirus and JobSeeker payments (5900)
  • family tax benefit (2800)
  • rent assistance (2700).

Released nationally in September 2019, Benefits finder’s aim is to help connect customers with their share in billions of dollars of unclaimed government rebates and benefits.

Since launch, more than 500,000 claims have been started through Benefits finder with 1.5 million customers visiting it in the app.

Research published by CBA last year estimated that Aussies were missing out on more than $10 billion in unclaimed benefits, rebates and concession payments each year.

Many more Australians are expected to search for available benefits as the economy is buffeted by the coronavirus outbreak, with those receiving JobSeeker payments also likely to be eligible for assistance with rent, utilities, medical and transport costs.

Additional government rebates for customers experiencing financial hardship will also be supported. These include Victoria’s Utility Relief Grant Scheme (up to $1300), federal Crisis Payment (one week’s income), WA’s Hardship Utility Grand Scheme (up to $960), SA’s Emergency Electricity Scheme (up to $400), the ACT’s rates deferment, the NSW Rentstart bond loan, and the ACT’s funeral costs ($500).

Commonwealth Bank spokesperson Angus Sullivan explained that the coronavirus crisis had created significant financial challenges for the community.

“We understand that many families are now making difficult choices to ensure they can meet their immediate needs while minimising the impact on their long-term financial security,” Mr Sullivan said.

“In addition to the support we are providing directly with our own product and service changes, we are determined to help our customers claim as many benefits and rebates as possible to free up money for essential expenses and reduce their financial stress.

“We encourage everyone to see what else they may be eligible for, in some cases customers are missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars that could help them through difficult times.

“Tools like Benefits finder aim to simplify an often complex process, making it easier for customers to understand what they may be entitled to and reducing the complexity around submitting a claim,” he said.

There are more than 200 benefits and rebates available on Benefits finder in the CommBank app. To find out more, go to

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


How to offer vital digital support during the coronavirus crisis

Neighbours, friends and work colleagues should offer older people digital support.

Australians urged to come together and beat COVID-19 now

Researchers are calling on five million Australians to track and beat COVID-19.

Government may start tracking your phones

Location history data from the mobile phones of confirmed cases could help track and trace the

Written by Ben


Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    I found $64 unclaimed money, was from a energy company, wondered why they did not send me the money because I had not moved house. So it is worth a check, but you have to fill paper work out and post it and then wait.

  2. 0

    are there any other apps to help you if you do not have a comm bank account ?

  3. 0

    I support Florgan’s question.



continue reading


What the new consumer law changes mean for your rights

Australia's consumer rights and protections are set for a major shake-up from 1 July this year and it means that...


Friday Funnies: Star signs

Whether you believe that your heart and mind are mapped out in the stars or not, you'll have a chuckle...


Revealed: Who cleaned up in the most popular household product awards?

Australians spend about 17 hours every week doing housework, according to data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in...


Higher costs, more errors when medicines scarce due to COVID

Nial Wheate, University of Sydney and Elise Schubert, University of Sydney You've just come from your monthly GP appointment with...


One-Bowl Chocolate Banana Muffins

If you've well and truly mastered baking banana bread by now, why not mix things up a bit with Deliciously...


The emotional stages of brewing your own beer

Why buy beer when you could brew it yourself? Of course, we all love a hand-pulled beer, but with social...

Health Insurance

Here’s how you can beat the double health insurance premium hike

Australians are about to experience a double whammy of health insurance premium increases. Prices already went up on 1 October...

Superannuation News

How did your super fund perform in 2020?

This time last year, the coronavirus pandemic was hitting our radar, but few could have predicted what was coming with...