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Centrelink Payment Increase in 2024 for Millions of Australians

April 25, 2024

Key takeaways:

    • There has been a 6% Centrelink payment increase in 2024 as part of a cost-of-living package in the federal budget.

    • Single parents will be eligible to receive higher income support payments until their youngest child turns 14.

    • Apart from these, various other payments like ABSTUDY, Carer Payments, and Parenting Payment will also see an increase.

We’ve got significant updates for the Centrelink payment increase 2024! To keep pace with the cost of living, there’s been a notable 6% increase across various benefits. It’s all about making sure the support provided truly makes a difference in people’s lives.

Services Australia has confirmed that the payment increase will take effect 30 March 2024 and impact Jobseeker and Disability Support, Youth Allowance payment rates for students and Australian Apprentices, Age Pension, Carer Payment, and Disability Support Pension.

Furthermore, Centrelink’s rent assistance is gearing up for a substantial boost, with rates set to rise in March and September.

The federal government, in its latest budget, has underscored its commitment to the citizens by announcing a comprehensive welfare boost as part of a broader cost-of-living package.

This initiative is a testament to the government’s dedication to alleviating financial pressures on its citizens.

Read on to get a deeper understanding of how these Centrelink adjustments might influence you or your family and to grasp the broader implications on Australia’s welfare framework.

Who is Impacted By the Centrelink Payment Increase

Centrelink Payment Increase
Payment TypeIncrease (per fortnight)Total (per fortnight)
Aged pension$19.60 for singles and $29.40 for couples$1,116.30 for singles and $1,682.80 for couples
Disability support pension$19.60 for singles and $29.40 for couples$1,116.30 for singles and $1,682.80 for couples
Carer payment$19.60 for singles and $29.40 for couples$1,116.30 for singles and $1,682.80 for couples
JobSeeker$13.50 for singles with no children and $14.40 for singles with children$762.70 for singles with no children and $816.90 for singles with children
ABSTUDY$13.50 for those living at home and independent with no children$762.70 (but $771.50 including the energy supplement)
Rent assistance$3.40 for singles, $2.27 for singles sharing rent, $3.40 for couples$188.20 for singles, $125.47 for singles sharing rent, $177.20 for couples
Single parents$17.50$959.40 (but $999.70 including supplements)
Partnered parents$12.30$698.30 (but $706.20 when including the energy supplement)
Youth AllowanceSingle, no children, younger than 18, and live at your parent’s home$395.30

Why the Government is Increasing Centrelink Payments

These updates are part of a larger effort to boost social services in Australia through indexation efforts. By increasing payments, the government aims to provide more support for those in need, ensuring safety nets are robust and responsive.

What is Indexation And How Does it Affect Welfare Payments

Indexation means Centrelink adjusts how much money people get to match the rise in living costs. This helps ensure the money they receive keeps its value over time, despite prices going up.

Understanding these changes means understanding when and how these updates happen, so people can plan their finances better.

With regular indexation, Centrelink payments will continue to adjust, ensuring benefits keep pace with economic shifts. This indexation ensures that the purchasing power of recipients is maintained, a critical factor for non-concessional individuals and families.

Current Centrelink Payment Rates

Centrelink payment rates are updated on 1 January of every year. Kindly note that these are just a guide and information is subject to change.

You are encouraged to verify details using the sources below for the most updated information. 

Your situationYour maximum fortnightly payment from 1 January 2024
Single, no children, younger than 18, and live at your parent’s home$395.30
Single, no children, younger than 18, living away from your parent’s home to study, train or look for work$639.00
Single, no children, 18 or older and live at your parent’s home$455.20
Single, no children, 18 or older and need to live away from your parent’s home$639.00
Single, with children$806.00
A couple, with no children$639.00
A couple, with children$691.80
Source: Services Australia

Additional Centrelink Payment Rates

Your situationYour maximum fortnightly payment
Single and live at your parent’s home$535.50
Single and need to live away from home$754.60
A couple, with no children$691.80
Source: Services Australia

Note that the maximum amount of payment you can receive will be reduced if your income is above a certain level. You can find more information about the income limits on the Centrelink website.

Here are some links to the Centrelink website where you can find more information about each payment:

How do I qualify for the Age Pension?

To qualify for the Age Pension in Australia, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 67 years of age or older.
  • You must be an Australian resident.
  • You must have lived in Australia for at least 10 years.
  • You must meet the income and asset tests.

The income test is used to determine how much of the Age Pension you will receive. The asset test is used to determine if you are eligible for the Age Pension at all.

To pass the income test, your income must be below a certain level. The income limit is different for single people and couples. The criteria are as follows:

Single person

Income per fortnightAmount your pension will reduce by
Up to $204$0
Over $20450 cents for each dollar over $204
Source: Services Australia

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

Combined income per fortnightAmount your combined pension will reduce by
Up to $360$0
Over $36050 cents for each dollar over $360
Source: Services Australia

To pass the asset test, your assets must be below a certain level. The asset limit is different for single people and couples. For a single person, the asset limit is $2,397.40 per month. For a couple, the asset limit is $3,666.80 combined.

If you meet all of the criteria, you may be eligible for the Age Pension. To apply for the Age Pension, you can contact Centrelink.

Here is a table summarising the Age Pension eligibility criteria:

CriteriaSingleCouple
Age67 years of age or older67 years of age or older
ResidencyAustralian residentAustralian resident
Australian residencyAt least 10 yearsAt least 10 years
IncomeUnder $204 per fortnightUnder $360 per fortnight
Assets (homeowner)Under $301,750Under $451,500
Assets (non-homeowner)$543,750$693,500
Source: Services Australia

Parenting Payments For for Single Parents

To get parenting payment you must meet all of the following:

  • be under the income and asset test limits
  • meet principal carer rules for a child under 14 if you’re single, or under 6 if you have a partner
  • meet residence rules
  • your partner is not currently getting Parenting Payment.

Single parents will receive a higher rate of income support once their youngest child turns 14. This is a significant change from the current rule, offering more assistance for single parents dealing with cost-of-living.

Your circumstanceYour maximum fortnightly payment from 20 March 2024
Single$987.70 includes Parenting Payment and a pension supplement of $28.30
Partnered$698.30
Partnered, separated due to illness, respite care or prison$816.90
Source: Services Australia

Energy Relief: A Key Part of the Cost-of-living Package

The federal budget also includes an energy relief component, offering cash boosts to aid Australians in handling rising energy costs. This provision is set to benefit millions, further enhancing the value of the cost-of-living package.

From 1 July 2023, qualified households may have gotten assistance for their energy usage through the Energy Bill Relief Fund, a program managed by the state and territory governments.

To qualify for this relief, individuals must either possess a valid concession card or be recipients of designated government payments within the state or territory they reside in.

The extent and amount of relief are dependent upon the location. Use these government sites to learn more:

Support for Low-Income Households: Rebates and Relief

For those in the lower income bracket, the government has introduced the low income household rebate. This rebate aims to offset some of the financial burdens these households face.

Additionally, to combat the rising energy costs, the family energy rebate has been introduced. This rebate will be especially beneficial for families struggling with their electricity bills, offering them some respite from the increasing energy prices.

The NSW Low Income Household Rebate is $285 per retail (on-market) household, per financial year.

Services NSW

The Plan For Future Centrelink Payment Increases

Centrelink Payment Increase

As Australia navigates inflation and cost of living challenges, these Centrelink payment increases are a key part of the solution. They represent the government’s commitment to support its citizens, ensuring that financial assistance is both adequate and timely.

The Core of Centrelink Enhancements

The federal government’s announcement highlighted increases across various payments, including disability support pension, youth allowance payments, age pension, and notably, rent assistance.

This move aims to alleviate the financial strain many face, ensuring financial support is aligned with current inflation rates.

Rent Assistance: A Closer Look

Rent assistance adjustments are especially noteworthy. Designed to aid those struggling with housing costs, the increase is a direct response to cost of living hikes.

This adjustment means more support for families and single pensioners, ensuring housing affordability.

One other thing to note is that when you move homes, sometimes your rent amount changes. Check out Soho’s guide on how to change your rent amount on Centrelink for more details.

Need more information? Find out how much rent assistance can Centrelink give you in Soho’s article.

More on the Centrelink payment increase

How far back does Centrelink back pay?

If you’re wondering how far back Centrelink will pay rent assistance, it’s up to six months if you are eligible. For those on a Centrelink rental allowance, this means that if you apply for a payment and are approved, Centrelink will pay you for the months that you have missed.

For example, if you apply for a payment in January and are approved, Centrelink will pay you for the months of November, December, and January. This includes rent assistance.

How can I get an urgent payment from Centrelink?

You can get an urgent payment from Centrelink if you are in severe financial hardship and cannot wait for your regular payment. To get an urgent payment, you will need to contact Centrelink and provide them with evidence of your financial hardship.

This could include things like a letter from your landlord stating that you are behind on rent, or a bank statement showing that you have no money in your account.

What are the changes to Centrelink payments in Australia 2024?

  • Indexation: Most Centrelink payments, including pensions, are indexed twice a year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The exact increase hasn’t been announced yet but will be based on the latest inflation figures.
  • Energy supplement: There were no changes to the Energy Supplement in the 2023-24 budget. It remains at $14 per fortnight for eligible recipients.
  • Other potential changes: The government is currently reviewing several Centrelink payments and programs, so further changes might be announced later in the year.

What are the changes to the pension system in Australia 2024?

  • Pension age increase: The age at which you can qualify for the Age Pension gradually increased to 67 by 2023. This change continues in 2024.
  • Superannuation guarantee: The compulsory Superannuation Guarantee is gradually increasing from 9.5% to 12% by 2025. This may affect income for some pensioners.
  • No major policy changes: There were no major changes to the pension system announced in the 2023-24 budget.

How much is carers payment in Australia?

  • No bonus for 2023: There was no additional bonus payment for carers announced in the 2023-24 budget.
  • Carer Payment amount: The current maximum rate for the Carer Payment is $1,020.60 per fortnight for a single person and $1,538.60 per fortnight for a couple combined (including supplements).

What is the $4000 Centrelink payment?

The $4000 Centrelink payment is a one-off payment to eligible pensioners in Australia. The payment is designed to help pensioners with the rising cost of living.

Is there another $750 payment for pensioners?

No, there was no other $750 payment for pensioners in 2023. The one-off payment of $4000 is the only additional payment that pensioners will receive this year.

Soho
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