As part of the Federal Budget in October, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that two $250 payments would be made to around 5.1 million eligible Aussies. This is on top of the two separate $750 payments that were already made to households earlier this year.
The aim of these payments is to assist those eligible “through the ongoing financial challenges they are continuing to face as a result of the Coronavirus”.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible you must be residing in Australia and be receiving one of the following payments or holding one of the following concession cards on the relevant test dates – 27 November, 2020 for the third payment and 26 February, 2021 for the fourth payment.
- Age Pension
- Disability Support Pension
- Carer Payment
- Carer Allowance (if not in receipt of a primary income support payment)
- Family Tax Benefit Parts A and B (if not in receipt of a primary income support payment)
- Double Orphan Pension (if not in receipt of a primary income support payment)
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
- Pensioner Concession Card (if not in receipt of a primary income support payment)
- Eligible veteran payments and concession cards
It’s worth noting that you can only receive one payment in each round of payments, even if you qualify in multiple ways.
Is there anything I need to do to get paid?
In most cases you don’t have to do anything. Payments will automatically be made by Services Australia or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
If you are a holder of a Veteran Gold Card though you will be contacted to confirm your account details.
Tip for self-funded retirees
If you are a self-funded retiree it may be worth checking if you’re eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC). National Seniors Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke said changes to deeming rates, used as part of the CSHC income test means a lot more older Australians are now eligible for the card and therefore the budget stimulus payments.
“I urge all self-funded retirees who are not CSHC holders to at least check the eligibility criteria and apply before the November 27 deadline,” Mr Henschke added.
You may qualify for a card if you meet certain conditions. These include:
- be Age Pension age
- not be getting a payment from Services Australia or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- live in Australia and have Australian citizenship, a permanent visa or a Special Category visa
- meet the income test which means you must earn no more than the following:
- $55,808 a year if you’re single
- $89,290 a year for couples
- $111,616 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.
Add $639.60 to these amounts for each child in your care.
There are a number of ways to apply for a CSHC including online via myGov, printing and completing a form or visiting a Service Centre. You can call 132 300 for more information.
When will payments be made?
You can expect to get the first $250 payment at some stage in December – payments will start from 30 November 2020. The second payment will be made in March 2021 with payments being made progressively from 1 March.
Will I be taxed?
No, you won’t be taxed and payments will also not count as income for the purposes of Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments.
Cover image source: Ipek Morel (Shutterstock)
About Effie Zahos
Canstar’s Editor-at-Large, Effie Zahos, has more than two decades of experience helping Aussies make the most of their money. Prior to joining Canstar, Effie was the editor of Money Magazine, having helped establish it in 1999. She is an author and one of Australia’s leading personal finance commentators, appearing regularly on TV and radio.