If you are a low-income earner, then you already realise how difficult it can be to make ends meet each month. You may feel like you never have enough money at the end of the month to help cover all your expenses. If this sounds familiar, it is important to understand that there is help available and that you may be eligible for special benefits and payments through the Centrelink office. These payments can help cover some of the costs of maintaining your household and make it easier for you to handle your finances.
If you do not bring in enough income to cover all your household expenses, you may be eligible for some income support. Below is a look at the top types of income support available.
- Family Tax Benefit. If you have a dependent that lives with you at least 35 percent of the time and is under the age of 20-years old, you may be eligible for the Family Tax Benefit. There are two type of tax benefits available, including Part A and Part B. You may be eligible for only one part or both parts and can requests your payments on a fortnightly basis or a yearly basis.
- Parenting Payment. These payments are for those families raising young children that are under the age of 8-years old if you are single, and 6-years old if you are married. These payments help to cover some of the costs involved in raising young children and can help cover any losses from wages due to sick children.
- Newstart Allowance. If you lose your job, along with you main source of income, the Newstart Allowance will help provide you supplemental income until you are able to find another job. These payments are paid every fortnight and can be as much as $552.40 depending on your specific situation.
You can also receive help to lower how much money you need to pay for rent each month. Below are the two top rental support programs.
- Rent Assistance. If you are a low-income earner, you are likely to be able to receive help paying for your rent. The amount of assistance you will receive depends on how many people you have in your family and your total family income. These payments are made to directly pay a portion of your regular rent payments.
- Rent Deduction Scheme. If you are a renting a home that is owned and operated by the state or territory you reside in, you may be eligible for a reduction in your regular rent payments. This deduction will depend on your family size and total income.
Supplemental Income Options
There are also numerous supplemental income benefits that provide annual, bi-annual payments to help cover some basis every day expenses.
- Schoolkids Bonus. This bonus is designed to help offset some of the costs in preparing children for school. You can receive as much as $205 for each child entering a primary school, and $410 for each child entering a secondary school.
- Single Income Family Supplement. This supplement payment is paid once a year to family that have only one source of income, or whose secondary source of income is less than $18,000. This provide an annual lump sum payment of $300 per family.
- Low Income Family Supplement. This also provides an annual lump sum payment of $300 for families who make under a set amount of money per year. These families must be receiving the Family Tax Benefit for at least 39 weeks, and cannot receive any other type of benefit.
- Income Support Bonus. This bonus is paid twice a year in March and September and is to be used to offset everyday expenses. Families can receive as much as $107.80 per payment.
There is also several places throughout the community that you can go to for extra support to help offset some of your current bills.
- Local Food Banks. Local food banks are designed to provide supplemental food to low-income families on a monthly basis to offset their family food bill.
- Salvation Army. The Salvation Army can help low-income earner who are facing a financial emergency. You should contact their office directly to see what benefits you and your family could be eligible for.
- Soup Kitchens. Soup kitchens offer daily meals for free for low-income earners in their community. These soup kitchens are typically opened to everyone who is in need and do not require proof of income.
By utilising all of the benefits you are eligible for, you will find it easier to make all of your payments and make ends meet each month. Chances are that you will be eligible for several benefits that will offer the regular financial support you need. Contact your local Centrelink office to see what benefits you may be eligible for and discover how these payments can help you meet your monthly financial obligations.