Australians are very lucky in that the government and non-profits provide numerous types of financial assistance. If you are a low income earner doing it tough, you may be eligible for certain benefits to help offset some of your current household expenses. These extra payments can put more money into your pocket each month, making it easier to make ends meet at the end of the month.
These programs are operated through the Centrelink office and require you to complete an application through their office. Eligibility for each program will be based on your income and you must also meet residency requirements. Below is a look at the top programs that offer financial assistance to low income earners.
Family Tax Benefit
The family tax benefit is for families who have a dependent under the age of 20-years old for at least 35 percent of the time. This benefit consists of Part A and Part B, and depending on your specific situation, you may be eligible for one, or both, parts of the payments. These funds are designed to help low-income earner with some of the costs of maintaining their household. You can either receive these payments on a monthly or annual basis.
If you are single and have a child under the age of 8-years old, or you are married with a child under the age of 6-years old, you may be eligible for the Parenting payments. Eligibility is based on income and residency requirements. You can select to receive as much as $713.20 per fortnight, but exact payment is based on your specific situation. These payments are designed to help offset some of the costs involved in raising a young family.
The Newstart Allowance is specifically for those people who recently lost their job. The payment will pay a maximum of $552.40 per fortnight. Those receiving these payments will have to be actively looking for work and may be asked to attend special jobseeker workshops. These payments will last until you are able to gain full-time employment.
This benefit will help cover some of your rental costs if you are a low-income earner. Eligibility is based on income and the exact amount of rental assistance you will receive is directly based on your family size and income. These payments are paid on a fortnightly basis and are designed to directly cover your rent expense.
Income Support Bonus
If you are receiving payments from Centrelink, such as Parenting Payments, you may be eligible for a special Income Support Bonus paid twice a year in March and September. This payment can be as much as $107.80. This payment is designed to help with everyday living expenses.
Single Income Family Supplement
If you have are a single income family, or one of your two income earners make less than $18,000 per year, you may be eligible for a special Single Income Family Supplement. This is an annual one-time payment of up to $300 and is designed to provide an extra bonus to help cover everyday household expenses.
Low Income Family Supplement
If you have received the Family Tax Benefit for at least 39 weeks, have not received any other benefits from Centrelink, and make under $60,000 per year, you may also be eligible for a Low Income Family Supplement. The special supplement pays a yearly lump sum of up to $300 to help offset the costs of many everyday expenses.
These special benefits are specifically created to make it easier for families to maintain their household on a low-income. Whether they provide a steady stream of extra income or offer supplement to offset some of your regular expenses, it will give you more money to spend on other type of household expenses, or to put into a savings account. Be sure to contact your local Centrelink office and complete an application and get the benefits you deserve.