It’s common knowledge that many older Aussies who rely on welfare payments such as the Age Pension and Newstart are struggling to make ends meet, however almost five million Aussies are set to benefit from an increase to their payments later this month.
According to the Department for Social Services, around 4.8 million Australians, who receive the pension or other welfare payments, will see their fortnightly payments go up, in accordance with a twice-yearly reassessment to bring the allowances in line with living costs.
From September 20, the Age Pension and Disability Support Pension will increase by $8.70 every two weeks, to $916.30 for singles, while couples will receive a sum of $1,381.40 a fortnight, due to an increase of $13.20.
The limits of the income and assets tests for recipients of the Age Pension will also be raised.
A statement, issued by Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher, read: “Since the Coalition was elected, pensions have increased by $107.90 per fortnight for singles and by $162.60 per fortnight for couples combined.”
And it’s not just age pensioners who are set to benefit from the imminent increases, as jobseekers in receipt of Newstart payments – a large proportion of which are Australians between the ages of 55 and 64 – will see more money in their pocket every fortnight too.
Newstart will be increased by $4.40 per fortnight for singles with no children, while couple will get an extra $3.90 a fortnight each.
Starts at 60 recently revealed that older Aussies are actually spending longer in receipt of the jobseekers allowance than younger Aussies, between the ages of 25 and 34, debunking the myth that Newstart is a “young person’s payment”.
The findings, collated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and analysed by The Benevolent Society, revealed that there were 174,532 Aussies aged 55 to 64 signed on, compared to 156,664 between the ages of 25 and 34.
While there are more older Aussies simply in receipt of the benefit, the data also showed that unemployed Australians, aged 60-64, remain on the unemployment benefit for an average of 187 weeks before signing off, compared to 104 weeks for those aged 25-29.
And, whereas ‘signing off’ for younger generations means the recipient has landed a job, in many cases with older Aussies the ceasing of payments can often be explained by a transition to the Age Pension, after reaching the age of 65.
Rent Assistance rates will also be affected when the change comes into effect next week, along with Parenting Payment Single and other income and assets limits will also be raised.