In the wake of the ongoing cost of living crisis and the pre-Christmas spending spike, the Federal Government is urging Australians to update their bank details to claim a share in millions of dollars worth of unpaid benefits.
Almost one million Australians are eligible to claim back their share of $234 million in unclaimed Medicare benefits and the government is encouraging them to do so before Christmas in order to alleviate the spending increase that is part and parcel of the holiday period.
It is estimated that senior Australians aged between 55 to 75 are missing out on $60m.
Government Services Minister Bill Shorten explained that people can check whether they are eligible by updating their banking details with Medicare before the holidays.
“We know Australians are doing it tough, and I want to reunite people with millions in unpaid Medicare benefits before the holidays,” Shorten said.
“It’s quick and easy. To claim, check your banking details are recorded and correct with Medicare and once your details are updated, any unpaid benefits will automatically be paid within 3 days.”
What do I want? I want to reunite almost a million Aussies with over $230 million in unclaimed Medicare benefits.
If your bank account details are out of date with Medicare, now’s the time to act!
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 30, 2023
New South Wales residents have the most unpaid benefits to claim from the rebate pot. As of October 31, 284,000 citizens have $72.6 million in cash to claim back.
Victorian residents are owed approximately $59.7 million and 203,100 Queenslanders are owed $46 million. While 100,000 Western Australians will be able to claim $27 million.
More than 690,000 Australians with a myGov account will soon receive a notification alerting them to whether Medicare owes them money.
Those who do not have an online Medicare account can create one and connect it to their myGov account.
While many across the country may be keen to get their hands on some extra cash, Shorten cautioned Australians to remain vigilant for scams when updating details.
“We will never ask you to open a link in a text message. To securely sign in to your myGov, go to my.gov.au or use the official myGov app,” he said.
Having a little extra cash on hand, especially coupled with the recent news of supermarket giant Woolworths reducing prices on essential items, will no doubt bring good tidings for budget-conscious holiday shoppers.
In what appears to be a Christmas miracle following incessantly rising grocery prices, Woolies has dropped its prices on 400 items.
Barbeque enthusiasts will rejoice over reduced prices of salad kits, seafood ,and a range of meat and poultry products.
There will also be discounts on pantry staples such as sauces, snacks, everyday household cleaning supplies , and personal care items.
Sausages are the star of the show with the price of Woolies 600g sausage range dropping by almost 30 per cent, from $7 to $5 per pack, the lowest price they’ve been since 2019.
So with some savings in the pocket and the price of food being drastically reduced, the only thing left to do is finish the Christmas shopping and enjoy the holidays.