Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Australia Centrelink Benefits.


Information is mined from Centrelink. Centrelink is a government agency delivering a range of Commonwealth services to the Australian community.

Most of these benefits are subject to income tests, assets tests, residency requirements and/or other requirements, in order to prevent abuse of the generous benefits system. The testing process and criteria are clearly spelt in the public website accessible to all. This is in contrast with Singapore's social benefits systems which are often on a case-by-case basis, and based on criteria which are only accessible by selected individuals.

As a benchmark to compare the basic living costs in Australia are the following references. (Note: Centrelink numbers are on a per fortnight basis.)

Median weekly individual income in Western Australia area is A$300 - A$399. (or A$600 - A$800 per fortnight)

DIMIA documented living costs for new migrants (in 1999) for first 2 years are:

  • A$930 a week for a family of 3 people (A$620 per person per fortnight)
  • A$365 a week for a couple (A$365 per person per fortnight)
  • A$255 a week for an individual (A$510 per person per fortnight)

Cost of living is expected to drop after the first 2 years for new immigrants as they settle in.


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(Note: Centrelink numbers are on a per fortnight basis.)

Age Pension (aged 65 years or older)

  • Single $470.70
  • Couple $393.00 (each)

Widow Allowance (for women who have turned 50, are widowed, divorced or separated and do not have recent workforce experience)

  • Single, no children $394.60
  • Single, with children $426.90
  • Single, aged 60 or over $432.70

Newstart Allowance (people over 21 who are unemployed or are temporarily unable to work)

  • Single, no children $394.60
  • Single, with children $426.90
  • Single, aged 60 or over $432.70
  • Partnered $356.00 (each)

Rent Assistance (offers extra help if you rent privately)

  • Single, no dependent children $96.80
  • Single, sharer, no dependent children $64.53
  • Couple, no dependent children $91.40
  • One of a couple who are separated due to illness, no dependent children $96.80
  • One of a couple who are temporarily separated, no dependent children $91.40

Austudy Payment (financial help if you are aged 25 years or more and studying full-time)

  • Single $326.50
  • Single, with children $427.80
  • Partnered, with children $358.50
  • Partnered, no children $326.50

Special rate for long-term unemployed commencing full-time study:

  • Single $396.60
  • Partnered, no children $358.50


Disability Support Pension (unable to work for 2 years due to illness, injury or disability)

  • Single $470.70
  • Couple $393.00 (each)

Crisis Payment (severe hardship who have been forced to leave their home)

Special Benefit (severe financial need due to circumstances outside their control)

Disaster Relief Payment (short-term relief after an officially declared disaster)

Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment (farmers having problems)

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[ Included for completeness. No details provided as they are irrelevant to my childfree choice. ]

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A - for parents or carers to help with the cost of raising children.
  • Family Tax Benefit Part B - for single income families or sole parents.
  • Parenting Payment - for parents or guardians to help with the cost of raising children.
  • Child Care Benefit - for families to help with the cost of child care.
  • Maternity Payment - for help with those extra costs after the birth of a new baby.
  • Maternity Immunisation Allowance - for fully immunised children or those exempt from immunisation.
  • Double Orphan Pension - for people who are raising children who have lost both parents.
  • Carer Allowance (Child) - for people who care for a child with a disability at home.

Other additional support payments available:

  • Fares Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance (Partner)
  • Bereavement Payment (Partner)
  • Pharmaceutical Allowance
  • Remote Area Allowance
  • Advance Payment of Austudy
  • Employment Entry Payment
  • Education Entry Payment
  • Telephone Allowance
  • Work for the Dole participants may be entitled to an additional payment

2 Comments:

Blogger elin said...

PRs are not eligible for Centrelink benefits in the first 2 years of residency (I think). Actually USING the social benefits has never been a great concern to me in the whole sheme of things - I have always been prepared to work - but I must admit that knowing that there is a social sercurity blanket to fall back on (ie dont have to live off the scraps on the market floor) does alot to a persons sense of self-assurance which in turns influences their work attitudes - ie not bound to the fear of losing their job (kia-siism) and having nothing to live on. Mind you, the social benefits will not be paying my mortgage. The most assuring thing so far is the public healthcare system which is usually accessible to all PRs without a waiting period (I think). I have unwittingly utilised the public ER twice this year - each time (for the first times in my life) I was in such agony even though my life wasnt threatened and it was comforting to know that I could get help to make me more comfortable, without having to worry that I have no money to pay for it or get slapped with bill charging me 1.50 for every cotton swab that was used. Well, I do pay a substantial amt of tax to support the social welfare system I suppose!

January 19, 2005 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PRs are eligible on certain benefits namely Family Tax Benefit A and B, and Rent-Assist. Applies to migrant with children, no 2 years waiting period. This benefit is a sort of tax rebate for raising children (incidently whether you have a job or not currently).

May 27, 2005 1:34 PM  

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