Millions of Australians could miss out on $250 in coronavirus support payments if they don’t lock in their eligibility in the next two days.
The Federal Budget included $500 – split into two $250 payments – for the 5.1 million Australians most impacted by the pandemic.
Among them are pensioners and self-funded retirees, as well as people living with disabilities, their carers and low-income families.
Australians receiving Family Tax Benefit payments or the Double Orphan Pension and those who have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are eligible.
But with the first $250 cash handout to be distributed next week, time is running down for Australians to secure their payment.
Services Australia said the cutoff date for Australians to lock in their eligibility – by demonstrating eligibility for the support payments or Seniors Health Card – is November 27.
If the criteria isn’t filled by the end of this week, Australians won’t be able to receive their first $250 payment, which will be progressively paid from November 30.
They will still receive their second, provided they demonstrate eligibility for the payments or card by February 26, 2021.
That second round of payments will start being dished out next March.
“We can now deliver more practical support to older Australians, families and young people through these targeted, temporary initiatives in our social security system,” Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said after the payment was announced.
The payments are set to support more than 2.5 million Age Pensioners, about 400,000 self-funded retirees with a more than 1 million people with disabilities and carers, and 760,000 low-income families.
National Seniors Australia has advised self-funded retirees to check their eligibility for the handout too.
Payments will be automatically paid into eligible Australians’ bank accounts.