Around 5.1 million Australians are set to receive two $250 payments.
The payments were originally unveiled as part of the 2020-21 budget and have now been rubber-stamped.
The Economic Support Payments are set to be paid progressively from 30 November 2020 and the second from 1 March 2021.
Those eligible for the handout include aged and disability pensioners, veterans, people on carer payments and family tax benefit recipients, as well as Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and pensioner concession cardholders.
“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.
The payments are set to support more than 2.5 million Age Pensioners, about 400,000 self-funded retirees with a Commonwealth Seniors Health card, 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.
The country’s peak consumer group for older Australians says tens of thousands of self-funded retirees may be under the impression they don’t qualify for the CSHC – when they do.
Changes to deeming rates used as part of the CSHC income test have improved eligibility for the card, and therefore the budget stimulus payments.
When cash will arrive
Recipients will receive a $250 cash boost in December and another $250 in March 2021.
To qualify for the CSHC, an individual must have reached the pension age, meet an income test, are not receiving any payments from Veterans Affairs and are an Australian resident living in Australia.
To meet the income test, individuals or couples must earn below the following thresholds:
- $55,808 for singles
- $89,290 for couples
- $111,616 for couples who are separated by illness, respite care or prison.
Australians have until November 27 to be eligible and receive the first $250 payment.
For more details tap here.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Robodebt victims will receive a share in millions of dollars after a landmark court settlement.
Gordon Legal on Monday announced it had reached a settlement with the Commonwealth over the Robodebt Class Action, pending approval from the Federal Court of Australia.
According to the legal group, about 400,000 members will receive a share in a financial benefit to the tune of $1.2 billion.
It says the Commonwealth has agreed to pay $112 million in compensation, including legal fees.
It will repay more than $720 million in debts previously collected and drop claims for $398 million in debt.
The payout is subject to Court Approval.
Once that is provided, Gordon Legal said a Settlement Distribution Scheme would be established to assess all amounts due and pay them out in 2021.
A spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au members would be contacted individually.
Gordon Legal Partner, Andrew Grech said: “We want to acknowledge the courage of the lead applicants; Katherine, Elyane, Steven, Felicity, Shannon and Devon, who led these proceedings on behalf of all Robodebt victims in pursuit of this class action, which has allowed this outcome to be achieved today.”
Shadow Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten congratulated Gordon Legal and the advocates for the class action for their legal victory.
“Now it is time for the Morrison government to ‘fess up who knew what when,” he said.
“Call me a bit sceptical, but the only reason why the Morrison government surrendered is they had the hot breath of the court on their throat.”
What is Robodebt?
Robodebt was a computer system used by Centrelink that checked how much people who are receiving welfare benefits should get.
It asked benefit recipients what they were earning and compared it to Australian Taxation Office data from their employer.
Looking at the two numbers, it matched them up. If they didn’t match, it told that person they owed a certain amount of money.
The problem was there have been several errors in the system in recent years causing people to be issued repayment notices when they did not actually owe anything.
In some instances, duplicate notices were even issued.
For a full breakdown of Gordon Legal’s Class Action on the Robodebt scheme, click here.