While 5.1 million Australians are locked in to receive the first of two $250 handouts next week, there’s still time for more to claim the second instalment.
The Economic Support Payments, originally unveiled as part of the 2020-21 budget, are set to be paid progressively from November 30 and March 1 to those 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.
Services Australia set Friday, November 27, as the cutoff date for Australians to lock in their eligibility.
While those who weren’t able to meet the criteria by that date will not be able to receive the first payment, they could still receive the second, provided they demonstrate eligibility for the payments or Seniors Health Card by February 26, 2021.
Those who received the first payment will automatically collect the second, which 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.
“We are standing side by side with Australians who have been hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic as we fight the virus and reopen our economy.”
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.