How will the Centrelink changes affect you?

We outline the proposed changes and whether your payments will change

There are plans to dramatically overhaul benefit payments. How will you be affected?

The government are concerned about the number of years some Australians are receiving Centrelink payments for. They feel many people remain dependent on these payments for many years and want to instead encourage people to move into paid work.

They’ve therefore announced plans that will try to move more Aussies off Centrelink payments and into employment.

Who will be affected?

If you’re a young carer, young parent or a student, you’ll be particularly affected by these proposals.

Key groups the government will be targeting are carers aged between 15 and 24 years old, parents aged under 18 years old, and students.

 Young carers

  • The government say that there are 11,200 young carers who will on average receive Centrelink payments for 43 years each, costing $500,000 each – or $5.2 billion in total.

Young parents

  • And there’s 4370 young parents who will receive Centrelink payments for an average of 45 years, at a total cost of $2.4 billion.


  • Students are another group the government will be targeting. They say that of the tertiary students aged 17-19 who receive Centrelink support payments while they’re studying, almost half move onto unemployment benefits when they graduate.
  • The government say they want to change that cycle – which could prove tricky, given that studies show that it can take the average Aussie graduate up to 5 years to find a full time job.

Why are Centrelink payments changing?

The government claim that they’re concerned Centrelink benefits are “not making life any better” for Aussies – in fact, they think they’re often making life worse for people.

While many suggest that people will just be moved off Centrelink benefits and instead into poor quality, part-time and low-paid jobs, the government insist this is not the case.

They say they want more Aussies to experience the “structure, self-reliance, dignity and purpose” of employment. Whether this aim is achieved or not remains to be seen.

If you’re young, a carer, a parent, unemployed, a student, and you need a bit more cash for an unexpected expense, City Finance understand and are here to help. If you need a small cash loan to help you through, apply now or pop into your local branch today.

Plus read our update on Important Changes to Centrelink’s Family Payments and Parental Income Test Changes.