2 October 2015
It can be really tricky trying to work out what Centrelink help and benefits you may be entitled to, especially when things keep changing. Centrelink have recently released some new services and cash benefits for families, the unemployed, singles and pensioners. You might be surprised to learn you’re eligible to benefits you don’t even know about!
Expecting or have a new baby?
Centrelink offer new parents payments of up to $2000. There are 3 ways you can access this cash:
- The most common payment option to support new parents is through Centrelink’s Family Tax Benefit. If you already receive this, you could be eligible for up to $2091.84 in additional payments. These include the Newborn Upfront Payment, which is a lump sum of $523, and Newborn Supplement payments of up to $1,568.84 for your first child, or a maximum of $523 for other children.
- Another option is Parental Leave Pay, which can pay you up to $657 per week before tax, for up to 18 weeks.
- There’s also Dad and Partner Pay of up to $657 per week for dads or partners caring for a newborn.
- And there’s special help available for young parents aged under 19.
Retired, but want to top up your pension and earn extra cash through some part time work? Maybe you want to take a casual job as a Santa in the lead-up to Christmas, or do a stint as an exam supervisor or marker.
- Centrelink’s Work Bonus is designed to encourage pensioners over the age pension age to remain in the workforce.
- Work Bonus increases the amount of employment income you can earn before your pension payment is affected. The first $250 of your fortnightly employment income is not counted under the pension income test.
- This means you are now able to keep more of your income, or work for short periods with little or no effect on your pension.
- If you don’t do any work in a fortnight, your potential $250 Work Bonus amount is saved and added to your balance, which can reach a maximum of $6,500 a year without affecting your pension. And if you earn less than $250 in a fortnight, the remaining difference is also saved and added to your balance.
Unemployed, or studying?
If you’re unemployed or a student, there’s lots of help available from Centrelink.
- If you had been out of work for a long time before finding and keeping work, you might be eligible for the new Job Commitment Bonus. This offers a first payment of $2500 for completing 12 months of continuous work, and a second payment of $4000 for completing 24 months of continuous work.
- Parents who are unemployed or studying can get extra help with child care costs
Other possible cash benefits and help from Centrelink
Find out what cash benefits you could receive!
To help determine what cash payments and assistance you might be entitled to, use the Department of Human Services Payment finder