$500 payment from federal gov’t for tens of thousands of Aussies

Tens of thousands of Australians may unknowingly miss out on two $250 cash payments from the federal government.

The government announced plans for the handouts for aged and disability pensioners, veterans, people on carer payments and family tax benefit recipients as part of the 2020-21 budget.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and pensioner concession cardholders are also in line for the cash.

Recipients will receive a $250 cash boost in December and another $250 in March 2021.

National Seniors Australia is now urging self-funded retirees to check their eligibility 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 has improved eligibility for the card, and therefore the budget stimulus payments.

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.

“Self-funded retirees who are among the hardest hit by the COVID Financial Crisis (CFC) could really do with some extra cash in their pockets going into Christmas,” National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said.

Australians have until November 27 to be eligible and receive the first $250 payment.

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