Eligible South Australians are being urged to check they’re not missing out on valuable financial relief that could ease their cost of living over the summer festive season.
For the first time, the application cut-off date for the Cost of Living Concession – available to low-and-fixed income households, has been extended through to 31 December, giving more time for people to jump onboard the cash boost ahead of Christmas.
Usually, applications for this concession must be completed by 31 October.
In 2020-21, the State Government delivered $175.3 million in concessions in the pockets of South Australians.
An additional $13.3 million in COVID-19 support payments for jobseekers was paid in 2020.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the longer application window will give more eligible South Australians a chance to apply.
“We know every little bit helps and that’s why we’re urging low-and-fixed income South Australians to see if they are eligible for this cash boost,” said Minister Lensink.
“Financial relief could mean one less pressure for families concerned about whether they can afford to turn on the air-conditioning or buy extra groceries at Christmas.
“About 227,000 South Australian households received at least one concession last financial year – with most applications processed in just a few days, compared to the weeks it used to take under the former Labor Government.
“In addition to the Cost of Living Concession, South Australians may also be eligible for energy, water and sewerage concessions, totalling up to $770 back into their pockets every year.”
Findon mother Rebecca D’Antonio said her single application that accessed three concessions took just a few minutes.
“When I rang, the guy I spoke to was amazing,” said Ms D’Antonio.
“I’d received a concession before, but it was only after I updated my details that it allowed Concessions SA to identify that I qualified for more.
“When you’re struggling week to week, every single dollar helps.
“That back payment certainly helped – even though I go around switching off lights. I know that some people sit freezing in their home, possibly not aware that this financial support can give more relief than to just their hip pocket.”
Available State Government concessions include:
- Cost of Living Payments – up to $217.20 per annum (p.a.)
- Water and Sewerage Concession – up to $320.20 p.a. for water, plus $119.50 per annum for sewerage
- Energy Concession – up to $233.60 p.a.
- Residential Parks – up to $554 p.a.
- SA Concessions Energy Discount Offer – Origin Energy’s 21% off electricity use and supply with flexible payment plans and no late fees (11% for gas offered by Origin)
- Medical Heating and Cooling Concession – up to $233.60 p.a.
- Emergency Services Levy Concession – $46 p.a.
Additional concessions or programs available to eligible South Australians include:
- Companion Card – giving companions or carers free entry to venues and activities with people experiencing significant permanent disability
- Emergency Electrical Payment Scheme – up to $400 every three years for families in financial crisis who are at risk of disconnection
- Funeral AssistanceSA
- Personal AlertSA
- Transport Concession Card
South Australians may be eligible for concessions payments and programs in a number of ways, including receiving a Centrelink payment, holding a low-income card (including pensioner concession) or meeting low-income provisions.
You can apply online now for the Cost of Living Concession. If eligible, you will also be able to apply for other State Government concessions at the same time.
Past years’ applicants do NOT need to re-apply as their eligibility is cross-checked with a range of concessions and payments automatically generated. Despite this, details should be kept up to date including changes of address, energy retailer or bank information.
Visit www.sa.gov.au/concessions for information about individual concessions and programs.
For more information about a wide range of support available visit: www.affordablesa.com.au