March indexation delivers increased payments

More than five million Australians will receive an increase to their social security payments from 20 March 2021 when indexation takes effect.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said that the increases would help recipients keep up with changes in living costs.

“Indexation is one of the regular mechanisms we have built in to our social security safety net to make sure rates reflect the prices payment recipients see at the supermarket and at the bowser,” Minister Ruston said.

The increase comes on top of the additional support the Morrison Government provided through the pandemic.

“The fourth and final Economic Support Payment started being paid on 1 March – delivering an extra $250 to over five million Australians,” Minister Ruston said.

“For pensioners alone, those four payments over the last 12 months total $7 billion.

“Between these Economic Support Payments and the latest indexation, we are delivering more support to Australians who need it most.”

The rates for 2.6 million Age Pensioners as well as 750,000 people on the Disability Support Pension and 295,000 Carer Payment recipients will increase by $8.40 a fortnight to $952.70 for singles, and $12.60 a fortnight to $1,436.20 for couples combined. These rates include Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement which are payable to all pensioners in Australia.

In addition the base rates for the 1.4 million JobSeeker Payment recipients and 244,000 Parenting Payment Single recipients will also increase.

The rate for JobSeeker Payment for recipients aged 22 and over without children will increase by $5.10 a fortnight to $579.60 for singles, and $4.60 a fortnight to $523.30 for each member of a couple including the Energy Supplement.

The rate for Parenting Payment Single recipients will increase by $7.10 a fortnight to $812.20 including the Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.

Rent Assistance and other supplementary payments will also increase. In addition, increases to a range of income and assets test limits mean that recipients will be able to have higher income and assets before their payment is impacted.

Pending the passage of legislation, the rate of JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment and other working age payments will increase again on 1 April 2021, boosting the rate by an extra $50 a fortnight.

Full details of the new rates and thresholds are available at www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/benefits-payments

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