Five million Australians will soon notice some extra cash in their bank account as part of the Federal Government’s response to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
The payments will start being issued from today.
What’s the payment?
The $750 Economic Support Payment aims to help Australians on lower incomes who are struggling financially due to COVID-19.
Earlier this year, a $750 payment was made to about 6.6 million people who were receiving some form of assistance from Centrelink.
At the time, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he was hopeful the money would not just help individuals, but local businesses too.
“[It will] provide additional income to millions of Australians that will be spent across the economy,” he said.
Economist Chris Richardson said it appeared people had used the cash to buy goods.
“The standout success in Australia economically so far has been that people have continued to spend a lot more than Treasury and the Reserve Bank had feared they would spend,” he said.
The Federal Government then announced it would issue a second payment of $750 for some of those who had received the first cash payment.
Who can get the payment?
About 5 million people that received the first $750 payment are eligible for the second payment.
It includes those on the age pension, disability support pension, carer payment, bereavement allowance, veteran service pension and veteran income support supplement.
Anyone receiving Family Tax Benefit A and B will also receive the cash, as too will people who have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a Pensioner Concession Card.
If a person gets support through more than one scheme (such as the age pension and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card) they won’t be paid $750 twice, even though they qualify multiple ways.
Those on Youth Allowance and JobSeeker were given the first $750 payment earlier this year, but they are not eligible for the second round of support.
Minister for Social Services Anne Ruston said that’s because they now receive the Coronavirus Supplement, which is an additional $550 on top of their fortnightly income support payment.
“This payment is providing additional support to eligible pensioners, families, veterans and concession card holders, who do not get the fortnightly Coronavirus Supplement as part of their current payment,” she said.
When will the payment be issued?
Some people will notice the $750 in their bank account this week, but it will take until the end of the month for others to receive the cash.
There is no paperwork to fill out because those that are eligible will get the money automatically.
However anyone that receives Family Tax Benefit A or B will only get the $750 payment when the tax office has finalised their tax return.
Cost of support
The first payment cost the Commonwealth $5.6 billion while the second round is expected to cost $3.8 billion, bringing the total bill to $9.4 billion.
About half of the cash handed out through this program is for pensioners.