• Federal Budget 2020-2021

Stimulus Payments for Social Security Recipients

Some of Australia’s most vulnerable individuals can expect to receive stimulus payments as part of a three year $2.6 billion social security relief package in the Government’s 2020/2021 Budget. In a departure from the Budget’s job-creation focus, payments were announced aimed at pensioners, carers, and disability card holders. These are expected to provide much-needed economic relief to over 5.1 million recipients.

The Structure

Two $250 payments for each eligible recipient will be rolled out in two separate waves. The first of these payments will be made from November 2020, providing a much-needed boost in income during the pre-Christmas period. The second payment will be actioned in early 2021, with the Government yet to provide an exact timeline for the relief.

The eligible recipients include those who already receive the following payments:

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Carer Payments
  • Family Tax Benefits
  • Double Orphan Pension
  • Carer Allowance.

Additionally, these payments will also be available to Pensioner Concession Cardholders, Commonwealth Senior Cardholders, and Veteran Affairs Concession Cardholders. They will operate as a supplement for COVID-19 relief already provided to these same recipients via two $750 stimulus payments made in early April and July.

BDO Comment

BDO welcomes this announcement as stimulus for those who need it most. Crucially, these payments are non-assessable, and are not classified as income for the purposes of any other social security program. As such, they truly are free money as tax-free payments that do not compromise income received from other welfare channels.