Australia Risks

Social security benefits in Australia


Australia has moved far forward in terms of achieving socialism in a sense of taking great care of its citizens. A good example of Social security benefits in Australia is the payment of pensions. Pensions in Australia are paid at a certain age (retirement age for women is 64 and 65 for men), or if a person is experiencing financial difficulties caused by a variety of circumstances.

Retirement pension does not depend on the number of years of employment, nor on the type of work that people were performing. Instead, it depends on the amount of income that a person is receiving at the moment. If the income is less than $4,000 per year, the maximum amount of pension is paid. With the rise of the income, the amount of pension gradually decreases. Pensions are stopped being paid, if annual income exceeds $ 43,200. However, there is a nuance for pensioners who are still working. The first $6,500 of salary is not included in pension calculation.

The pension also depends on the size of the property, possessed by the person. Even if the income is small, but there is a large amount of property, the pension will be reduced. The maximum pension is paid if couple’s possessions are worth less than $265,000. If the property is worth more, the pension decreases smoothly. For example, a married couple can own a million dollars – a few acres of land or real estate – and at the same time receive a pension. This is due to the fact that the limit of the maximum property for a couple is $1,024,500.

You should also notice that pensions are paid to those, who have lived in Australia for 10 years. However, exceptions are possible.

The amount of a basic pension for a single pensioner is $18,070 per year. Each married pensioner receives $13,624 per year. There are a few additions to the pension (Pension Supplement, Remote Area Allowance, etc.). Single pensioner is usually added another one and a half to two thousand dollars a year to help in paying for a variety of utilities. A little less is added for couples.

Apart from pensions, pensioners receive a discount for a large number of services through concession cards. Most frequently it is a reduced fare on public transport, tickets for a variety of activities and services at discounted prices.

In addition, the majority of pensioners receive benefits card to buy drugs (Health Care Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card). These cards allow them to buy medicines at the lowest prices. For example, no matter how much medication cost – $30, or $ 100, the card holder will pay only about $4.
Those pensioners who receive another income (for example, a salary or rental payments), have several tax benefits and pay less taxes. Besides, those who do not have their own home are paid more financial help for paying rent. This help accounts for approximately three thousand dollars per year for a person, or a married couple.

Apart from retirement pension there is quite a large number of other pensions and benefits. Here are the most common examples – Disability Support Pension, Wife Pension, Carer Payment, Parenting Payment (Single), Bereavement Allowance and Widow B Pension, Newstart Allowance, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Youth Allowance. Full list of all sorts of benefits is quite long. The best source of information is a government booklet on the types and calculation of social benefits – Guide to Australian Government Payments.

In general, any information about a variety of payments is affordable. Every person, who wants to understand it, is quite capable of doing it.

There are plenty of circumstances where a person is forced to apply for social assistance in order to succeed financially. Getting it in Australia is quite simple. There is a category of financial advisors, who are specializing in Centrelink payments. They know the whole system very well, so for those, who are going to apply for social assistance, it is advisable to consult these experts.

Parenting Payment

For parents in Australia several social benefits are provided by the state – Parenting Payment (Single), Parenting Payment (Partnered), Youth Allowance.

Parents with children in Australia can receive social benefits quite easily. The state redistributes huge funds, collected from taxes, trying to support parents in the difficult task of growing children.

Extraordinary freedom of women in Australia is largely based on the existence of these social benefits. For example, if after the divorce she was left alone with a young child (children), she will not be left starving. The state will support her and pay her about $16,500 per year, giving her (him) all the same benefits and co-payments, which retired by age person has.

Apart from pensions to parents and numerous benefits, poor people can get public housing with minimal rental fees. Single mothers often use this opportunity, which further reduces their living expenses. Therefore, drinking, clubbing and broken men rarely remain in marital status for a long time. The state protects children and allows mothers to raise children in a more relaxed atmosphere.

This pension also depends on the income that mother earns, if she earns it at all. Minimum income, for which a maximum pension is paid, is $5,179 per year. Maximum income, after which the pension is not paid (for two children) is $47,330 per year. In order to get this pension, you need to contact Centrelink and fill in an application form. Initial application can be completed online.

Parenting Payment (Partnered) is paid to parents who have no income to provide themselves and their children, or have a low income. The upper limit of income for a family is $43.160 per year. But, of course, in the case of such income, the pension will be a few dollars a week. The maximum pension is – when both parents are unemployed – $11,492 per year. It is paid only to parents of children up to 6 years. In order to get this pension there is a lot of conditions, and its calculation is not very simple.

The overwhelming number of Australian parents receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B. These benefits are received even by those who have just arrived in Australia and by all holders of permanent visas that have children and whose annual family income is less than about $100,000 (this is an approximate figure, because the scale is complex and depends on the number and age of children).

Payments are quite significant. The calculation of these payments is complex and depends on many variables, for example, parental income, number of children and their age. For example, a single mother with two children, both of whom are under 5 years of age, will receive a child allowance of $18.044 per year. This adds to her pension as a single mother. Generally her total revenue will not be less than $29,536 per year. With this money it is quite possible to live comfortably, especially if the numerous benefits, such as rental subsidies, are added.

Newstart Allowance is incredibly popular. It is provided to all, who had got in difficult financial circumstances, but do not receive another type of pension. First of all, these categories include unemployed. A lot of older people who are unable to receive a retirement pension, because of not living in the country for 10 years, receive this benefit. Maximum payments are about $250 per week.

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