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Cash handout: Thousands of Aussies urged to check eligibility for $500 boost

Cash handout: Thousands of Aussies urged to check eligibility for $500 boost

Tens of thousands of Australians may not be aware they are eligible for an extra $500 from the federal government.

The new plan offers handouts for aged and disability pensioners, veterans, people on carer payments and family tax benefit recipients as part of the 2020-21 budget.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and pensioner concession cardholders will also be eligible for the cash.

Recipients will receive a $250 cash boost in December and another $250 in March 2021.

National Seniors Australia has urged self-funded retirees to check their eligibility too.

The group believe thousands of older Australians who are self-funded retirees may go without the cash boost, as they may be under the impression they don’t qualify for the CSHC.

Changes to deeming rates used as part of the CSHC income test has improved eligibility for the card.

This means there is also improved eligibility for budget stimulus payments.

To qualify for the CSHC, an individual must have reached the pension age, meet an income test, not be receiving any payments from Veterans Affairs and be an Australian resident living in the country.

To meet the income test, individuals or couples must earn below the following thresholds:

  • $55,808 for singles
  • $89,290 for couples
  • $111,616 for couples who are separated by illness, respite care or prison.
“Self-funded retirees who are among the hardest hit by the COVID Financial Crisis (CFC) could really do with some extra cash in their pockets going into Christmas,” National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said.

Australians have until November 27 to be eligible and receive the first $250 payment.

Those eligible are strongly advised to make sure their details are up to date on MyGov before the payments start flowing through.