More than five million Aussies will be getting a very welcome boost to their social security payments from today.
The age pension, JobSeeker and other social security payments will are being increased by the federal government from Monday, September 20.
The basic rate of the JobSeeker payment is going up by 1.4%. Including the Energy Supplement, this means those getting the payment will see an increase of $8.70 per fortnight, bringing their payments to $638.30.
For those with children, the JobSeeker Parenting Payment Single payment will increase by $11.90 to $874.10 a fortnight which includes the Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement payments.
The maximum single age pension rate will also rise by $14.80 to $967.50 a fortnight, while couples receiving the pension will receive an extra $22.40 combined.
The boost is the largest rise to the pension in seven years and will take the annual payment paid to a single to $25,155 and $37,923 for a couple.
Close to one million Australians receive JobSeeker and social security payments are adjusted twice a year in April and September.
There are currently around 2.58 million Australians on the age pension, according to government figures and the move seems to be targeted more at pensioners than those on other social security payments.
“We are ensuring pensioners maintain their purchasing power in the economy, which is bouncing back strongly,” Social Services Minister Anne Ruston told The Australian.
$8.70 per fortnight for a single person on JobSeeker is not a game-changer and might afford for the purchases of a few more essential items however JobSeeker assistance and other payments have been reduced from their pandemic highs and are now back to the basic payment levels.
This leaves those now claiming unemployment and other benefits well below the poverty line and this small increase has not been well received by those online.
It sucks. Do the Government really think we choose to be on Jobseeker? We need to be paid a lot more than an extra $11.90 a fortnight
— Courtney Lee Thirty Three (TASSIE DONNIE MEMBER) (@CourtneyLee_33) September 13, 2021
756,000 people are on a disability support pension and 977,500 are receiving JobSeeker payments.
The fortnightly maximum rate of Rent Assistance is also increasing to $142.80 for single recipients with no children, $168.00 for families up to two children and $189.70 for families with three or more children.
For those already receiving the benefits, no changes are required to be made to ensure the higher payments come through. When the next payment drops, the money should be paid at the higher rate.
For the full list of details of the changes, see the federal government website here.