More than 5.5 million Australians will receive an increase to their income support payments and pensions when indexation takes effect in two weeks’ time on 20 September.
This increase is in addition to the boost to income support announced in the May Budget as part of the $14.6 billion cost of living package, coming in on the same day.
Changes coming into effect on September 20:
Single JobSeeker Payment recipients will receive a base payment of $749.20 per fortnight, reflecting a $56.10 increase. This is the largest permanent dollar increase ever to the main adult unemployment benefit in Australia. Adult ABSTUDY recipients will also receive this boost.
Parenting Payment Single recipients will receive a base payment rate of $942.40, reflecting a $20.30 increase. For those single parents transferring to this payment as a result of the Government’s change in the Budget to extend eligibility until their youngest child turns 14 (up from aged eight), they will receive an extra $227.50 per fortnight compared to their current rate, including supplements.
Those on a partnered rate of JobSeeker and Parenting Payment will receive a base payment rate of $686.00, reflecting a $54.80 increase.
As a result of indexation, recipients of the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment will also receive an increase to their payments. The single pension rate will increase by $32.70 to $1096.70, and the rate for couples combined will increase by $49.40 to $1653.40. These figures include Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.
Single veterans on a service pension will receive an additional $32.70, bringing their service pension to $1096.70 a fortnight, while veterans on the Disability Compensation Payment (Special Rate), known as the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Payment will receive an additional $53.00 a fortnight, increasing their payment to $1729.20
Income support recipients who are renting will also receive an increase to the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance, as a result of both the Government’s 15 per cent increase in the Budget and regular indexation. For single recipients without children, the maximum rate will increase by $27.60 to $184.80 per fortnight. For family payment recipients who have one or two children, the maximum rate will increase by $32.34 to $217.28 per fortnight.
Income limits for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card recipients will also be indexed, increasing by $5400 to $95,400 per annum for singles and by $8640 to $152,640 per annum for couples combined.
Other supplementary payments including Telephone Allowance and Utilities Allowance are also being indexed.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Government recognises Australians are continuing to grapple with cost of living pressures.
“Indexation is a vital mechanism to safeguard the purchasing power of social security payments, ensuring they keep pace with the cost of living,” Minister Rishworth said.
“Higher inflation is being felt most within the homes of those on low fixed incomes and these payments are a lifeline for many Australians who are doing it tough or may need some extra support.”
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said the Australian community expects that veterans and their families will be looked after following service.
“Not only will the indexation of these payments help veteran families with the cost of living, certain fortnightly education allowances will also increase, ensuring veteran families are better supported,” Minister Keogh said.
As a result of payment rates being indexed, income and assets limits will increase.
More details regarding September 2023 indexation is available on the Department of Social Services website.
More details regarding the cost of living package announced at the 2023-24 Budget is available on the Department of Social Services website.
This includes for those payments also receiving the $40 increase: Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance (aged under 22), Special Benefit (aged under 22) and Disability Support Pension (aged under 21 with no children). These payments are indexed in January each year.