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The April 1 health and welfare changes you need to know about

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April 1 saw a host of changes come into effect, from welfare to private health insurance. Here are some of the important changes to be across.

Welfare

An estimated 1.95 million Aussies on the following schemes will receive a $50 fortnightly increase:

april 1 changes

  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • Austudy
  • Disability Support Pension for those under 21 without dependent children
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Partner Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Youth Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Widow Allowance

In addition, the following schemes will have the income-free earnings threshold upped to $150 per fortnight:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Parenting Payment partnered
  • Partner Allowance
  • Youth Allowance for job seekers
  • Widow Allowance

JobSeekers will need to search for a minimum of 15 jobs a month from early April, and 20 jobs a month from July 1.

Seasonal workers

Due to COVID-19, the usual four year Newly Arrived Residents' Waiting Period (NARWP) for newly arrived residents and seasonal workers to receive support payments was waived for:

  • Austudy
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Parenting Payment
  • Special Benefit
  • Youth Allowance.

However, NARWP will be reinstated on April 1.

The time you've spent in Australia as a resident or eligible visa holder counts towards this waiting period. If you got a payment while your NARWP was suspended, this period will still count towards your waiting period.

Your payment will stop on April 1, 2021, if you haven't served the full NARWP and you don't have an exemption.

Aged care

The maximum permissible interest rate (MPIR) for aged care is set to reduce from 4.89% to 4.10% per annum from April 1, 2021, for refundable deposit balances and accommodation bond balances and accommodation prices.

Child care

As part of the government's child care recovery package, the relaxed activity test for families whose activity levels have been impacted by COVID-19 will be extended until April 4, 2021.

Health insurance

Health insurance premiums will increase by an average of 2.74% on April 1. New rules will be put in place to ensure income protection benefits do not exceed 100% of a policyholder's earnings.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Drugs for the treatment of breast cancer, lung cancer, osteoporosis, and asthma, among other diseases, have been added to the PBS. A full list can be found here.

Superannuation contribution caps

Also this year, annual concessional contributions, which are taxed at 15%, will increase from $25,000 to $27,500 on July 1, while the annual non-concessional contribution cap will increase from $100,000 to $110,000.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that the super contributions cap will increase on April 1. It will increase on July 1.

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David Thornton is a journalist at Money magazine. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.
Comments
Chris Archibald
April 11, 2021 10.02am

Superannuation contribution caps will increase to $27,500 July 1st not April 1st

Money magazine
Verified
April 13, 2021 8.44am

Hi Chris,

We have corrected the story to reflect this and apologise for the error.

- Money team

Allison Taylor
April 11, 2021 8.11pm

Money Magazine Article 7 April 2021 "The April 1 health, super and welfare changes you need to know about" states the following:

Superannuation contribution caps

From April 1 annual concessional contributions, which are taxed at 15%, will increase from $25,000 to $27,500, while the annual non-concessional contribution cap will increase from $100,000 to $110,000.

The ATO website https://www.ato.gov.au/rates/k... says the change is from 1 July 2021.

Please confirm!!

Money magazine
Verified
April 13, 2021 8.45am

Hi Allison,

We unfortunately made an error in this story. The super concessional contributions cap will increase on July 1, not April 1, and we have amended the story to reflect this. Our apologies for the error.

- Money team

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