January 1 changes: More than 1 million Aussies to receive higher benefits in new year


Young people living away from home as well as carers who support frail aged people or disabled people or those with a medical condition will be receiving higher benefits from January 1 this year. So too will students either living at home or away from home.

Over 1 million Australians on different government allowances will receive more money. The payments are in line with a 3.5% indexation rate, the highest rate since 2012.

Youth Allowance to rise

carer payments austudy to rise on january 1 changes

The rate of Youth Allowance for young people living away from home will increase by $17.90, from $512.50 to $537.40 per fortnight. For those aged 18 or over living at home, it will increase by $12.40, from $354.60 to $367.00 per fortnight.

Singles with children will receive $23 more, lifting the rate from $656 to $679 per fortnight.

For those on a special rate of Youth Allowance who are over 22 years old, singles living away from home will have $21.40 more, increasing the fortnight payment from $611.90 to $633.30.

The qualifying threshold of the income limits of parents for students to qualify for Youth Allowance also lifts by $511 per annum up to $56,137.

Austudy increases

Austudy for students will increase by $17.90, from $512.50 to $530.40 per fortnight.

For singles with children, the rate will increase from $656 by $23 to $679 per fortnight.

Students are allowed to earn $15 more per fortnight up to $452 to qualify for full Austudy payments.

Carers to get more

Carer Allowances to support people who care for someone with a disability, medical condition, or a frail aged adult will increase from $131.90 by $4.60 to $136.50 per fortnight.

Other assistance

Also benefit payments for the assistance of isolated children, the youth disability support pension, mobility allowance, double orphan pension and additional child amounts paid under some social security agreements, will also increase by 3.5%.

A full list of new rates and thresholds is available online.

Higher childcare subsidy

Changes to childcare subsidy have been brought forward and around 250,000 families will be approximately $2200 a year better off from March 7 this year

Families with two or more children aged five years and under in care will have their CCS rate increased by 30% for their second child and any younger children, up to a maximum rate of 95%.

More than half of eligible families will receive the maximum 95% subsidy.

A family earning $110,000 a year with two kids in care, four days a week, will be better off by around $100 each week.

The $10,655 annual CCS cap was scrapped on 10 December last year and applied retrospectively for the whole 2021-22 financial year. Anyone who reaches the cap before this date will have any additional out-of-pocket costs for the 2021-22 financial year reimbursed.

$5000 for women escaping domestic violence

Women leaving a violent relationship are able to access a one-off payment of up to $5000 to help set themselves up.

The payment comes in the form of $1500 in cash and the remainder in goods and services or direct payments of rental bonds, removalists, school fees and other support to establish a safe home.

Violence includes physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic abuse. You can qualify if you are the intimate partner who has experienced violence and the relationship has ended or experienced violence in the past 12 weeks. Or If you have had to leave home for safety reasons or remain in the home where the perpetrator is no longer living in the home.

It was introduced at the end of October last year and runs for a trial period of two years. It is being run through Uniting as well as eight other organisations around Australia such as the Wesley Mission.

Call 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732 if you are experiencing family violence and need immediate support or advice and you will be helped with information about the $5000 payment.

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.