Centrelink Payments Have Increased, Here Are the New Rates For March

Centrelink Payments Have Increased, Here Are the New Rates For March

Following the 2023 budget, which saw money pledged towards increasing government welfare payment rates, those on Centrelink support payments can also look forward to an indexation twice a year that will slightly increase the money they receive.

Indexation to Centrelink payments occurs twice yearly: once on March 20 and again on September 20. This happens in order to keep pace with the rate of inflation (which, as we know, is quite high right now). Each time it happens it means pensioners, JobSeekers, and those on Rent Assistance and Youth Allowance get an increase in their payments.

So, what’s changed, and what do the new rates look like? Let’s break it down.

As of March 20, 2024, Centrelink rates have received a boost. Here’s a quick rundown if you’re wondering what that means and for whom.

The new payment rates per fortnight, as per the Department of Social Services, will be:

Adult Pension rates

  • Single – $1,116.30 (previously $1,096.70)
  • Partnered – $841.40 each (previously $826.70)
  • Single, no children – $762.70 (previously $749.20)
  • Single, with children – $816.90 (previously $802.50)
  • Single, 55 or over (after 9 months) – $816.90 (previously 802.50)
  • Partnered – $698.30 each (previously $686)

Youth Allowance payment increases for job seekers aged 21 and under:

  • Single, no children, Under 18, living at home – $395.30
  • Single, no children, Under 18, living away from home – $639.00
  • Single, 18 or over, living away from home – $639
  • Single, 18 or over, living at home – $455.20
  • Single with children – $806
  • Partnered, no children – $639
  • Partnered, with children – $691.80

Youth Allowance payments for students 24 and under receive the following (these rates were updated on January 1):

  • Single, no children, younger than 18, and live at your parent’s home – $395.30
  • Single, no children, younger than 18, living away from your parent’s home to study, train or look for work – $639.00
  • Single, no children, 18 or older and live at your parent’s home – $455.20
  • Single, no children, 18 or older and need to live away from your parent’s home – $639.00
  • Single, with children – $806.00
  • Principal carer of a dependent child granted an exemption from mutual obligation requirements for foster caring, non-parent relative caring under a court order, home schooling, distance education or large family – $987.70
  • A couple, with no children – $639.00
  • A couple, with children – $691.80

  • Single – $188.20 (previously $184.80)
  • Single, sharer – $125.47 (previously $123.20)
  • Couple – $177.20 (previously $174)

How do I ensure I get the latest rate?

Well, the great thing here is that you don’t need to do anything at all. The new payment rate should automatically land in your Centrelink online account or Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

As our pals at Nine have shared, there are other support payments you can claim through the government if you’re going through a tough time, financially.

You can take a look through your local Savings Finder (VIC, NSW, ACT, WA, QLD, TAS, NT) and search through to see if any services make sense for you.

Some are pretty simple, actually.

For example, in NSW, certain drivers can claim a 40 per cent rebate of up to $802 if they spend $402 or more on tolls each financial year.

If you’d like a full rundown of the most notable winners and losers of the 2023 budget, you can find our explainer here.

When it comes to support services and Centrelink rates, here are the updates you need to know about.

  • Single parents will have their base payments continued until their youngest child turns 14, which is up from the previous age of eight, providing six more years of support payments.
  • Rent assistance for low-income households is being allocated $2.7 billion over five years. The maximum rate of rent assistance allowances for those on government payments will be increased by 15%.
  • Income support payments through Centrelink are seeing an investment of $4.9 billion over five years. The JobSeeker, Austudy and Youth Allowance rates will be increased by $40 a fortnight.
  • Energy bill relief is coming with a $3 billion allocation. Up to $500 will be paid to pensioners, veterans, concession card holders and those on government support payments. Up to $650 will be paid to small businesses, too.

We’ll be sure to update this article with the latest Centrelink changes, whenever they happen, so stay tuned.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

Lead Image Credit: iStock/Getty

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