Household Assistance Package

The Australian Household Assistance Package is a relatively new program. It is designed to help families with daily living expenses in a variety of ways. However, if you are in need of assistance, it can be a bit confusing, since the package has multiple parts.

The Clean Energy Advance

The Household Assistance Package was instituted on May 16, 2012. One of the early parts of the package was a lump sum payment called the Clean Energy Advance. It was an initial payment to help families until the carbon price was introduced on July 1, 2012 and the Clean Energy Supplement was later added on a regular basis.

The Clean Energy Supplement

One important part of the Household Assistance Package is the Clean Energy Supplement. The Clean Energy Supplement is an automatic credit given to anyone who already receives the Family Tax Benefit or other income support. As of March of 2013 Pensioners were eligible for Clean energy Supplement benefits, as were parenting payment recipients and job seekers. In June, recipients of Seniors Supplements were added. In July, Family tax Benefit recipients were added. Students who receive income support will also be eligible as of January 2014. So, if you fit in that category, you…

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Health Care Card

As you are probably aware, health care can be quite expensive, especially if you have to take any medications on a regular basis. However, the Australian government has programs in place to help you to offset some of those health care costs. One of those programs is the Australian Health Care Card. The Australian Health Care Card is a benefits card that may entitle you to discounts on health care, medications, and other services.

Qualifying for a Health Care Card

In some cases, you may automatically receive a Health Care Card. In order for that to happen, you must already be receiving one of the following allowances and benefits:

  • Youth Allowance as a Job Seeker
  • Sickness, Mobility, Carer, Widow, Newstart, or Partner Allowances
  • Carer or Partnered Parenting Payment
  • The Maximum Rate of Part A Family Tax Benefit
  • Special Benefit

If you do not receive any of those allowances and benefits, you may still qualify for a Health Care Card, but you will have to actually apply for the card. You will not just automatically receive it. Circumstances that may require you to apply for it include:

  • You Are a Foster Parent Applying for a Card in the Child’s Name
  • You Are a Disabled Student Whose Carer No Longer Collects Carer’s…
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AUStudy

The country of Australia has implemented the Youth Allowance program for young students who need financial help while they are studying. However, not everyone finishes their schooling before the age of 25. Perhaps you got delayed by starting a family, needed to meet other personal obligations, or simply want to continue or change your field of study for other reasons. If that’s the case, you may qualify for another form of Australian assistance, which is known as AUStudy.

What is AUStudy?

AUStudy is financial help given to Australian residents who are either full-time apprentices or full-time students. However, in order to qualify as an apprentice your income must not be over a certain amount. If you live with a partner, their income must not exceed a certain amount either. That amount can vary, depending on whether or not you and your partner also have children.

The Resident Requirement

Although you may not necessarily have to be an Australian citizen to receive AUStudy help, you do need to be a legal resident of the country. Not only that, but you must be a resident for at least two years before you can apply for AUStudy help. You must also continue to live in Australia…

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Baby Bonus

In Australia, the Centrelink division of the Australian Department of Human Services assists moms with the costs of a newborn baby or an adopted child that is under the age of sixteen years. You are also eligible for this subsidy if for some reason the pregnancy does not work out or if the baby is stillborn.

How do I apply for the Baby Bonus?

You are eligible to start receiving the baby bonus within twenty-six weeks of the child’s birth or adoption. The child can be older as long as he or she is coming into your care before turning the age of sixteen. You can also claim the bonus if you are caring for an adopted newborn or if you are caring for the child for 26 weeks but are not the parent.

You will also have to take the Baby Bonus Income Test that calculates your income. You can only collect it if your family’s estimated combined adjusted taxable income is $75,000 or less during the first six months after the child is born or enters your care. You then have 52 weeks from the birth of your baby to claim the Baby Bonus by initially providing Centrelink with your…

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What is the Youth Allowance?

The Youth Allowance, managed and dispersed by the Department of Human Services of the Australian Government via Centrelink provides financial help for people from the ages of 16 to 24 years who are studying, training, in an apprenticeship, or seeking employment. You must be an Australian resident to make a claim for the Youth Allowance. You can collect this particular subsidy whether you are a dependent or not.

How do I become eligible for the Youth Allowance?

There are definite eligibility requirements for the Youth Allowance. You must be sixteen to twenty-one years old and looking for full-time work; eighteen to twenty-four years old and studying full-time, sixteen to seventeen years old with a year 12 completion or sixteen or seventeen in full-time secondary study and living away from home. You are also eligible if you are between 16 and 24 years old and embarking on a full-time Australian Apprenticeship.
If you are a dependent, then your parent’s income and assets help determine how much money you will get.
What matters most is your age and whether or not you are doing an approved course or activity, if you are dependent or independent, what your residence requirements are, and what the result of your…

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Child Care Rebate

Centrelink, a division of the Australian Government Department of Human Services, will cover fifty percent of out of pocket child care expenses or up to a maximum amount allocated per child. This rebate is a supplement to any amount of money that you might already be receiving from Child Care Benefit or Child Care Fee Assistance or Jobs, Education and Training.

Eligibility for the Child Care Rebate

To be eligible for the child care rebate you must use a service approved for the Child Care benefit. You and your partner must also take a “work training study test” or have somehow received an exemption from it. The actual amount that you are eligible for is based on a calculation of half of your pocket expenses. The maximum rebate that a family can receive is based a cost of living index and varies from year to year. For instance, in 2010-11 the maximum rebate a family could get is $7,941 and from 2011 -12 it was $7,500. Assistance is awarded throughout the year and these maximums act as caps on what you receive. Once you hit the cap amount then your payments cease for the rest of the year.

How much you can receive…

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Rent Assistance

Centrelink that is run by the Australian Department of Social Services offers financial help to those who cannot pay their rent.

Eligibility For Rent Assistance:

Eligibility for rent assistance from the Australian government might be automatically be in place if you are under age 21 and receive disability support, have dependent children and are receiving the Family Tax Benefit, are caring for a child between 14 and 35 percent of the time but are not eligible for other types of benefits like the Family Tax benefit.

If you don’t have children you are eligible for the benefit if you are over 25, have partner or if you are under 25 and living apart from your parents.

There are also quite a few regulations about where you can live. You must first of all meet the residence requirements of your pension, allowance or benefit. Rent assistance is usually not payable if you have a lease width a state or territory housing authority, own the home where you reside (unless it is a mobile home), are a homeowner subletting in a temporary residence, are in a government subsided bed in an approved old age facility, have a partner who is receiving the Family Tax benefit or…

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Family Tax Benefit

The family tax benefit is a benefit that the Department of Human Services of the Australian Government makes available for families. Both Part A and B of the benefit are meant to assist families with the cost of raising children.

Eligibility for the CentreLink Family Tax Benefit

To be eligible for the family tax benefit in general you must have a child or secondary student less than twenty years of age that is completely dependent on you. You also need to prove that you are in care of the child for at least thirty-five percent of the time.

The Family Tax Benefit Part A is a subsidy for each child and the amount assigned is based on your family’s individual circumstances. You are eligible if you care for a child who is under 16 years of age, aged 16 or 17 with a Year 12 or aged 16-19 and undertaking full-time education or training in a course leading to a year 12, has a heavy load of courses or who has been granted an exemption from any of these described requirements because of indigenous status or other reasons. In order to quality for Party you also need to fill out an “income test.”

You…

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