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Centrelink payments are rising to fight the cost of living crisis


More than 4.7 million Australians will receive cash increases to their social security payments from Monday to help them cope with the rising cost of living.

Australian households spent an average of 11.2 percent more in December 2022 than in the same month of the previous year, according to ABS figures.

The changes take effect on March 20.

An increase of $37.50 every two weeks goes to singles who receive one of three payments, including the Old Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Caregiver’s Allowance.

The second-largest increase of $56.40 every two weeks goes to couples with the same three payments or the equivalent of $28.20 per person in the couple.

The maximum bi-weekly pension rate is increased to $1064 for singles and $1604 for couples, including the pension supplement and the energy supplement.

People over the age of 22 and without children who receive the Single Job Seeker Payment or the ABSTUDY Payment receive a raise of $27.40 every two weeks.

This brings their payments to $701.90 every two weeks.

Each member of a couple who receives payments from Job Seekers or ABSTUDY will receive a cash raise of $45 every two weeks, bringing each person’s total payment to $639.10.

Social Affairs Minister Amanda Rishworth said the federal government is doing what it can to support Australians who “feel the pinch”.

“Australia’s social security system is there to support our most vulnerable citizens,” she said.

“We want more money in the pockets of everyday Australians so they can better afford the essentials.”

Single parents receiving parental benefits will receive an additional $33.90 per fortnight, with the rate increasing to $967.90 including the pension allowance, pharmaceutical allowance and energy allowance.

Singles without children receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance can expect an increase of $5.60 to $157.20 every two weeks.

People with up to two children receive an increase of $6.58 to $184.94 every two weeks for rent assistance.

Those with three or more children can get up to $208.74 every two weeks, an increase of $7.42.

Social Security benefits are indexed twice a year to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

They will be re-indexed on September 20.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.