Anglicare reports rise in hardship needs

·1-min read

The reduction of government coronavirus support has coincided with in a spike in people seeking financial hardship services from charity Anglicare.

The organisation on Thursday released its 'Life After Lockdown' report which details financial, mental health and social impacts of the pandemic on its Sydney clients.

"People are feeling more lonely, more anxious and more isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Grant Millard, Anglicare Sydney CEO, said.

"While government policy has acted as a buffer for many people, the reduction of income supports over the past six months has coincided with an increasing demand for Anglicare financial hardship services."

Anglicare Sydney has recorded a jump in the number of people seeking financial support in the first quarter of 2021.

There were 3622 visits in December, with the number rising to 5093 in March.

The increase coincides with the fall in the federal government coronavirus supplement to $150, as well as a drop in the JobKeeper payment, the report notes.

In the first three months of 2021, demand for financial hardship services was 36 per higher than for the same period in 2020.

About 1500 people are on the wait list for support in March, compared to fewer than 1000 at the same time last year.

More than half the people accessing a range of Anglicare support services reported much higher levels of anxiety and "feeling down more than usual" in a late 2020 survey.

"While we welcome the federal government's 2021 budget, there is still more to be done to reverse the financial hardship, mental health and social isolation impacts before it really takes hold within parts of the community," Sue King, report research lead and Anglicare's head of advocacy, said.

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