Centrelink boost, cheaper medicine for millions of Aussies

A range of cost-of-living measures are coming into effect in September.

Composite image of Centrelink sign and Australian money.
Aussies receiving JobSeeker and other Centrelink payments will get an extra $40 per fortnight. (Source: Getty)

Millions of Aussies will be getting targeted cost-of-living relief this month, as a range of government policies kick in.

Announced as part of the federal budget, policies coming into effect include a $40-per-fortnight increase to certain Centrelink payments, increased rent assistance and cheaper medicines.

It follows the suite of cost-of-living support that rolled out in July, including up to $500 in energy-bill relief, cheaper child care and enhanced paid parental leave.

Here’s a look at what’s changing this month.

Centrelink payments

From September 20, more than 1 million Aussies receiving income support payments will receive a $40-per-fortnight increase to their base rates.

This increase will apply to those receiving JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Disability Support Pension (Youth), and Special Benefit.

Additionally, the age threshold at which the higher rate of JobSeeker is paid for singles will be reduced from 60 to 55 for those who have been on the payment for nine continuous months.

Rent assistance

From September 20, around 1.1 million households receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance will see a 15 per cent increase to the maximum rate.

The government said this would make households better off by $24 per fortnight, on average.

Parenting payment

From September 20, around 57,000 single parents with children aged eight and above will be eligible for the highest Parenting Payment (Single).

Single parents and carers can continue receiving the payment until their youngest child turns 14. This is estimated to benefit families by at least $176.90 a fortnight.

Cheaper medicines

Since September 1, millions of Aussies with ongoing health conditions have been able to access 60-day prescriptions. This effectively gives people two months’ worth of medicine for the price of one.

People with a heart condition, Crohn’s disease, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and other conditions are among those to get the relief.

The changes are expected to save people up to $180 per year, per medicine. Concession card holders will save $43 per medicine.

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