Media Release: Are You Eligible for the Budget Bonus Payments?

National Seniors Australia wants self-funded retirees to check if they are eligible for the federal government’s two $250 budget bonus payments even if they don’t think they qualify.

The country’s peak consumer group for older Australians says there are tens of thousands of seniors who don’t realise they qualify because changes to deeming rates has improved eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and will miss out on a total of $500.

The CSHC is the main criteria used to determine if a self-funded retiree qualifies for the budget stimulus payments. Self-funded retirees have until November 27, one month from today to be eligible and get the first $250 payment.

National Seniors Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke says changes to deeming rates, used as part of the CSHC income test means a lot more older Australians are now eligible for the card and therefore the budget stimulus payments.

“Self-funded retirees who are among the hardest hit by the COVID Financial Crisis (CFC) could really do with some extra cash in their pockets going into Christmas,” Mr Henschke said.

“I urge all self-funded retirees who are not CSHC holders to at least check the eligibility criteria and apply before the November 27 deadline.”

Since National Seniors last urged older Australians to check their eligibility during the last round of stimulus payments, there was a 19,000 increase in CSHC holders in just six months.

To qualify for the card, you must have reached the pension age, meet an income test, are not receiving any payments from Veterans Affairs and are an Australian resident living in Australia.

To meet the income test you must earn below the following income thresholds:

  • $55,808 for singles
  • $89,290 for couples
  • $111,616 for couples who are separated by illness, respite care or prison.