Centrelink payments boost from 1 July

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Age pensioners, carers, and other people receiving social benefits could receive more income when indexation limits are lifted from 1 July. 

Limits on the amount of income you earn and assets you have before this affects your payments will increase to reflect changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

Some 2.4 million Australians are expected to benefit and can expect marginally bigger payments. 

The CPI recently went up higher than expected, with inflation increasing by 3.6% in the 12 months to the March 2024 quarter. 

What the new indexation rates mean for age, disability, and carer payments

Income test thresholds 

The income free area (the amount you can earn and still receive a full pension rate) will be lifted: 

  • $8 from $204 to $212 per fortnight for singles  
  • $12 from $360 to $372 per fortnight for couples. 

The maximum amount of income you can earn before your Age Pension ceases has increased: 

  • $8 from $2,436.60 to $2,444.60 per fortnight for singles 
  • $12 from $3,725.60 to $3,737.60 per fortnight for couples. 

Note: Rates will be different for homeowners and your cut-off point may be higher if you get Rent Assistance or Work Bonus. 

Asset test thresholds 

  • Single homeowners: up $12,250 (from $301,750 to $314,000) 
  • Couple homeowners (combined): up $18,500 from ($451,500 to $470,000) 
  • Non-homeowners single: up $22,250 (from $543,750 to $566,000) 
  • Non-homeowners couple (combined): up $28,500 (from $693,500 to $722,000). 

What a review of PHI would do

Deeming thresholds will also be indexed upwards slightly, meaning that more of your deemed income will attract the lower deeming rate of 0.25%. 

Deeming is a method used by the government to estimate the income you earn from your assets, which is then used to determine how must pension you get under the income test. 

Currently, a single person’s assets below $60,400 will be deemed as earning 0.25%. This threshold will increase to $62,600 from 1 July (and from $100,200 to $103,800 for couples). This will affect anyone subject to the Age Pension income test and could result in a slight increase in your payment.  

Importantly, this comes on the back of the government’s welcomed budget announcement that deeming rates will remain frozen for another year.  

Deeming rates of 0.25% and 2.25% will remain at 2022 levels for another year affecting 876,000 income support recipients, including 450,000 age pensioners. 

If the freeze was lifted, deeming rates would have climbed much higher leaving almost half a million pensioners with a cut in their payment. 

The complete list of payments increasing on 1 July 2024, including income and asset limits, can be found on the Department of Social Services website.

This article was originally published by our friends at National Seniors.

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