Weekly payments for vulnerable Australians
Vulnerable Australians will now have the option of receiving their regular income support payments weekly, instead of fortnightly, to help them better manage their budgets.
Under legislation passed today – the Social Security and Family Legislation Amendment (Weekly Payments) Bill 2010 – Centrelink staff will be able to offer the weekly payment option to customers identified as having difficulties budgeting their payments across the fortnight.
The changes will help people, particularly the homeless and those at risk of homelessness, who find it difficult to budget and often end the fortnight with no money left to pay the bills.
It gives people the option of weekly access to payments to buy basics like food, clothing and medicines.
Weekly payments can also help families and individuals struggling with their rent to keep a roof over their heads.
Homelessness is a national priority for the Australian Government. The introduction of weekly payments was a specific commitment in the Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home.
The Government has committed $1.2 billion for new services and more than 19,300 new social housing dwellings through the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan to help address homelessness.