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Archive for February 5th, 2009

Thursday, February 05th, 2009 | Author:

Here are the details of the new household stimulus package by Rudd’s Government.. hope this will give you an insight who will benefit from the new package.. read on below..

Australian Government bonus payments

On 3 February 2009, the Australian Government announced the Household Stimulus Package to provide widespread assistance to low and middle-income households. The Household Stimulus Package includes one-off bonus payments for some Centrelink customers, including families, students and farmers.

Bonus payments are non-taxable and are not considered income for social security purposes.

The bonus payments are:

Single Income Family Bonus

The Single Income Family Bonus is a payment of $950 per family to provide additional assistance to families with one main income earner. It will be paid to recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part B between 11 and 20 March 2009. If you have not received your payment by this date, and believe you are eligible, please contact Centrelink.

What if I receive my Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum at the end of the financial year?

If you were eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part B on 3 February 2009 you will receive the Single Income Family Bonus. If you claim Family Tax Benefit as an annual lump sum payment, you will receive your bonus after you have lodged your Family Tax Benefit claim and tax return at the end of the financial year. If you would like to change to fortnightly payments you can do so at any time by contacting Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office.

Will I get a bonus payment if I share the care of my child?

The normal rules that apply to the sharing of Family Tax Benefit Part A will apply to the bonus. That is, where there is shared care, the bonus will also be shared.

I don’t know if I get Family Tax Benefit Part A or Part B. How can I find out?

Family Tax Benefit Part A is a payment for low to middle-income families to assist with the cost of raising children. Family Tax Benefit Part B is a payment for single parent families and families with one main income.

If you are unsure which type of Family Tax Benefit you receive check any recent letters from Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office, or logon to our online services.

Can I get more than one bonus payment?

If you are eligible for the Single Income Family Bonus and qualify for other bonus payments, you may receive more than one bonus.

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Back to School Bonus

The Back to School Bonus is a payment of $950 per eligible child to assist families with the costs of school for their children. It will be paid to recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part A who have an eligible child aged 4-18 years (inclusive). The bonus will be paid between 11 and 20 March 2009. If you have not received your payment by this date, and believe you are eligible, please contact Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office.

What if I receive my Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum at the end of the financial year?

If you were eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A on 3 February 2009, and had a child aged 4-18 years (inclusive), you will receive the Back to School Bonus. If you claim Family Tax Benefit as an annual lump sum payment, you will receive your bonus after you have lodged your Family Tax Benefit claim and tax return at the end of the financial year. If you would like to change to fortnightly payments you can do so at any time by contacting Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office.

Will I get a bonus payment if I share the care of my child?

The normal rules that apply to the sharing of Family Tax Benefit Part A will apply to the bonus. That is, where there is shared care, the bonus will also be shared.

I don’t know if I get Family Tax Benefit Part A or Part B. How can I find out?

Family Tax Benefit Part A is a payment for low to middle-income families to assist with the cost of raising children. Family Tax Benefit (Part B) is a payment for single parent families and families with one main income.

If you are unsure which type of Family Tax Benefit you receive check any recent letters from Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office, or logon to our online services.

Can I get more than one bonus payment?

If your child is eligible for the Back to School Bonus and you qualify for other bonus payments, you may receive more than one bonus. If your child is also eligible for a One-off Training and Learning Bonus, you will not receive a Back to School Bonus.

Can I still claim the Education Tax Refund if I receive a bonus payment?

The Back to School Bonus is designed to help meet education costs for the 2009 academic year and is in addition to and separate from the Education Tax Refund.

For more information on the Education Tax Refund, please visit www.australia.gov.au

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Farmer’s Hardship Bonus

The Farmer’s Hardship Bonus is a payment of $950 to support farmers and small businesses that have been affected by drought. It will be paid to recipients of Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment, Transitional Income Support and Farm Help Income Support between 24 March and 6 April. If you have not received your payment by this date, and believe you are eligible, please contact Centrelink.

Can I get more than one bonus payment?

If you are eligible for the Farmer’s Hardship Bonus and you qualify for other bonus payments, you may receive more than one bonus.

What if I become eligible for Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment, Transitional Income Support or Farm Help Income Support after 3 February 2009?

To receive a Farmer’s Hardship Bonus you must have been eligible for Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment, Transitional Income Support or Farm Help Income Support on 3 February 2009. If you become eligible after this date you will not receive a bonus.

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Training and Learning Bonus

The Training and Learning Bonus is a payment of $950 to support students with the costs of education and training. It will also be paid to some income support customers who are in significant hardship. There are two parts to the Training and Learning Bonus:

  • the One-off Training and Learning Bonus, and
  • the Temporary Supplement to the Education Entry Payment

One-off Training and Learning Bonus

The One-off Training and Learning Bonus will be paid to:

  • Recipients of Youth Allowance (students and Australian Apprentices), Austudy and ABSTUDY Living Allowance (who are over 16 or independent)
  • Recipients of Sickness Allowance and Special Benefit (who are under age pension age)
  • Families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A for a full-time student aged 21-24 years (inclusive) on 3 February 2009.

In most cases, the bonus payments will be paid between 24 March and 6 April 2009.

Please Note: people eligible for payments under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme or Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme are also eligible for this bonus. For more information visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.

Temporary Supplement to the Education Entry Payment

Education Entry Payment is a payment to assist people returning to study or training. You may be eligible for Education Entry Payment if you return to an approved course of study and are currently receiving Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Wife Pension, Widow B Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, or Special Benefit (if you are a sole parent and not residentially qualified for Parenting Payment).

The Education Entry Payment will change from 24 March 2009 to 30 June 2010:

  • Education Entry Payment will include a temporary supplement of $950 (in addition to the existing payment of $208)
  • people receiving Youth Allowance while looking for work will also now be eligible for Education Entry Payment
  • to be eligible for Education Entry Payment, you must have been receiving a payment from Centrelink continuously for four weeks (down from 12 months)

For more information view the Education Entry Payment page on this website.

Can I get more than one bonus payment?

If you receive a One-off Training and Learning Bonus, you will not receive a Back to School Bonus. However you may receive the Temporary Supplement to the Education Entry Payment if you become eligible.

What if I become eligible for one of the qualifying payments after 3 February 2009?

To receive a One-off Training and Learning Bonus, you must have received one of the below payments for a period including 3 February 2009.

  • Youth Allowance (students and Australian Apprentices)
  • Austudy
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance (and be over 16 or independent)
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit (and be under age pension age)
  • Family Tax Benefit Part A for a full-time student aged 21-24 years

If you become eligible after 3 February 2009 you will not receive a bonus.

I received Education Entry Payment before 3 February 2009. Do I qualify for the Temporary Education Entry Payment Supplement?

The Temporary Education Entry Payment Supplement is available to recipients of Education Entry Payment from 24 March 2009 and includes customers who became entitled to the Education Entry Payment on or after 1 January 2009. If you received an Education Entry Payment before 1 January 2009, you will not receive the supplement.

When will I be paid the Education Entry Payment Supplement?

You will be paid the Education Entry Payment Supplement if you commence an approved course of study and are assessed as eligible for the Education Entry Payment. Payments will commence from 24 March 2009. For more information view the Education Entry Payment page on this website.

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Eligibility at a glance

Please Note: Eligibility for all bonus payments is based on your entitlement on 3 February 2009.

Payment Who will get it? How much? When will it be paid?
Single Income Family Bonus Recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part B $950 per family If you get your FTB payment fortnightly:

  • 11 to 20 March 2009

If you get your FTB payment annually:

  • after you lodge your FTB claim and 2008-09 tax return
Back to School Bonus Recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part A with a child aged 4-18 years old (inclusive) $950 per eligible child If you get your FTB payment fortnightly:

  • 11 to 20 March 2009

If you get your FTB payment annually:

  • after you lodge your FTB claim and 2008-09 tax return
Farmer’s Hardship Bonus Recipients of:

  • Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment – farmers and small business
  • Transitional Income Support
  • Interim Income Support – farmers and small business, or
  • Farm Help Income Support
$950 24 March to 6 April 2009
Training and Learning Bonus
One off Training and Learning bonus Recipients of:

  • Youth Allowance (Students and Australian Apprentices)
  • Austudy
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit (excluding people over age pension age, who received an Economic Security Strategy bonus payment in December 2008)
$950 24 March to 6 April 2009
One off Training and Learning bonus – Family Tax Benefit Recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part A with a child aged 21-24 years (inclusive) who is a full-time student $950 If you get your FTB payment fortnightly

  • 25 March to 3 April 2009

If you get your FTB payment annually:

  • after you lodge your FTB claim and 2008-09 tax return
Education Entry Payment (EdEP) Temporary Supplement Customers who would normally qualify for EdEP, plus Youth Allowance (other) customers.
The requirement for customers to be receiving a payment for 12 months before being eligible for EdEP has also been reduced to 4 weeks
$950 – in addition to the existing EdEP of $208 For all new claims from 24 March 2009 to 30 June 2010