The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Safety Net) Bill 2023 has received royal assent to give effect to increases in social security rates for certain payments as announced in the 2023-24 Federal Budget.

The following changes in payments will come into effect from 20 September 2023:

Single parents

Previously, single parents were required to apply for Jobseeker once their youngest dependent child reached 8 years of age, this age limit has now been lifted to 14 years.

The change means eligible parents will receive an additional $176.90 a fortnight if they are on the base rate, amounting to $922.10 per fortnight in total. This benefit is set to specially support women, as majority single parents in Australia are currently women.

Jobseeker recipients

The Jobseeker rate will permanently increase for all recipients, the effect of this will be as follows:

Older Australians – Australians aged 55 and over will benefit from the extension of the eligibility of a higher rate in the Jobseeker payment. People who have been on the welfare payment for nine or more continuous months will receive an extra $90 per fortnight. This was previously only made eligible to those aged 60 and over.

Young Australians – Young people on income support payments will also receive a much-needed boost, as Austudy and Youth Allowance will be lifted by $40 a fortnight.

Childcare subsidy

From 1 July 2023 changes to the childcare subsidy came into effect, families with a combined household income below $530,000 saw a lift in their subsidy of up to 20%.

For families earning less than $80,000, the subsidy for their first child climbed to 90 per cent, those on more than $80,000, their subsidy progressively fell based on their income. This went down by 1% for each $5,000 of family income.

Low-income renters

Recipients of commonwealth rent assistance (CRA) will receive more financial support. The maximum rate of the CRA payment has been increased by 15%.

For a single CRA recipient with no dependents who does not share their rental home with anyone else, and who is receiving the maximum amount of assistance, their payment will increase from $157.20 a fortnight to $180.80.

This information does not constitute financial or legal advice and is for general information purposes only. Please contact DLA Partners for specific advice relating to your particular circumstances.