Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet - Seniors Bonus 

Key elements

A one-off lump-sum bonus payment of $500 will be paid to all income support recipients of age or veteran pension age, recipients of Seniors Concession Allowance and all recipients of Mature Age Allowance, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, Wife Pension and Widow B Pension.

The person must be receiving a qualifying payment or have made a claim for the payment on or before Budget night, 13 May 2008. The person must be in Australia or temporarily absent from Australia for less than 13 weeks.

The bonus payment will not be taxable for income tax purposes nor treated as income for social security or veterans' affairs purposes.

Background

The Australian Government recognises the increased cost of living pressures faced by senior Australians.

This comes in addition to the Rudd Government's election commitments to help older Australians - Making Ends Meet - which has already seen increases in the Utilities Allowance and Seniors Concession Allowance to $500 and the Telephone Allowance to $132 for those with a home internet connection. These increased allowances were first made in March, and the next instalment is due in June.

This bonus payment provides further assistance to senior Australians and helps with some of the cost pressures many seniors can face.

Around 2.7 million people will benefit from the 2008 bonus payment for senior Australians.

The Rudd Government understands that many seniors, particularly maximum rate and single pensioners, are under financial pressure. That is why the tax review the Government has announced will examine how Australia's social support system, including for older Australians, provides for their future economic security.

Implementation

Most payments will automatically be made before the end of June 2008.

Total Government Funding

$1.4 billion in 2007-08.
Content Updated: 1 June 2012