Income management started on 15 April 2013 in the Ngaanyatjarraku Shire, Laverton Shire and Kiwirrkurra Community in Western Australia.
Who does it apply to?
In the Ng Lands and Laverton, income management may apply to:
- People referred for income management by state child protection authorities
- People assessed by a Centrelink social worker as being vulnerable to financial crisis
- People who volunteer for income management.
How does it work?
Income management does not change the amount of payments a person receives. It just changes the way that they receive part of their payment. People participating in income management receive the balance of their payments in the usual way.
Income management works by ensuring that part of the person’s payment is allocated to pay for priority items such as food, housing, clothing, utilities, education and medical care. Centrelink assists people on income management to identify their expenses and helps them adjust their allocations as required.
Income managed funds cannot be spent on excluded items, including alcohol, tobacco, pornography, gambling goods and activities. There is no restriction on how a person can use the portion of their payments that are not income managed.
What percentage of a person’s Centrelink payment/s is income managed?
People who volunteer or who are referred by a Centrelink social worker for income management will have fifty per cent of their welfare payments set aside for basic necessities.
People referred by state child protection workers for income management will have seventy per cent of their welfare payments set aside for necessities such as food, housing, utilities, clothing and medical care.
How can people spend their money?
People can spend their income managed funds by:
- allocating money to the BasicsCard, which can be spent at various stores for items such as food, clothing, petrol, health and hygiene products
- asking Centrelink to make payments from their income management account for regular expenses such as rent and bills, school meals programs and payments to community stores
- asking Centrelink to make one-off payments to stores.
If priority needs have been met, income managed funds may be allocated to items that are not priority needs (as long as they are not excluded items). This means people can plan ahead to buy larger items such as motor vehicles or whitegoods with their income managed funds.
Income management funds cannot be used to purchase excluded goods, including alcohol, home brew kits, home brew concentrates, tobacco products, pornographic material and gambling goods and activities.
What other support services do people receive?
People who are participating in income management will be offered a free and confidential referral to Financial Management Program services, for financial counselling and money management skills training
Incentives are also available for people who participate in income management.
For more information:
- go to humanservices.gov.au
- talk to your local Centrelink social worker
- call the Income Management Line (for customers only) on 1800 132 594
- call Indigenous services on 136 380.