Income management in the Ceduna Region
Income management commenced in the Ceduna region of South Australia on 1 July 2014.
Who does it apply to?
In the Ceduna region, income management may apply to:
- people who volunteer for income management
- 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 are placed on the Vulnerable Welfare Recipient Measure, because they are:
- under 16 years of age and receiving the Special Benefit payment, or
- receiving the Unreasonable To Live at Home independent rate of payment for youth allowance, disability support payment, or ABSTUDY, or
- under the age of 25, and receives a Crisis Payment due to prison release.
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 or gambling. There is no restriction on how a person can use the portion of their payments that is not income managed.
What percentage of a person’s Centrelink payment/s is income managed?
A person on income management generally has fifty per cent of their regular income support and family assistance payments income managed. Under Child Protection Income Management, seventy per cent of peoples’ income support payments are income managed.
100 per cent of lump sums and advance payments are income managed.
How can people spend their money?
People can spend their income managed funds in the following ways:
- 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 and
- if their priority needs have been met, allocate income managed funds 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 managed 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.
A scoping study report that explored community perspectives on income management in Ceduna, Koonibba, Scotdesco, Yalata and Oak Valley was prepared by Ninti One Ltd in 2013.
The Ninti One report found community support for income management. There were high levels of concern about social problems connected with the use of money for purposes detrimental to children and families. On 13 December 2013, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister Nigel Scullion, visited Ceduna and announced that consultations would be held in early 2014 to consider whether income management would be appropriate for the Ceduna region and which model would suit the region.
Consultations about income management were held in the Ceduna region in South Australia in February 2014. Over 50 meetings were held with community members as well as key stakeholders including health clinics, local councils, Aboriginal corporations, outback stores, local organisations, the police and schools.
Overall feedback from the consultations was positive with community members acknowledging problems with alcohol and drug abuse and some children not receiving enough food. In addition, participants at various meetings supported voluntary income management and recognised that the BasicsCard, in particular, may assist with reducing substance abuse and provide more food for children.
Read more in the Ceduna Consultation Report.
As part of the 2014-2015 Budget, it was announced that income management would be introduced to the Ceduna region in South Australia from 1 July 2014.
In June 2014, information sessions were held in Ceduna, Koonibba, Scotdesco, Yalata and Oak Valley advising individuals and service providers how income management will be implemented in the Ceduna region.
What other support services do people receive?
Income management is one of a range of supports available to help stabilise a person’s situation. Other support, such as financial counselling and money management skills training, are also available to poeple on income management. They can use these services and seek a priority referral upon request from Centrelink.
For more information:
- go to humanservices.gov.au
- talk to your local Department of Human Services—Centrelink Income Management Contact Officer
- call the Income Management Line (for customers only) on 1800 132 594
- call Indigenous services on 1800 136 380.