The Household Assistance Package started in May 2012. An initial payment from the government to eligible people has since been followed by the tax cuts that came into play on 1 July 2012. Many Australians will then receive ongoing assistance added to their regular entitlements from March 2013. The package has been funded by the carbon tax placed on businesses, and aims to provide extra support for Australians relying on essential medical equipment at home.

Are you eligible?

All taxpayers with an income of less than $80,000 a year benefitted from the tax cuts. You may be eligible for assistance under The Household Assistance Package if you are:

•    receiving a pension or other government income support payment
•    receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A, Family Tax Benefit Part B, or Parenting Payment
•    a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holder or a DVA Gold and White Card holder who receives the Seniors Supplement
•    covered by a Commonwealth concession card and have high energy costs associated with using essential medical equipment at home
•    caring for someone who has high energy costs associated with using essential medical equipment at home and either you or the person you are caring for is covered by a Commonwealth concession card, and/or
•    from a low income household and miss out on the full benefit of tax cuts and increases to government payments delivered through The Household Assistance Package.

What about the increases to regular government payments?

Increases will be automatically applied to regular payments for pensioners and other income support recipients from March 2013. Seniors Supplement recipients will receive their increases, in arrears, from June 2013 with their quarterly payment. Increases will be applied to Family Tax Benefit recipients from July 2013. These permanent increases are subject to indexation, like other government payments.

Most young people receiving youth or student payments, and Disability Support Pension recipients aged under 21 without dependent children, will start receiving increased payments from January 2014, following a second Clean Energy Advance payment to cover the period from July to December 2013.

For more information on The Household Assistance Package and to see whether you are eligible for any benefits, contact the experienced team of accountants and tax agents here at The Quinn Group. Submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) to book an appointment.