Centrelink, a program offered to families who meet various criteria by the Australian government, provides a substantial amount of financial support to households in need. However, depending on your circumstances, what you currently receive through Centrelink may not be enough to meet your financial obligations.
Luckily, there are ways to get more help even if you already receive Centrelink payments. Here’s what you need to know.
If you find yourself struggling financially, you may want to turn to the Australian government first to see if you can get additional assistance, especially if your family’s situation has recently changed. There are a wide variety of programs available, including some that pertain specifically to financial emergencies, and you may qualify for more funds that you did when you initially applied.
Additionally, there are a variety of benefits for which you may be eligible, such as Rent Assistance, Child Care Benefits or Rebates, or the Telephone Allowance. While these programs might not be cash in your pocket, they do offset certain costs, allowing you to use more of your money towards other expenses.
Calculate what you may be eligible for by using the Centrelink calculator and rate estimator.
Certain Centrelink recipients may also qualify for additional financial help from their state. These benefits are separate from Centrelink and, aside from being a resident of a particular area, have varying eligibility requirements.
For example, Victoria residents who are homeowners may qualify for mortgage relief, renovation loans, concessions, and other services. Private renters may be eligible for alternative programs. Other expenses, like educational costs, may also be covered by a form of state government support.
If you want to know if there are programs in your area, you’ll need to reach out to your local state office. Each state may have different forms of financial assistance, so one that is available in one area isn’t necessarily offered in another.
Charities and Non-Profits
If you are experiencing a short-term financial emergency, you might want to seek help from a charity or non-profit. Often, these organisations focus on acute stressors like food insecurity, inability to pay one’s bills, a medical crisis, or immediate housing issues. Each charity and non-profit can provide funds based on their larger mission, so they may be able to offer financial help in categories that aren’t covered by government programs.
Additionally, if funds aren’t available, they may be able to connect you with additional resources who can assist. This could include other non-profits or charities, as well as information about financial products for which you may qualify.
To determine what’s available, you’ll need to contact charities and non-profits that serve your area or that operate nationally in Australia. They will be able to provide you with additional details about the support they can offer and determine whether you qualify.
Learn about Centrelink loan partnerships here.
Typically, funds received from a non-profit or charity do not need to be paid back, making them an excellent solution if you can’t afford to take out a loan and meet the associated payment obligations. However, they may have limited funding, so support will only be rendered if the monies are available.