Being a low-income family is never easy; finding ways to make ends meet can feel like a never-ending challenge, making each day feel like a battle. But there are entitlement programs that are designed to alleviate some of the burdens.
Assistance in the forms of payments and benefits can offset some of the expenses associated with having a quality life.
To help you understand these low-income family entitlements more fully, here is an overview of what may be available to you.
Low-income families may be entitled to a variety of payments supported by the Australian government. These payments are designed to assist with expenses related to raising children, including looking after health issue.
Funds are available based on the presence of specific life events as well as general need. For example, payments may be available to families who have recently experience the birth of a child or completed an adoption. Tax benefits and parenting payments can reduce the out-of-pocket expenses associated with childrearing. Child care, educational, and health care benefits are also available to eligible families.
Family Tax Benefit
One of the most prominent tax benefits is the Family Tax Benefit. This entitlement helps lower tax liability for those providing care to eligible dependent children that meet specific income requirements.
Typically, income requirements are based on adjusted taxable income. Each family’s situation is unique, and eligibility may change from one year to the next, so it is important to review one’s qualifications for benefits on a regular basis.
Additionally, certain other points affect eligibility. For example, children must meet immunisation requirements, and children reaching age four must have a health check to qualify for Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement.
Another program for low-income families is the Low-Income Supplement. This Centrelink benefit provides a $300 annual payment based on the number of qualifying individuals in a particular household.
To help Aussies determine their potential eligibility, the Australian government has created a self-assessment tool. It will help determine whether you or your family qualifies based on information about your current financial circumstances, and can serve as a general point of guidance on eligibility for assistance.
Another entitlement category is Household Assistance. This includes payments and supplements to help with specific costs associated with running a household. For example, the energy supplement provides funds to offset energy costs, and the single income family supplement helps provide support to single income families, with at least one dependent child, who meets income requirements.
Beginning in 2012, the tax-free threshold was increased from $6,000 to $18,200. In fact, many citizens earning less than $80,000 receive some form of tax cut. Individuals or families with income below the threshold may not be required to lodge a tax return. Learn about different tax offsets here.
Other entitlements may also be available to individuals or families meeting other qualifications. For example, some households will qualify for carer benefits or disability benefits along with certain low-income family benefits. With that in mind, it is important to consider your entire situation to determine which options will work best for you and your family.
There are also numerous money assistance programs and services for those that need actual cash. Between the government and certain non-profits, you may be eligible for cash advances or loans.