From the 20th March 2023, recipients of Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment can expect an increase of $37.50 a fortnight for singles and $56.40 a fortnight for couples combined.
Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, said the Government is doing what they can to support Australians in need. “Australia’s social security system exists to support our most vulnerable citizens, and we know they are feeling the pinch,” Minister Rishworth said.
An estimated 230,000 Western Australians provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who requires help due to illness, disability, mental health challenges, frail age or other drug related conditions.
Although caring for a loved one is a vital and rewarding role, it often has a significant impact on the financial wellbeing of the carer. The difficulties of the pandemic and rising costs of living have added further hardships and pressure to the carers in our community. Research from the 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey, indicated that carers were 1.7 times more likely to experience significant financial stress compared to other Australians. In 2022 alone, 54.4% of carers experienced at least one significant financial stress event in the previous 12 months, such as being unable to pay bills on time, going without meals, or having to ask for financial assistance, compared to 32.2% of Australian adults.
The increase is not nearly enough to compensate for the work that carers do, but it may provide some short-term relief for those who need it most.