There are several government rule changes that have come into effect as of 1 January 2015. It’s important to make sure you’re aware how these may affect you.

 

School Kids Bonus

Eligible families were able to receive $422 for primary students and $842 for secondary students. The payment is now further being income tested, with family that earn combined incomes of over $100,000 no longer receiving the benefit.

Also, be aware that the School Kids Bonus is being phased out completely and will finish up in 2016.

 

Job seekers

If a job seeker misses their appointment with their employment service provider without giving notice of a valid reason they will immediately have their Centrelink payment suspended. Their payments will be reinstated when they attend an appointment.

 

Disability Support Pensions (DSP)

Applicants for the DSP will now have to be assessed by government-approved doctors.

Those travelling overseas used to be able to receive up to six weeks for each trip taken outside of Australia. This has now been capped at four weeks a year, irrespective of the number of trips.

 

Passports

The cost of a passport has increased to $250 for adults and $125 for children and Senior’s passports.

 

Partner visas

Australians will also face a 50 per cent increase in Partner Visa Application Charges from 1 January 2015.

 

Age Pension

Read our blog on how the new deeming rules for superannuation accounts may affect your eligibility for the age pension. Click here.


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