The services mentioned in this article are specific to Australians although most countries have similar services. This article should give you a good idea about similar services you should look for in your country if you live outside of Australia. This is a guest post, enjoy the post!
Retirement can be difficult for many seniors, as they try to keep up with their financial responsibility with less income coming in. These problems become even more difficult for low-income seniors. It is crucial that you understand the different governmental benefits that are available to you, as you head into your retirement years.
Many of these benefits can be used to offset your monthly bills, in order to avoid an unnecessary financial burden to you and your family. Here is a list of some of the benefits that you may be qualified for throughout your retirement.
If you are 65 years or older, you may be eligible to receive a regular payment of up to $751.70 per person, or $1,133.20 per couple per fortnight. You must meet income and residency requirements in order to qualify for age pension. The program is operated through the Department of Human Service. It is possible to work on a part-time basis and still qualify for Age Pension.
This is an additional amount that is offered to low-income seniors to help with everyday living expenses, such as internet service, phone services, and utility bills. This additional amount is including in your regular age pension payments, and can be as much as $61.70 for one person or $93.00 for a couple.
If you were eligible for pension benefits before 20 September 2009, but continued to work, you may be eligible for a special Pension Bonus. This is a one-time payment that is designed to reward those seniors who continued to work after their pension years.
Clean Energy Supplement
This supplement is available to all low-income families living in Australia and is designed to help offset the rise in carbon prices. For seniors already receiving Age Pension benefits, this extra supplemental payment will be added to your regular payments, and can be as high as $13.70 per person or $21.60 per couple.
Pensioner Concession Card
This card is available to all seniors who receive Age Pension payments. It provides seniors with a reduced rate on medications and other medical services, and free or reduced rates on transport and rail fares. Depending on your specific set of circumstances and annual income, you may also be eligible for a reduction or rebate on your water bills and energy bills.
Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS)
If you have fallen behind on your water, gas or electric bill, this hardship grant can help cover some of the costs to avoid your utilities being shut-off. Eligibility is based on your need and your income level. You can receive only one grant within a 12-month period.
If you are a senior and own real estate in Australia, you may be eligible for a pension loan. These loans are designed to help seniors who are struggling meeting their financial obligations because their money is tied up in their assets, typically their home. The real estate is used as collateral for these loans, but there is no set timeframe for when the loan must be paid back. In fact, it can be repaid upon your death and the sale of your property.
If you are a senior and concerned about your financial stability during your retirement years, please take the time to check to see if you qualify for any of these benefits. They can help lower your monthly out-of-pocket expenses and make it easier for you to meet your financial obligations each month. This can also help to reduce you overall stress level and help you enjoy your retirement years.