Five million Aussies to get $500 handout
About 5.1 million Australians can expect to receive two $250 payments under a Bill passed through parliament on Wednesday.
Those eligible for the handout include aged and disability pensioners, veterans, people on carer payments and family tax benefit recipients.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holders and pensioner concession cardholders are also eligible.
The Economic Support Payments, originally unveiled as part of this year's budget, are set to be paid progressively from November 30, 2020, and the second payment from March 1, 2021.
The payments are set to support more than 2.5 million pensioners and about 400,000 self-funded retirees with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
The handouts will also help support more than a million people with disabilities and their carers as well as 760,000 low-income families.
National Seniors Australia has previously advised self-funded retirees to check their eligibility for the handout.
The country's peak consumer group for older Australians said tens of thousands of self-funded retirees may be under the impression they don't qualify for the CSHC when in fact they do.
To qualify, an individual must have reached the pension age and meet an income test. They also need to not be receiving any payments from Veterans Affairs and are an Australian resident living in Australia.
To meet the income test, individuals or couples must earn below the following thresholds: $55,808 for singles; $89,290 for couples; or $111,616 for couples who are separated by illness, respite care or prison.
Australians have until November 27 to find out if they are eligible to receive the first $250 payment.
National Seniors chief advocate Ian Henschke previously said in a statement that self-funded retirees "are among the hardest hit" by COVID and "could really do with some extra cash in their pockets going into Christmas".
"I urge all self-funded retirees who are not CSHC holders to at least check the eligibility criteria and apply before the November 27 deadline," he said.
Originally published as Five million Aussies to get $500 handout