The Australian Social Welfare system is based on the sole classification of residency, but the eligibility criteria for the different types of welfare schemes may vary. The Australian government pays for the income support system out of the country’s general revenue. Migrants do not have access to receive such payments for four years after they arrive in the country.
Although the aged pension was first introduced in 1908, disability pension in 1910, and maternity welfare in 1912, still, the payment is only available for people with a long-prevailing condition. Australia has many different social welfare schemes than just aged pension and job seeker payment. There are categories for young people, all age study allowance, aboriginal students study support, career payment, etc.
Before the 1900s, charitable assistance in Australia was backed up by generous individuals or groups of the society. But often, such financial contributions weren’t enough to support the needy, who greatly depended on such relief allowances to support themselves. Hence in the 1890s, the economic depression gave rise to the trade unions, which further reformed the social welfare system of Australia. - Wikipedia
The Australian Social Welfare System is different from other systems around the world. In a sense, being funded by the general revenue saves the employees across the nation from an additional tax payment cut from their income. But, it entails stricter qualifying criteria of eligibility, which we’ll further discuss in this blog and shine a light upon the different types of welfare schemes and their effectiveness.
From students of all ages to the aged residents of the country, all are eligible for the social welfare payment by the Australian government. A few of the welfare schemes are:
All Australian residents aged above 65 are eligible to receive an age pension. The person applying for this payment must be an Australian citizen or an Australian resident for at least ten years.
Australian residents between 24 to 64 years can apply for a jobseeker’s payment. The government will support the individual, but they must actively participate in seeking employment or volunteer work.
Young people between the ages of 16-24 seeking employment or actively participating in other activities - education or training - that increase their employment prospects fall in this category.
The Family Law Act 1975 supports children's rights to be protected from harm and cultivate a meaningful relationship with their parents. Under this act, parents can apply for family tax benefits, child care support and school child bonuses. - Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department
Students above the age of 25 are eligible for Austudy payment. Under the Social Security Act 1991, all students of all ages above 25 will get government support/allowance to pursue their education.
It is the same as Austudy but specially curated for Aboriginal students. All indigenous students above 14 pursuing any form of secondary or tertiary education will be eligible to receive an allowance from the Australian government.
Also known as DSP, provides financial assistance for people suffering from long-term disabilities who can’t recover in the next two years, prevents them from participating in any form of employment and can receive support from the government.
Individuals suffering from illness or injury that prevents them from participating in employment and who can’t use or apply for paid leaves can apply for a sickness allowance.
There are various other allowances and support payments from the Australian Social Welfare System that the citizens can apply for, but the criteria may vary. The Australian government even provides additional payments like rent assistance, telephone allowance, family tax benefits, parent allowances, etc.
You may or may not be aware of all these allowances and schemes. But, learning these and following the latest updates is an absolute must for a humanities student. Humanities students are required to submit various reports, case studies, essays, and research papers for their assessment, and such require effective resource material. If you lack the same, you may fill out the enrolment form to get Humanities assignment help from subject-matter experts and free of cost academic resources.
The Covid crises greatly impacted people’s livelihoods greatly, and education and small to scale businesses were affected. The Australian government experienced a rise in jobseeker payments and successfully provided financial assistance to those with insecure jobs. Resulting in many being lifted above the poverty line.
As of March 2021, 5.5 million adults in Australia received income support from the government, over 2.5 million received age pension and more than 1.2 million received unemployment benefits. - AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)
A basic income was provided to almost all the employed adults to meet their daily needs and pay their expenses. Under the Coronavirus Assistance, many types of social welfare in Australia were provided; some of them are:
As reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2020, the increased payments were overwhelmingly beneficial for welfare recipients. The most disadvantaged groups could pay their debts and afford a better quality of life. Even people who were originally not eligible for such payments were drastically able to reduce their financial burden.
The Australian government’s social welfare system helped the masses, job seekers, small businesses, and the sick (suffering from Covid) get relief and support. The national financial budget for 2021-22 in Australia offered an investment of 41 billion AUD for economic support of the citizens at a loss due to the lockdown and restrictions. Since the surge in covid cases in 2020 till May 2021, the total relief payment reached 291 billion AUD.
Regardless of the effectiveness and the continuous improvements, the social welfare system in Australia seemed to have some gaps and need for reform. As extensively discussed in the Australian Institute of Family Studies research, the modern welfare system might be based on material needs rather than imperative and morals.
The Australian Social Welfare System has a structure that morally influences the citizens to believe that they have a moral responsibility to the less fortunate rather than letting them fend for themselves. Such moral obligations might not be the most justifiable but are the cohesion in society that fosters communities' bonds.
The Council of Social Service of Australia reports that over 60% of the unemployed population live below the poverty line and that attempts to tighten up the Dole requirements are considered morally repulsive. - Reforming the Australian welfare state December 2020
Also, the effective inclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in the social welfare schemes since 1980 has resulted in a shift in the community’s welfare. Still, the only reforms that the welfare schemes require are fragmentation/duplication issues and people's over-dependence on the welfare system.
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