Widow Allowance from 1995

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Widow Allowance introduced

Widow Allowance (WA) paid to women who were no longer partnered, or who became separated, divorced or widowed after turning 50 years of age and who had little or no recent workforce experience. WA paid under same rates and conditions and income and assets tests as Job Search Allowance (JSA) and Newstart Allowance (NSA). WA not activity tested and no job searching required. Recipients eligible for certain labour market assistance, Employment Entry Payment and Education Entry Payment.


Eligibility extended to women aged 50 years or more who had been widowed after turning 40 years of age.


GST compensation

Allowances rates increased as part of a package of measures to compensate for impact of GST introduction. An increase of four per cent paid to all recipients. Indexation provisions adjusted so that half of four per cent increase was an advance on whatever rate increase occurred in March 2001. This left an effective long-term increase of two per cent in allowance rate.


WA phased out

WA being phased out from 1 July 2005, with new grants from this date only made to women born on or before 1 July 1955.


Income management

Allowances could be subject to income management in Northern Territory and Cape York. Income management involved diversion of 50 per cent of a recipient’s income support into an account that could only be drawn on to pay for priority needs, such as food, clothes and rent.


Abolition of Employment Entry Payment for long-term unemployed recipients moving into full-time work.


Recipients received economic security strategy payments of $1400—part of the Economic Security Strategy to boost the economy after the GFC.


Definition of ‘member of a couple’ changed to include same-sex couples.


Disadvantaged income support recipients able to receive payments weekly rather than fortnightly.


Clean Energy Advance paid to compensate those receiving allowances for expected impact of Carbon Tax.

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