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Overview of social security

SOCIAL Security assistance is provided by various Australian Government departments, including Centrelink and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

They provide both long-term and short-term help to people who need financial support.

Centrelink is a major source of income support for those in need and makes a range of payments to people in a variety of situations.

The issues in this social security section of technical reference refer mainly to benefits provided by Centrelink.

Some payments, such as the age pension and disability support pension, give long-term financial support.

Payments such as Newstart Allowance and Sickness Allowance provide assistance for shorter periods of time.

Other payments such as Family Tax Benefit, Parts A & B assist with the cost of raising children.

Each benefit or payment Centrelink provides has its own set of conditions.

For example, the payment of Age Pension depends on a client's age, how long they have lived in Australia and the level of income and assets they have.

Payment amounts are subject to certain criteria, such as the assets and income test.

If a client's assets or income extend outside the threshold rates, then they will not be entitled to the relevant Centrelink benefits.

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