A recent ANU study has found that unemployment benefits are not enough for recipients to afford basic needs, according to an abc.net.au news article posted on 23rd August 2017 by David Coady. Basic standard of living costs (including food and energy bills) exceeded welfare payments by $47 to $126 per week, according to the study. ACOSS says the “Newstart allowance hasn’t been increased in over two decades in real terms”. To see the article, click here.
Berkeley Vale Neighbourhood Centre and our sister Centre Bateau Bay Neighbourhood Centre are Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) providers. The EAPA Scheme, currently run by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, helps people experiencing a short term financial crisis or emergency to pay their electricity or natural gas bill. The scheme helps people stay connected to essential energy services during a financial crisis. To find out more about EAPA and other available energy rebate programs, go to our Services Page and look under ‘EAPA’.
Rebate Increase Update 4/9/17: The NSW Government has just announced changes to the Energy Account Payment Assistance (EAPA) program and the energy rebates. For EAPA, the new limits are up to 6 vouchers ($300) per bill and up to 12 vouchers ($600) per year for both electricity and gas accounts. Information about the other rebate changes, which will be implemented ‘as early as possible’ is shown below.
|Rebate||Current rate pa||New rate pa|
|Low income Household Rebate||$235||$285|
|Family Energy Rebate||$150
($15 part payment)
($20 part payment)
|Life Support Rebate||up to $1120||up to $1320|
|Medical Energy Rebate||$235||$285|
|Energy Accounts Payment Assistance
|5 x $50 vouchers per bill claim, max twice per year (total $500 annually)||6 x $50 vouchers per bill claim , max twice per year (total $600 annually)|