Income management - Experiences from Western Australia

Uploaded by fahcsia on 05.07.2012

Income management is a tool that gives people the opportunity to get their lives on
track by improving their financial management skills.
It has been available in the Northern Territory,
Cape York and in Western Australia.
In WA, more than 1,300 people are on income management
the vast majority with positive stories to tell.
It's the best thing I have ever done.
Dont be frightened because there is nothing to be frightened of.
It is actually very, very beneficial.
They're not going to take all your money, it's only a certain
amount that they'll put in the BasicsCard for you.
The money that Centrelink keep goes to my mortgage,
my electricity bill, phone bill,
goes into my BasicsCard so I can do shopping.
I want to get a fridge or something from Harvey Norman or wherever.
He said, Just go there and ask for a business card
and just phone up the income management and
they would take all the details and what I want from there
and they will just fax through all the
information and they will fax it back through
so they will get the money.
As part of the Australian Government's
Building Australia's Future Workforce package
income management is being extended to five locations,
chosen because of their unemployment levels
youth unemployment, skill gaps
the number of people receiving
welfare payments and so on.
How do we know that the income management program works?
We came as government representatives to ask
them what they thought about income
management and how it might work for them and they were very positive.
In 2010, ORIMA research did an independent
evaluation of income management in
WA which was overwhelmingly positive.
About 80 per cent of people said that they had found the Income Management helped
them and helped their family and friends.
Income management comprises a number of measures
Voluntary income management
Child protection
and the vulnerable measure.
A person can be referred to income management if they
receive relevant income support and family assistance payments and
live in an income managed location and have volunteered to participate or
if they have been referred by a child protection worker or
have been referred by a Centrelink social worker.
We find in WA in particular that most people actually volunteer for it.
We have some which are elderly and disabilities that want
to go on it so they dont have to worry about their payments.
One of the clients that I work with, she's told all her friends
and they have asked their case workers to put them on
it because there is no stress associated with the money then.
Since its introduction income management
has been the subject of myths and misinformation.
One common fallacy is that individuals
being income managed will not have access to their cash.
In fact those on voluntary management
have unconditional access to 50 per cent of
their entitlement and those on compulsory management
to either 50 or 30 per centdepending on the circumstance.
Far from feeling controlled, the most common experience is to feel in control.
Cause I was placed on the income management
I started having more like control and getting control of my life again.
It does start taking the pressure and the worry away
from you trying to find or manipulate your money to pay for these.
I'm in front on three of my bills I'm in credit.
And the other one Ive got $12 owing which is going to be
paid this week and that will be the end of that one.
Myth that a person must stay on income management
for as long as they receive a Centrelink or family assistance payment.
In fact, the term is between three and 12 months in most cases.
Those who volunteer are free to leave the program at any time after 13 weeks.
But many choose to stay much longer.
Income management's not going to solve every problem but it's going to be one of a
range of different tools and services that are going to help
a person through the tough times to be able to then cope on their own.
One of the tools that we might use with families is Compulsory Income Management
where we think that one of the things that will improve the safety and the wellbeing
the children is if the parents' income is managed and they can receive that assistance
to allocate their funds better.
Financial counselling and income management work hand in hand.
It's a brilliant program together.
And that's providing people with financial
counselling and money management
services so they can build their financial capacity
and hopefully move off income
management and they don't need it anymore.
In the five sites, we're also providing communities
for children services recognising that
some people need some more parenting support
or early childhood support with their children.
Income management is helping people of all types
and in all sorts of situations.
Find out more at, or
Talk to your local Centrelink office,
or call the income management line on 132 594.