Temporary pause lifted on new Cashless Debit Card participants

The temporary pause on new income support recipients going on to the Cashless Debit Card program, which was put in place in response to COVID-19, has been lifted.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the pause, which came into effect on 26 March 2020, had supported Services Australia to assist a record number of Australians coming on to welfare payments during the pandemic.

"Now that the number of Australians coming on to social security payments has returned to pre-pandemic levels it is appropriate to lift the pause," Minister Ruston said.

"Community leaders and stakeholders support the lift of the pause to ensure new income support recipients are spending their social security payments on the essentials."

The lift of the temporary pause will enable Australians who have come on to eligible income support payments in the Cashless Debit Card sites to commence on to the program, giving them access to a wide-range of support services and a card with the technology of a regular bank card.

The Government will implement a staggered approach to ensure income support recipients who are new to the Cashless Debit Card program can get the support they need during their transition.

The Cashless Debit Card works like a regular bank card and gives participants access to payWave, BPAY, online shopping, recurring deductions and the ability to transfer funds between Cashless Debit Card accounts.

The Cashless Debit Card does not change the amount of money participants receive. It only changes the way in which people can spend their fortnightly payments.

Further information is available on the Department of Social Services website.