Hundreds more are now seeking financial assistance
The number of people on financial assistance has nearly doubled in the past seven years, and the amount theyre receiving has dramatically increased.
Government figures show 1,375 people are claiming assistance, up from 1,350 last year, and a rise of 94 percent from the 714 who claimed in 2005/6.
The average monthly payout is now $1,855, up from $1,110 in 2005/6, an increase of 67 percent.
These figures are in addition to the 390 people currently claiming an average $775 child day care allowance, although the number claiming that benefit has decreased from 600 in 2009/10.
Seniors and disabled people make up the majority of those on financial assistance. About 38 percent are seniors and another 38 percent are people with temporary or permanent disabilities.
Fourteen percent are employed people who dont earn enough to make ends meet, while the remaining ten percent are able-bodied unemployed people.
To qualify for financial assistance, a familys income must be less than its living costs. The amount they get is calculated by the simple formula of subtracting their income from their expenses.
For more information on financial assistance, call 297-7600 or 295-5151, extension 1608.
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