Frequently Quoted Inaccuracy #5: Refugees receive more welfare benefits than Australian citizens

It is interesting that the Federal Government provides a Single Refugee with a monthly allowance of $1,890.00 and each can also get an additional $580. 00 in social Assistance, For a total of $2,470.00. Family of 4 receive $9,880.00 per month. Family of 4 receive yearly $118,685

A single Australian pensioner who, after contributing to the growth and development of Australia for 40 to 50 years, receives only a monthly maximum of $1,012.00 in old age pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Maybe our pensioners should apply as refugees! [1]

Refugees (those whose have been recognised by DIAC as refugees and given permanent residency), are entitled to the same benefits as other permanent residents and citizens of Australia, however the normal waiting periods between the granting of permanent residency and eligibility for some benefits are waived.[2] Assistance with finding accommodation and information about services in Australia as well as some  short term trauma counselling in Australia is provided through the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy, which aids refugees for approximately six months, although that can be extended in special circumstances.[3]

For an excellent, and short, report on this topic, see Media Watch’s episode entitled Refugees and Welfare.

[1] An e-mail circulated throughout Canada, Australia and the United States. For examples, see:;

[2] Luke Buckmaster, ‘Australian Government assistance to refugees: fact v fiction’ (2009) Parliamentary Library Background Note, p. 2. <> at 17 August 2010.

[3] Ibid.



Filed under Frequently Quoted Inaccuracies (FQIs)

15 responses to “Frequently Quoted Inaccuracy #5: Refugees receive more welfare benefits than Australian citizens

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