The following mentions domestic violence. If this topic brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
This year, somewhere in this 'lucky' country of ours, a mother named Lilly finally had enough money to make a birthday cake for her six-year-old son.
A woman named Angie could afford to buy her sister a takeaway coffee to celebrate the remission of her breast cancer.
Kay had the means to keep spare life-saving asthma medication on hand for her boys.
Hope could afford heating for the first time in four years.
J didn't have to go dumpster diving for food.
And C and her two young children could escape domestic violence, because she could afford petrol in the car, medical items, and fresh food. In 2020, for the first time in a long time, she didn't have to choose between safety and hunger.
The hidden numbers of domestic violence (Post continues below).
These Australians are all recipients of the $550 Coronavirus Supplement, a fortnightly boost to certain income support payments including JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, the Parenting Payment, and Sickness Allowance.
The supplement, introduced by the Federal Government on March 23 at an estimated cost of $14.1 billion, is among a number of social security measures designed to curb the financial impact of the pandemic.
In the case of the JobSeeker payment (formerly known as Newstart), for example, the rate has close to doubled, from just $565.70 per fortnight for singles to $1,115.70. That's a jump from $40 per day to close to $80.
For many, that's life-changing; for some, potentially life-saving.
Yet come September 24, it may be revoked.
550 Reasons to Smile.
Though we are still well and truly in the grips of the pandemic, the Coronavirus Supplement was implemented with an expiry date of just six months.
An online campaign, spearheaded by CEO of the National Council of Single Mothers & their Children, Terese Edwards, and Nikita Radford, a Masters of Public Health candidate at Flinders University, is urging the Government to maintain the boosted welfare rates beyond the slated cut-off.
It's called 550 Reasons to Smile, and it invites Coronavirus Supplement recipients to share photographs and messages that capture the real-world impact of the additional payment.