This feature is used to search for welfare support and unclaimed cash and its use rose from 39,000 in the four weeks (up to 8 March) prior to the WHO declaring the disease outbreak a pandemic on 12 March, to 78,000 in the subsequent four weeks (to 5 April), CBA said in a statement on Tuesday.
The main things searched for using the Benefits feature in the four-week period in question were:
- Unclaimed money (34,000);
- Unclaimed super (7000);
- Power saver bonus (6300);
- Coronavirus and JobSeeker payments (5900);
- Family Tax Benefit (2800); and
- Rent assistance (2700).
The Benefits finder feature was added to the CBA's app and online in September last year and aims to help Australians locate money to which they are untitled but have not claimed. More than half-a-million claims have been started through the app since its launch, with 1.5 million people having had a look at it.
CBA Retail Banking Services group executive Angus Sullivan said: “The coronavirus crisis has created significant financial well-being challenges for our customers. We understand that many families are now making difficult choices to ensure they can meet their immediate needs while minimising the impact on their long-term financial security.
“In addition to the support we are providing directly with our own product and service changes, we are determined to help our customers claim as many benefits and rebates as possible to free up money for essential expenses and reduce their financial stress.
“We encourage everyone to see what else they may be eligible for; in some cases customers are missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars that could help them through difficult times.
“Tools like Benefits finder aim to simplify an often complex process, making it easier for customers to understand what they may be entitled to and reducing the complexity around submitting a claim. It’s one of the many ways we are helping to improve our customers’ financial well-being during this difficult and unprecedented time."
The Benefits feature was developed in collaboration with Harvard’s Sustainability, Accountability and Transparency Research Laboratory.