It can be extremely difficult to work out exactly what Centrelink benefits you are entitled to, plus the other payments and assistance available such as rent assistance, health care or pension card, one-off supplements, no interest loans, payments for children and more. Here I have attempted to compile a list of the most common Centrelink payments and extras. Read through all of them as you never know which ones will apply to you and in some cases, you may be eligible for small annual supplements on top of your fortnightly payments.
To compare rates, you can use the Centrelink Rate Estimator as a guide and as a way to compare your circumstances. It is not definitive but definitely helps. Alternatively, there is the payment finder which steps you through questions to find out what you are eligible for.
Depending on your circumstances, for example, if you are leaving family and domestic violence, you may be entitled to a crisis payment.
General ‘pensions’ or income payments from Centrelink
Here are the main fortnightly benefits or income supplements/pensions I found on the Centrelink site. Each link has extra resources and possible payments at the bottom of it:
Age Pension: applies if you are 65 years or older plus are below the income and asset limits. If you are eligible for this you may also be eligible for the Age Pension Loan Scheme and other payments (see further down) such as rent assistance, mobility assistance, a seniors or Commonwealth seniors card and more.
Widow Allowance: for women born on or before 1 July, 1955 and have become widowed, divorced or separated after the age of 40 with no recent work experience and meet the income/asset requirements.
Disability Support Pension: is notoriously hard to get. It is for those age 16+ who meet requirements.
Sickness Allowance: is a temporary payment for those unable to work due to medical issues for a period of time between the ages of 22 and 65.
ABStudy: is a payment for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians who are enrolled in an approved course or undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship and not receiving other income support payments.
Austudy: for Australians aged 25+ who are studying.
Parenting Payment: can be paid to either partnered or single couples, depending on income and age of children.
NewStart: is payable to job seekers between the ages of 22 and 65, provided you meet certain requirements.
Parental Leave Pay: is financial support for up to 18 weeks to help working parents care for a newborn or recently adopted child.
Youth Allowance: is for 16 to 24-year-olds who are full-time students or apprentices, looking for work or sick.
Carer Payment: is paid to those caring for someone who is disabled. There are numerous other payments you may be eligible for here.
Remote or rural payments: if you are remote you may be eligible for Remote Area Allowance and if you have children might be eligible for the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme if your child cannot attend school because of geographical isolation, disability or special needs. There are also payments for farmers and more assistance here.
Double Orphan Payment: helps with the costs of caring for orphaned children or children who are unable to be cared for by their parents.
Help for Visa holders: if you are in Australia on a visa, there are some payments available to you.
Supplements, one off payments and other benefits from Centrelink
Aside from the standard ‘pensions’, as in single or partnered parenting payment, carers payment, age pension, disability, Newstart etc, there are numerous other benefits you may be eligible for.
Rent assistance: if you rent or pay board, you may be eligible for a fortnightly payment to help with the cost of renting. If you own your own home, no assistance is available.
Family Tax Benefit: if you have children in your care you may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit A and Family Tax Benefit B.
Child Care Rebate and Benefit: these payments help with the cost of childcare and have limits, but can help significantly reduce the cost.
JET: is extra assistance for child care depending on your circumstances.
Carers Allowance: if you care for someone with higher needs, you may be eligible for the $124.70 fortnightly payment. For example, my daughters were diagnosed with an extreme learning disorder requiring a speech therapist and other treatment. I had to get their GP and 2 specialists (speech therapist and paediatrician) to fill in the forms then the payment was approved. It is not means tested.
Carers supplement: if you get the Carers Payment, Carers Allowance, Wife Pension, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Partner Service Pension with Carer Allowance or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Carer Service Pension, you may be eligible for a payment of up to $600 paid in July each year.
Low income family supplement: an annual $300 for eligible households.
Education Entry Payment: if you are on certain payments and start an approved course. The amount is $208, paid once a year.
Mobility Allowance: for those on disability, under certain circumstances.
Dad and Partner Pay: 2 weeks pay for dads or partners caring for a newborn or recently adopted child.
New Born Upfront Payment and NewBorn Supplement: this varies depending on your income and circumstances when you have a new born.
Pension Supplement: is paid to those on certain income support payments. It is between $35 and $65.10, depending on your circumstances.
Pensioner Concession Card/Health Care Card/Commonwealth Seniors Health Card: there are various cards which provide benefits depending on which payment you are on. A pension card offers the most discounts with things like registration, travel, electricity and more discounted or free, while a health care card often only offers reduced health care/medication. Check this post for a complete list of everything I know of you can be eligible for in terms of discounts and freebies. Not all apply to every card, it is worth asking each provider though and seeing if you are eligible. The post is a few years old and is being updated soon.
Student Start Up Loan: this loan is an interest-free loan for studying and you can get $1,035 twice a year, which must be repaid.
Child Dental Benefits: $1000 in dental assistance, under certain circumstances and for specific dental work like check-ups.
Continence Aids Payment: for anyone over 5 years of age with bowel and continence issues, under specific circumstances.
Stillborn Baby Payment: if you have a stillborn baby and earn under $60,000 you may be eligible.
Fares Allowance: a payment to help tertiary students travel to and from school.
Child Disability Assistance: an annual payment of up to $1,000 for each child in your care with a disability.
Catastrophic event/trauma/illness of a child under 7: if something happens such as a car accident, poisoning, cancer diagnosis etc. You may be eligible for up to $10,000.
Cleft lip or cleft palate: you may be eligible for assistance until you turn 28.
Energy Supplement: is paid automatically if you get an income payment, family tax benefit or are on a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program: if you are a woman who has had breast surgery you may be eligible for reimbursement.
Pharmaceutical Allowance: is paid with your regular income allowance.
Telephone Allowance: is paid quarterly to those receiving certain payments.
Utilities Allowance: applicable to those on disability support pension (and under 21 years old), partner allowance or widow allowance, it is paid automatically each quarter.
If I have missed any Centrelink payments, let me know. Each situation is different, this is designed as a guide to inform you of payments, supplements or extra assistance you might be eligible for and was correct at the time of being posted. As things change I will endeavour to update this page.
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