Benefits & Payments
Information on benefits and payments managed by the Department can be read in the following areas of this website:
- Rates and Indexation
- Families and Children
- Housing Support
- Disability and Carers
- Working age
The following are a range of benefits and payments that can apply to a wide range of people at different points in their lives.
General concessions, allowances and supplements available
- Crisis payment
Crisis Payment helps if you are in severe financial hardship because you have been forced to leave your home and find a new home because of an extreme event like domestic violence or your house burning down.
- Bereavement payment
Bereavement payment helps make it easier for you to adjust to changed financial circumstances after the death of someone you know, or cared for, if you are in receipt of an eligible pension, benefit or allowance.
- Pensioner Education Supplement
The Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) helps pensioners and certain allowees undertake full-time or part-time study.
- Commonwealth Rent Assistance
Rent Assistance is a non-taxable income supplement payable to eligible people who rent in the private rental market or community housing. Pensioners, allowees and those receiving more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A may be eligible for Rent Assistance.
- Concession and health cards
The Australian Government's main purpose in issuing concession cards is to provide access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescription items, and certain Medicare services, at a cheaper rate.
- Utilities Allowance
Utilities Allowance is a supplementary allowance to help certain income support recipients with utilities bills, such as electricity and gas.
- Pharmaceutical allowance
Pharmaceutical Allowance helps eligible income support recipients buy prescription medicines available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
- Telephone Allowance
Telephone allowance assists certain income support recipients with the cost of maintaining a home or mobile telephone service.
- Remote area allowance
Remote Area Allowance helps to meet additional costs associated with residence in remote areas. It is payable to recipients of a social security pension, allowance or benefit in Ordinary Tax Zone A (including, with certain exceptions, Special Tax Zone A) and Special Tax Zone B.
- Energy Supplement
The Energy Supplement provides assistance with household expenses, including energy costs to pensioners and income support recipients. Since 20 March 2017, Energy Supplement is only paid to Family Tax Benefit recipients and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders who have been continuously receiving the Energy Supplement from 19 September 2016.
- Essential Medical Equipment Payment
The Essential Medical Equipment Payment of $147 per year is available to assist eligible people who have additional costs in home energy as a result of the need to operate essential medical equipment in their home, or medically required heating/cooling, to manage their disability or medical condition.
Independent, free and confidential education and information service available to everyone in the community. Available by phone, appointment and through seminars.
What is Centrepay?
Centrepay is a voluntary bill-paying service which is free for Centrelink customers. Through Centrepay, a customer can authorise the department to deduct regular amounts from their welfare payments to pay their bills to an approved Centrepay business.
Do Centrelink customers have to use Centrepay?
No. Centrelink customers can choose if they wish to use Centrepay to pay their bills and ongoing expenses like rent, gas, electricity, water and phone, as well as other household costs, as it is voluntary.
Does it cost anything to use Centrepay?
Centrepay is free to Centrelink customers. Businesses pay a transaction fee (including GST) to the department for each successful deduction paid to them. This fee must not be passed on to the customer.
What are the objectives of Centrepay?
The objective of Centrepay is to assist Customers in managing expenses, which are consistent with the purposes of their welfare payments, and reducing financial risk, by providing a facility to have regular Deductions made from their welfare payments.
For further information on Centrepay refer to the Centrelink website.