Income Management

Income Management is a tool that helps people budget their welfare payments and ensures they are getting the basic essentials of life, such as food, housing, electricity and education. Improved control of their finances helps people to stabilise their lives so they can better care for themselves and their children. It can also support them to join or return to the workforce.

From 17 March 2021, Income Management participants in the Cape York region in Queensland were transitioned to the Cashless Debit Card. Income Management participants in the Northern Territory are able to choose to transition to the Cashless Debit Card. More information on the Cashless Debit Card.

Where does Income Management operate?

Income Management operates in different forms across Australia. A person can only start on the program if they live in one of these locations. However, if they move away from an Income Management location, they may choose, or be required, to remain on the program.

How does Income Management work?

A proportion of a person’s welfare payment is income managed and directed towards meeting basic needs such as food, clothing, housing and utilities.

Income Management does not change how much a person receives, it just changes the way they receive part of their welfare payment. People participating in Income Management receive the rest of their payments in the usual way.

People can spend their income managed funds by organising direct payments to people or businesses such as stores, landlords, or utility providers, and by using the BasicsCard.

Who is Income Management for?

Income Management is for people who are on income support payments, live in an Income Management location, and who would benefit from assistance in managing their budget. There are different ways people go onto Income Management which are called measures.

These measures are:

Voluntary measure - People who volunteer to go onto Income Management have 50 per cent of their income support payments income managed.

Vulnerable measure – This measure is aimed at helping vulnerable youth or at-risk individuals and their families to manage their income support and family assistance payments more effectively. People on the vulnerable measures have 50 per cent of their income support payments income managed.

Child Protection measure - Income Management is an additional tool for child protection authorities to ensure income support payments are spent in the best interest of children and families. Child protection authorities can refer a person for Child Protection Income Management where 70 per cent of a person’s income support payments are income managed.

Supporting People at Risk measure - Currently the Supporting People at Risk measure is being used by the Northern Territory Registrar of the Banned Drinker Register for people needing help with alcohol abuse. People who are referred by the Registrar have 70 per cent of their income support payments income managed.

Long Term Welfare Payment Recipients and Disengaged Youth measures (Northern Territory only) - People in the Northern Territory who have been out of work or study for some time, go onto these measures and have 50 per cent of their income support payments income managed.

Cape York Welfare Reform and Doomadgee - Income Management participants in Cape York and Doomadgee transitioned to the Cashless Debit Card on 17 March 2021.

More information

Centrelink contacts for Income Management

For more information, you can:

  • Go to Income Management - Services Australia
  • Talk to your local Services Australia (Centrelink) Income Management Contact Officer
  • Or call the Income Management Line (for customers only) on 1800 132 594.

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