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.

Entrance to the Income Management program closed on 3 September 2023. From 4 September 2023, existing participants are able to choose to move to enhanced Income Management or remain on Income Management. All newly eligible participants are placed directly on enhanced Income Management.

Where does Income Management operate?

Income Management still operates in different forms across Australia in the following locations:

  • Northern Territory
  • Bankstown, New South Wales
  • Logan, Rockhampton and Livingstone, Queensland
  • Playford, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yakunytatjara (APY Lands) and Greater Adelaide, South Australia
  • Ngaanyatjarra (NG Lands), Kiwirrkurra Community, Kimberley Region, Perth Metropolitan and Peel District, Western Australia
  • Greater Shepparton, Victoria

Prior to 4 September 2023, a person started on the program if they lived in one of these locations. If they moved away from an Income Management location, they were able to choose, or could be required, to remain on the program.

For more information on how to move to enhanced Income Management or the SmartCard:

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, lived in an Income Management location prior to 4 September 2023, 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 in an Income Management location 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.

More information

Centrelink contacts for Income Management

For more information, you can:

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