Place-Based Income Management

Income management started on 1 July 2012 as part of a trial of new approaches to tackle entrenched disadvantage in the Building Australia’s Future Workforce package.

As part of this package, a targeted model of income management has been introduced in five Local Government Areas:

  • Bankstown (New South Wales)
  • Logan (Queensland)
  • Rockhampton (Queensland)
  • Playford (South Australia)
  • Greater Shepparton (Victoria)

Why these locations?

These sites were chosen based on a number of factors including unemployment levels, youth unemployment, skills gaps, the numbers of people receiving welfare payments, and the length of time people have been on income support payments.

Who does it apply to?

In the trial sites, income management may apply to:

  • People who volunteer for income management
  • people referred for income management by state child protection authorities
  • People assessed by a Centrelink social worker as being vulnerable to financial crisis
  • People who are placed on the Vulnerable Welfare Recipient Measure, because they are:
    • under 16 years of age and receiving the Special Benefit payment, or
    • receiving the Unreasonable To Live at Home independent rate of payment for youth allowance, disability support payment, or ABSTUDY, or
    • under the age of 25, and receives a Crisis Payment due to prison release.

How does it work?

Income management does not change the amount of payment a person receives. It just changes the way that they receive part of their payment. People participating in income management receive the balance of their payments in the usual way.

Income management works by ensuring that part of the person’s payment is allocated to pay for priority items such as food, housing, clothing, utilities, education and medical care. Centrelink assists people on income management to identify their expenses and helps them adjust their allocations as required.

Income management limits expenditure of income support payments on excluded items, including alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and gambling. There is no restriction on how a person can use the proportion of their payments that are not income managed.

What percentage of a person’s Centrelink payment/s is income managed?

A person on income management generally has fifty per cent of their regular income support and family assistance payments income managed. Under child protection income management, seventy per cent of peoples’ income support payments are income managed.

100 per cent of lump sums and advance payments are income managed.

How can people spend their money?

People can spend their income managed funds in the following ways:

  • by allocating money to the BasicsCard, which can be spent at various stores for items such as food, clothing, petrol, health and hygiene products
  • asking Centrelink to make payments from their income management account for regular expenses such as rent and bills, school meals programs and payments to community stores
  • asking Centrelink to make one-off payments to stores and
  • if their priority needs have been met, allocate income managed funds to items that are not priority needs (as long as they are not excluded items). This means people can plan ahead to buy larger items such as motor vehicles or whitegoods with their income managed funds.

Income managed funds cannot be used to purchase excluded goods, including alcohol, home brew kits, home brew concentrates, tobacco products, pornographic material and gambling goods and activities.

What other support services do people receive?

Income management is one of a range of supports available to help stabilise a person’s situation. Other support, such as financial counselling and money management skills training, are also available to people on income management. They can use these services and seek a priority referral upon request from Centrelink.

For more information:

  • go to
  • talk to your local Department of Human Services—Centrelink Income Management Contact Officer
  • call the Income Management Line (for customers only) on 1800 132 594
  • call Indigenous services on 1800 136 380.

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