The purpose of Centrelink's allowances is to provide additional money for people with assets and income below a certain level. Allowances are designed to help people who are not eligible to claim the Age Pension, but their circumstances mean they require assistance.
Each allowance has special requirements you must satisfy before you are eligible. These requirements should be obtained from Centrelink directly.
Once you have met the special requirements, your current level of wealth is assessed to determine if you can receive a payment. You are also assessed based on:
- Whether you are single or a member of a couple,
- Whether you own your own home,
- Whether you have children.
If you are eligible for an allowance, you will receive a fortnightly payment up to the maximum rate.
In addition to the applicable allowance, you may also receive a fortnightly pharmaceutical allowance. You may also be eligible for Rent Assistance if you are currently renting.
How am I assessed?
To receive a payment, you must meet both an assets and an income test. Both tests are applied to your circumstances, and the test that results in the lowest payment will be used.
The assets test
To receive an allowance, the value of your assets must fall below a certain level. If the value of your assets is above this level, you will not receive a payment.
The income test
For Centrelink Allowances, the income test works differently to the assets test. If your income is below a minimum level, you qualify for a full allowance. If your income is above the upper level, you will not receive a payment. If your income falls between these two levels, you will receive a part payment.
The deeming rules apply to your financial investments. Rather than use the actual income that you receive, Centrelink uses an assumed rate of income and applies this to your investments. Centrelink counts things like cash in your bank accounts, shares, term deposits, and superannuation savings (if over age pension age), as financial investments.
When will I receive my allowance?
The final step when applying for a Centrelink Allowance is the waiting period. Centrelink makes you wait a period of time before they will start paying you. The length of time you have to wait depends on your situation. You will not receive any payments until all waiting periods that apply to you have been satisfied.
Every person who applies for a Centrelink, Newstart or Sickness Allowance must serve the Ordinary Waiting Period of one week. There are also two other waiting periods that can apply. These can be served concurrently, but will be added to the one week Ordinary Waiting Period.
NB: As an extra service we provide, you can also search the Centrelink website from our site by typing keywords into the eWombat search facility in the right hand panel - quicker and easier than going to the Centrelink site itself.
For further information on each of these payments and whether you may be eligible, please call 03 9542 3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way.