While there are many different Centrelink payments and entitlements available, in this flyer we have outlined the criteria for the most common allowances, pensions and benefit cards.
The age pension is available to eligible individuals who have attained age pension age. Currently this is 65 years for both males and females.
From 1 July 2017, the age pension age increases incrementally for both males and females until it reaches age 67 on 1 July 2023. This is illustrated according to the following table.
|Date of birth between||Age eligible for age pension|
|1 July 1952 and 31 December 1953||65½|
|1 January 1954 and 30 June 1955||66|
|1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956||66½|
|From 1 January 1957||67|
The age pension is subject to both the Centrelink income and assets tests.
This allowance can assist you financially whilst you are out of work.
To qualify for Newstart allowance all of the following criteria must be met:
Although individuals between the age of 55 and 64 can meet their obligation of seeking full time work by working voluntarily, they will not have to participate in the ‘work for the dole scheme’ compared to those individuals who are younger. Voluntary work is defined as work that benefits the community and which you don’t profit from financially.
Newstart allowance is subject to both the Centrelink income and assets tests.
This allowance is paid to the main carer of a child. Only one parent or guardian can receive the payment.
The Parenting Payment is subject to both income and assets tests, so the amount you may receive depends on your situation.
Residency requirements also apply. To qualify, you generally need to be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day on which you lodge your claim. You must be:
This fortnightly allowance is available to an individual who cares for a person who is disabled or has a severe medical condition that requires added attention.
To qualify you must satisfy both of the conditions below:
Carer Allowance is not subject to the Centrelink assets or income tests and is not taxable.
Disability Support Pension (DSP) can be of assistance if you have a disability that prohibits you from working.
To assess your eligibility, a report from your doctor or specialist about your disability, injury or illness will be required. You may also need to have a job capacity assessment.
If you live with your parent(s), their assets and income levels will not be taken into consideration. You may also be able to qualify for pharmaceutical allowance.
This allowance can assist you to purchase the prescription medications you require, and is included as a non-taxable payment. The medicines available are outlined in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
You may qualify for the Pharmaceutical Allowance if you are currently receiving:
If you are eligible for Centrelink payments, you may also be eligible for a health care card, which provides you with discounted medication, health care, public transport and energy and water bills. Be aware that the benefits can vary from state to state and some of these extra concessions are also available to dependants.
Although the HCC is linked to Centrelink allowances, payments or benefits which may be subject to the Centrelink assets or income test, the HCC itself isn’t subject to the tests.
To qualify you must meet the following criteria:
The Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) provides you and your dependants with the following benefits:
Entitlements may also include:
To qualify you must:
You don’t have to be receiving a full pension to qualify for a PCC, but you have to be continuously receiving at least one of the particular social security payments for a minimum of nine months.
The CSHC is targeted at self-funded retirees of age pension age who do not qualify for an age pension because of their asset and/or income assessment.
To qualify, you must:
Adjusted taxable income (ATI) – DefinitionFrom 1 January 2015, the ATI for your tax year will be the sum of your:
The CSHC provides holders with access to discounted pharmaceuticals through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In addition, CSHC holders might also benefit from other concessions such as medical bulk billing, household transport, education and entertainment facilities.
If you have limited means and pay rent to a private landlord for accommodation, you may qualify for rent assistance. Rent assistance is paid in addition to pensions, allowances, benefits or Family Payment that you may receive.
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