Government support payments revealed


Pensioners, are you getting everything you’re entitled to? Here’s what you could be missing out on.

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Key Points


The complexity of government support payments can make it difficult for many pensioners to understand what concessions they can apply for. If you get the Age Pension, there are other payments, support and concessions you could be eligible for. Read on and take a look at the National Seniors Concessions Calculator to learn more.  

Advance payment


You may be able to get part of your Age Pension as an advance payment. You pay it back later out of your Centrelink payments. 

You can apply for an advance after at least three months getting the Age Pension, or one of these payments or some other payments including the Carer Payment and Disability Support Payment. 

You’re also not eligible for an advance if you are already repaying one received more than 12 months ago, owe a debt to the Australian Government, can’t afford to repay it within six months or you are located outside Australia.

What you can get 

There’s a limit on how much money can be advanced to you. The amount depends on what kind of payment you get. 

For people on the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment, in any six-month or 13-fortnight period you can only get one of the following: 

  • One advance at the highest amount. 

  • Up to two advances of smaller amounts. 

  • Three advances at the lowest amount. 

You can ask to have the amount paid all at once or in two instalments. 

The lowest and highest amounts change, along with pension amounts, every March and September. 

Your situation 

Lowest amount 

Highest amount 

You’re single 

$457.55 

$1,372.66 

You’re part of a couple 

$344.90 

$1034.70 

Carer Allowance


If you give additional daily care to someone, you may get Carer Allowance each fortnight. The person you care for must have one of these conditions: 

  • Have a disability 

  • Have a serious illness 

  • Be frail aged.

Essential Medical Equipment Payment


If you need help with energy costs, you may get an Essential Medical Equipment Paymenteach year. You can get this payment if you or the person you care for: 

  • Needs heating, cooling or certain equipment for medical needs 

Energy Supplement


If you get the Age Pension, you may be eligible to get an extra payment to help with your energy costs. The Energy Supplement is paid with your Age Pension each fortnight.

Pension Loans Scheme


If you need a little extra to live on each fortnight, you can apply for a voluntary non-taxable loan – but you must qualify for Age Pension and own a property to be eligible. Under the Pension Loans Scheme, you get a payment each fortnight and can pay it back at any time. The loan accrues compound interest each fortnight until you repay the loan in full. 

If you need a little extra to live on each fortnight, you can apply for a voluntary non-taxable loan – but you must qualify for Age Pension and own a property to be eligible. Under the Pension Loans Scheme, you get a payment each fortnight and can pay it back at any time. The loan accrues compound interest each fortnight until you repay the loan in full. 

To help with your bills and medicine costs, you may be able to access an extra Pension Supplement with your Age Pension. 

Remote Area Allowance


If you live in an identified remote area you may be able to get a Remote Area Allowanceeach fortnight. 

Rent Assistance


If you are renting, you may be eligible for Rent Assistancewith your Age Pension to help with this cost. 

You can also be entitled to claim for other payments depending on your situation. Read more about payments for older Australians on the Services Australia website.

Concessions


If you get the Age Pension, you’ll also get a Pensioner Concession Card, which gives you cheaper: 

  • Health care 

  • Medicine 

  • Some other discounts in your community. 

Read more about the benefits of this card

Support


Centrelink has support services you may be interested in, including:  

  • Centrepay – a free and voluntary service to pay bills and expenses as regular deductions from your Age Pension. 

  • Financial Information Service – informs and educates you about financial matters. 

  • Grandparent Advisers – helps grandparents and non-parent carers who provide ongoing care for children. 

  • Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre – provides information on available government payments and services for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians. 

  • Multicultural Service Officers– connects migrant and refugee communities with government services. 

  • Rent Deduction Scheme – helps you pay your public housing rent straight from your Age Pension. 

  • Social work services – connects those going through a difficult time with social workers who can help them.  

  • Tax Deduction Service – helps you with paying tax on your Age Pension. 

  • Work Bonus – helps eligible pensioners earn more income from working without reducing their Age Pension.  

How to easily find out what concessions you’re entitled to


Concessions can be difficult to find but we have done the hard work for you by bringing all the savings into one easy-to-use website – the National Seniors Australia Concessions Calculator.  

The calculator is your complete guide to money-saving concessions offered by state and territory governments. It has already helped thousands of seniors across the country to get more dollars back in their pocket.  

Explore the Concessions Calculator