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  • 13 Government Assistance and Income
  • Centrelink
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This chapter provides information on the types of financial assistance available to individuals and families as well as detailing how to appeal a decision and the compensation and damages that may be available.


We would like to thank Michael Freedman and Rehana Chowdry, Senior Solicitors, Victorian Legal Aid, for contributing this chapter through the Fitzroy Law Handbook Online. A particular thanks to the Fitzroy Legal Service for permission to reproduce this chapter here. Note: Rates of pensions and...


Please refer to Centrelink for the most up to date information. No information on this website is legal advice nor can we guarantee that it is the most recent information. For any and all enquiries in relation to social security please call or visit a Centrelink office.


Unless otherwise stated, the section numbers in this chapter refer to the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) ("SSA"). Social security law is also found in the: Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) ("SSA Act"); Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999 (Cth); A New T...

Allowances and Payments

This chapter still needs a description to be added

Concession Cards

Health Care Card The Health Care Card is automatically issued to those receiving a social security allowance or benefit including those receiving the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit (A) and those receiving Carer Allowance for a child with a disability. Parents who have a child with a disab...

Crisis Payment and Rent Assistance

Crisis Payment A person may be eligible for a payment in particular situations if they are in severe financial hardship and have just come out of confinement, are recently homeless in some situations (such as domestic violence) or have just arrived in Australia on a humanitarian visa or another ...

International Agreements and Portability

Formal agreements exist between Australia and Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hellenic Republic, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macedonia, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, S...

Compensation and Damages Payment

Compensation payments (Part 3.14 and section 17) are treated differently under social security law. Section 17 (SSA) defines "compensation" for social security purposes. To be considered "compensation" for social security purposes the payment must include a component for economic loss and Centrel...

Income Tax and Overpayments

Income Tax Pensions Some pension payments form part of the pensioner's taxable income. These are: Age Pension; Disability Support Pension paid to a man over 65 and a woman over age pension age; Widow Pension; Wife Pension – if over age pension age or if husband over 65; Carer...

Social Security Appeals

Authorised Review Officer Initially, a person seeking review of a Centrelink decision must request review by an Authorised Review Officer (ARO) (s129, Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) ("SSA Act")). The ARO will give the person a letter explaining their decision, the facts taken in...

Contacts and Resources

Centrelink For information about current payment rates: check the telephone directory or the Centrelink website (address below) and call the 13 number (for cost of a local call) relating to the payment you need information about. The booklet Guide to Australian Government Payments, and much o...

Page last updated 14/02/2024

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