Advance payment options

You may be eligible to receive part of your Centrelink payment in advance depending on how long you have been receiving it and the amount that you receive.

Eligibility

To receive an advance payment, you must be receiving:

For ABSTUDY, Austudy, Youth Allowance for students and Family Tax Benefit, there is no minimum time that you must have been receiving the payment before you can receive an advance payment. For all of the other payments, you must have received an income support payment for three months before you are eligible for an advance payment.

You are not eligible to receive an advance payment if you are:

  • repaying an advance payment you received more than 12 months ago
  • owe a debt to the Australian Government
  • cannot afford to repay the advance payment out of your payment within 6 months without suffering financial hardship, or
  • not in Australia when you apply for the advance payment of your income support entitlement

Additional eligibility requirements

You are not eligible to get an advance payment if you have already had one in the previous 12 months while receiving:

  • ABSTUDY
  • Austudy
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Widow Allowance or
  • Youth Allowance

Parenting Payment Single customers who apply for an advance payment within 28 days of becoming single, may be eligible for another advance payment regardless of when they last received an advance payment, as long as they meet all the other eligibility requirements.

Payment details for Family Tax Benefit Part A

Number of advance payments

You can choose to receive the Family Tax Benefit advance as a one off payment or as a regular advance.

A one off advance is an advance payment you can receive on any day of the year. You can choose how much you receive, as long as the amount is within the minimum and maximum amount you are eligible for.

A regular advance is automatically paid to you every 26 weeks as long as you remain eligible, or until you ask us to stop paying a regular advance. The amount you receive as a regular advance will be the minimum advance amount. You can have only one regular advance in place at any given time.

You can have one or more one off advances at any time, however the combined total of any regular and one off advances is capped at $1,074.12.

Amount of advance payments

The maximum amount for a one off advance is 7.5% of your annual rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A including add ons but excluding Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement, capped at $1,074.12 for the 2014-15 financial year.

The minimum amount for a one off advance is 3.75% of the standard rate for 1 child under 13 years. This is also the amount for a regular advance.

If you are being paid Family Tax Benefit as a blended family, the minimum and maximum advance amounts will be based on your blended family percentage.

If you are still repaying an existing advance payment, the maximum amount you may receive is the maximum amount you are eligible for, minus the original amount of each existing Family Tax Benefit advance payment which has not been fully repaid.

Payment details for Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Widow B Pension or Wife Pension

Number of advance payments

The number of advance payments that can be taken over any given 13 fortnight or 6 month period are:

  • 1 advance payment at the maximum amount
  • 1 or 2 advance payments greater than the minimum amount, or
  • 3 advance payments each at the minimum amount

Amount of advance payments

The amount available to you is limited by a minimum and maximum amount shown below.

Advance amountSingle pension customerPartnered pension customer
Minimum$403.05$303.85
Maximum$1209.15$911.55

If you receive a part rate or are receiving Disability Support Pension at the under 21 rate of payment, the maximum amount will depend on the amount of pension you receive.

These amounts are linked to increases in adult pension payments, so that the minimum and maximum advance payment amounts will keep pace with increases in pension payments each March and September.

Payment details for ABSTUDY, Austudy Payment, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment Partnered, Widow Allowance or Youth Allowance

You can only get one advance payment in a 12 month period. The maximum amount is $500. The minimum amount is $250.

Payment details for Special Employment Advance

To receive a Special Employment advance you also need to:

  • be in receipt of an eligible payment, and
  • be offered a job that will last for at least 6 weeks and where your expected earnings will reduce your income support payment by at least 50%

Additional eligibility criteria include:

  • where you have been offered a job – but you do not have enough money to pay for something you need to start your job, or
  • you are short of money because you or your partner have worked but have not been paid for work by the employer and the earnings have reduced your income support payment by at least 50%

Eligible payments are:

  • Austudy
  • Carer Payment
  • Mature Age Allowance
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Mature Age Partner Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Parenting Payment (Single)
  • Widow B Pension
  • Widow Allowance
  • Wife Pension and
  • Youth Allowance

Amount of Special Employment Advance payments

You can get one or more advance payments. The maximum amount is $500. The minimum amount is $50.

Number of Special Employment Advance payments

You can get one or more advance payments as long as the total Special Employment Advance amount that you have to repay at any one time does not exceed $500.

Paying advance payments back

Repayments for advance payments are made fortnightly through a reduction in your regular payment.

Repayments for your advance start the next payment date after the advance payment has been received by you. If you are granted an advance and are already repaying an advance, the amount you repay each fortnight will be increased. You can make extra repayments by cash or cheque at your nearest service centre offering Centrelink services. Making extra repayments may not necessarily mean that you will be eligible to receive another advance any earlier.

If the payment you receive changes, repayments will continue from your new payment. If you stop receiving a payment, you will still need to repay the amount you owe.

If you have received an advance and are having difficulties with repaying it, please contact us about your situation to find out what assistance is available.

Online accounts

If you are registered for online accounts, you can access the advance payment service using the My Profile and Advance Payment tiles on the Centrelink online account landing page. Using the advance payment service you can :

  • apply for an advance payment
  • check when you are next eligible for an advance
  • check the balance of your current advance
  • check your advance history for the past two years
  • check the repayment amount for each current advance
  • manage your regular Family Tax Benefit Part A advance payment

Express Plus Centrelink mobile app

If you are a student or job seeker you can use an Express Plus Centrelink mobile app to:

  • apply for an advance payment
  • check when you are next eligible for an advance
  • check the balance of your current advance
  • check your advance history for the past 2 years
  • check the repayment amount for each current advance

Claiming

You can apply for an advance payment at any time and in a number of ways.

Watch our demonstration video about how to apply for an Advance Payment.

Online

Express Plus mobile apps

By phone

  • Phone self service on 136 240
  • Phone us

In person

You must be able to afford to repay the money, so you will need to tell us about your income and expenses.

Documentation

We will tell you if there are other documents and forms you need to provide. The sooner we receive your documents, the sooner we can process your claim.

Claim outcome

If we cannot give you an advance payment we will let you know why.

If you disagree with a decision we make

You always have the right to appeal any decision made by us.

Read more about reviews and appeals