About Income Management
Income Management is a way to help you manage your money to meet essential household needs and expenses. Through Income Management, you can learn to better manage your finances in the long term.
How Income Management works
We will help you manage your Centrelink and/or Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments so that some of the payment can be used to pay for personal and family essentials such as rent, bills, food, and education. This does not reduce your payments, but the way you receive them will change. The rest of your payments will be paid as usual, and you can spend that money as you wish.
Money that is income managed cannot be spent on alcohol, tobacco and tobacco products, pornographic material, gambling products and services, gift cards, homebrew kits, or home-brew concentrates.
Income Management locations
Income Management is currently in the following locations:
- the whole of the Northern Territory
- Perth Metropolitan, the Kimberley region, Ngaanyatjarra Lands (NG) Lands and Laverton Shire (Western Australia)
- Cape York, Logan and Rockhampton (Queensland)
- Bankstown (New South Wales)
- Playford and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands (South Australia), and
- Greater Shepparton (Victoria)
Who can refer you to Income Management
You may be referred for Income Management by:
- an Australian Government Department of Human Services Social Worker
- a case worker from your local child protection authority
- the Queensland Family Responsibilities Commission
- the Northern Territory Alcohol and Other Drugs Tribunal.
Income Management can also be used for youth recipients and long term payment recipients to assist them budgeting for their essential needs.
If you live in one of the Income Management locations, you can also choose to volunteer for Income Management if you need help with managing your payments.
How Income Management can help you
Income Management can help you as an individual or, if you have a family, help meet essential needs such as food, rent, and bills so that you can provide care and education for your children.
It can also benefit you:
- if you are on the Age Pension, to better manage your finances and have control over your money
- if you are a young person or have recently left the care of the state, to learn important life skills such as paying bills, managing debt, budgeting, and saving
- if you have recently moved to Australia, to help you settle in and get used to the process of paying bills and rent in Australia
- if you are unemployed, to help you adjust to living on a lower income, by providing assistance with budgeting for rent and bills.
You will be offered referrals to free Financial Management Program Services to help you budget and save.
You may also be eligible for a one-off Matched Savings Scheme Payment of up to $500 if you are able to demonstrate a savings pattern and have completed an approved Money Management course.
If you volunteer for Income Management, you may be eligible for the voluntary Income Management incentive payment of $250 for every 26 continuous weeks for which you stay on the program.
Accessing your income managed money to buy things
You can access your income managed money:
- using the BasicsCard, which is similar to an EFTPOS card, to purchase most things (except excluded goods and services) at approved stores
- by setting up one-off or regular direct payments to stores, landlords, real estate agents, or other service providers.