You do not need to apply for the Pension Supplement. If you are eligible, it is included as part of your regular fortnightly income-support payment.
You will get the supplement automatically if you are receiving:
- Age Pension
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Disability Support Pension (except if you are aged under 21 and have no children)
- Widow B Pension
- Wife Pension
The Pension Supplement is also automatically paid to people over age pension age who are receiving:
- Parenting Payment (single and partnered)
- Partner Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Widow Allowance
You can choose to receive part of the supplement, known as the minimum Pension Supplement amount, as a quarterly payment.
Eligibility & payment rates
Quarterly Pension Supplement
You have the option of getting part of your Pension Supplement on a quarterly basis. The quarterly component is known as the minimum Pension Supplement amount. You may find this option useful for budgeting purposes.
The minimum Pension Supplement amount accrues daily during the quarter and is paid with your regular payment after 20 March, 20 June, 20 September, and 20 December each year.
If your regular Centrelink payment is cancelled, any minimum Pension Supplement amounts that have accrued for the quarter will be paid to you immediately.
If you choose the quarterly option, the amount of fortnightly supplement paid to you will be reduced.
The option to receive the minimum Pension Supplement fortnightly or quarterly can be changed at any time. If you would like to receive it quarterly, just let us know.
Other payments affected by the pension Supplement
Certain other payments are rolled into the Pension Supplement:
- Pharmaceutical Allowance
- Utilities Allowance
- GST Supplement
- Telephone Allowance (equivalent to the higher rate for internet subscribers)
These payments are no longer paid separately to Pension Supplement recipients, but their value is maintained in the supplement.
The payment rates of Pension Supplement are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.
Maximum payment rates of Pension Supplement
|Family situation||Payment rate per fortnight|
|Couple||$46.10 each or $92.20 combined|
|Couple separated due to ill health||$61.20 each|
The Pension Supplement is separate and in addition to any increase in the pension rate.
Pension Supplement and people receiving a reduced rate
Part-rate pensioners and other eligible income-support recipients being paid a reduced rate will still receive the Pension Supplement (or an equivalent amount if you are receiving a transitional rate).
The transitional rate of pension is a special rate of pension for people who did not benefit immediately from the changes to the pension system on 20 September 2009.
Transferring from transitional rate of pension to the new rules is not reversible. This should be taken into account if, for example, you are considering a brief change in employment income.
If you remain eligible for some income-support payment under a means test, you will be paid at least the minimum amount of the Pension Supplement per fortnight.
The payment rates of Pension Supplement Minimum amount are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.
Minimum payment rates of Pension Supplement
|Family situation||Payment rate per fortnight|
|Couple||$24.70 each or $49.40 combined|
|Couple separated due to ill health||$32.80 each|
People who are not eligible for the Pension Supplement
Anyone eligible for Pharmaceutical Allowance, Telephone Allowance, or Utilities Allowance who is not eligible for the Pension Supplement will continue to receive these other payments. For example:
- Utilities Allowance will remain for Disability Support Pension recipients aged under 21 without children, and Widow and Partner Allowance recipients under age-pension age
- Pharmaceutical Allowance will remain for all recipients of Parenting Payment (single) under age pension age, Disability Support Pension recipients aged under 21 without dependent children, and other eligible groups of income-support recipients
- Telephone Allowance will remain for all recipients of Parenting Payment (single) under age-pension age, people receiving Disability Support Pension aged under 21 without dependent children, and other eligible groups of income-support recipients who have a phone connected in their or their partner’s name
Managing your payment
Cancelled payments where the Pension Supplement applied
If your regular payment is cancelled, any minimum Pension Supplement amount that has accrued for the quarter will be paid to you immediately.
Payments paid while outside Australia
There are rules about getting your payment when you leave Australia.