Pharmaceutical Allowance helps you with the cost of buying prescription medicines. It is paid to eligible income support recipients with their regular fortnightly Centrelink payment.
Your eligibility for Pharmaceutical Allowance is automatically assessed when you claim a Centrelink payment.
Eligibility for Pharmaceutical Allowance
You are eligible for Pharmaceutical Allowance if you are receiving:
- Sickness Allowance
- Parenting Payment (Single) and you are under age pension age
- Disability Support Pension and you are under 21 with no dependent children
- ABSTUDY, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment (partnered), Special Benefit or Widow Allowance, or Youth Allowance if you have a temporary illness or medical condition
- ABSTUDY, Austudy, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment (partnered), Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, or Widow Allowance and have turned 60 but are under age pension age and have been receiving your payment continuously for at least 9 months
- Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment (partnered), or Youth Allowance (as a job seeker), and have been assessed as having a partial capacity for work or
- Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (as a jobseeker) and are a single person who is the main carer of a dependent child.
You must also meet your main payment’s residence requirements.
Payment Rates for Pharmaceutical Allowance
These Pharmaceutical Allowance payment rates are effective from 1 January 2012.
The allowance is paid with your main payment each fortnight.
|If you are||Payment rate per fortnight|
|A couple||$3.10 (each)|
Advance payments of Pharmaceutical Allowance
You can apply to receive your Pharmaceutical Allowance as an advance of seven fortnightly payments if:
- you receive the Parenting Payment (single) and are under age pension age or
- you receive the Disability Support Pension and are under 21 with no dependent children and you need a lot of medicines
Pharmaceutical Allowance is not taxed.
Read more about Advance Payment.
Payments paid while outside Austrlia
There are rules about getting your payment when you leave Australia.
Keep a record of your PBS medicines
Keep a record of your Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines. You can record the medicine on a Prescription Record Form, which you can get from your pharmacy. Each time you get a PBS medicine, your pharmacist will update the form.
Once you or your family reach your PBS Safety Net threshold, you can apply for a PBS Safety Net card. With this card your PBS medicine will be cheaper or free for the rest of the calendar year.