Helps with the cost of buying prescription medicines. 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.
You are eligible 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 are effective from 1 January 2014.
The allowance is paid with your main payment each fortnight.
|If you are||Payment rate per fortnight|
|A couple||$3.10 (each)|
You can apply to receive your allowance as an advance of 7 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.
While travelling outside Australia
If you leave Australia to live in another country, your payment will stop on departure.
If you leave Australia temporarily, as long as you continue to be paid your main payment, you will generally continue to receive your Pharmaceutical Allowance for up to 6 weeks.
If your main payment can be paid for longer than 6 weeks, you may continue to receive Pharmaceutical Allowance for up to 26 weeks overseas, or even longer depending on your main payment.
Advising us of your travel outside Australia
Check your main payment type to find out whether you should tell us if you are leaving Australia.
Keep a record of your PBS medicines
Keep a record of your Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines on a Prescription Record Form. This form is available from your pharmacist. This form helps you keep a record of all your PBS medicines so you know when you’ve reached the PBS Safety Net threshold.
If you go to the same pharmacist for all your PBS medicines, you can ask them to keep a computer record for you.
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.