Rent Assistance review
From time to time your Rent Assistance may be reviewed.
If you are selected for a review, you will receive a letter asking you to confirm or update your details. You can confirm or update your details using our Online Services or Phone Self Service on 136 240.
If you do not reply to the letter by the due date, your Rent Assistance will stop.
If you are paying rent and receiving a pension, allowance, or benefit from us, you may be able to receive Rent Assistance as well. Rent can include private rent, lodging, board and lodging, site fees, fees to moor a vessel and maintenance fees in a retirement village.
If you pay your rent directly to a state or territory housing authority, it is unlikely you would be able to get Rent Assistance. But to make sure, you should contact us to discuss your eligibility.
You do not need to lodge a separate claim to get Rent Assistance. We will assess whether you can receive it, when you make a claim for another payment, or when you tell us that your accommodation details have changed.
The amount of Rent Assistance you may get depends on:
- the type and amount of rent you pay for the home you usually live in
- your living arrangements—whether you are single or have a partner, whether you have dependent children living with you, and whether you share your accommodation with others
To receive Rent Assistance, you will need to give us details of your rental situation.
You need to know
Eligibility for Rent Assistance
Find out if you are eligible for Rent Assistance.
To be eligible for Rent Assistance, you must be paying more than the minimum amount of rent shown in the payment rates table for:
- rent (other than to a state or territory housing authority)
- service and maintenance fees in a retirement village
- lodging (if you pay for board and lodging but are unable to tell us exactly what you pay for each, two-thirds of the amount you pay will be accepted)
- fees paid to use a caravan site or other accommodation that you occupy as your principal home or
- fees paid to moor a vessel you occupy as your principal home
Payment rates for Rent Assistance
Find out the payment rates for Rent Assistance.
Payment adjustments for Rent Assistance
If you are getting Rent Assistance, the amount you receive may be adjusted if:
- the amount you pay for your accommodation changes
- your or a family member's circumstances change (which may include your income's increasing, your moving to a new house, or separating from your partner)
- the maximum rate of payment changes. (Rent Assistance is usually adjusted twice a year, on 20 March and 20 September, in line with the Consumer Price Index—that is, in line with increases in the costs of living)
Electronic Verification of Rent — Community Housing
The Electronic Verification of Rent (EVoR) scheme provides a simple, secure method for participating Community Housing Organisations to provide current accommodation data for their customers to the department.
Claiming Rent Assistance
You do not need to lodge a separate claim for Rent Assistance. We will assess your eligibility when you make a claim for another payment, or when you contact to tell us that your accommodation details have changed.
Change of circumstances while receiving Rent Assistance
You need to tell us if your circumstances change while you are receiving Rent Assistance. For example, you need to tell us if:
- the amount of rent you pay changes
- you move house
- your income changes
- your marital status changes
- people move in or out of the house you live in
You need to let us know as soon as possible after the change occurs in case it affects your payment.
If you don't tell us about the changes, you may find yourself in debt. If you are overpaid benefits, you will probably have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately don’t tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud.
A recovery fee may be imposed if incorrect information has been given to us about your employment income.
Reviews of Rent Assistance
From time to time your Rent Assistance may be reviewed. In general, you need to provide verification of your rent details in order to receive the assistance.
Payments paid while outside Australia
There are rules about getting your payment when you leave Australia.