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If you are leaving Australia to travel or to live in another country, you need to check how this might affect your Centrelink payments, health care and child support arrangements.
Before you travel
Before you travel you need to:
- check if you’re travelling to a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia and make sure you have your current Medicare card
- check the rules about travelling overseas with Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines
- let us know if you plan to move or travel overseas if you get a Centrelink payment
- pay your child support in full and on time
If you get a Centrelink payment and you plan to leave Australia, make sure you find out how your departure may affect your payment.
For more information about how your payment could be affected while you are outside Australia, go to Payments paid while outside Australia. This will help you plan your trip and give you information about what you may need to tell us.
Health care and medicine
If you travel overseas you can get help with the cost of essential medical treatment in some countries under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. This doesn’t replace the need for private travel health insurance.
If you’re planning a trip overseas, organising your medicine is one of the most important things you can do. If you need prescription medicine, it’s important you have enough medicine with you while you’re away. Before you travel, make sure the medicine is legal in the country you are travelling to by contacting the relevant embassy, high commission or consulate before leaving Australia.
Under these agreements, some health services and subsidised medicines are also provided to visitors from these countries when they are in Australia.
It’s illegal to take or send PBS medicine out of Australia that’s not for your own use or the personal use of someone travelling with you.
Social security agreements with other countries
Australia has a number of social security agreements with other countries to share responsibility for social security payments. These agreements may help a person who has lived in Australia and one of these countries to claim certain payments from both countries. Agreements may also help a person continue to be paid certain payments when they move between agreement countries.
International Services can tell you whether an international social security agreement may be able to help you get an Australian payment or continue to receive your payment while outside Australia. They can also assist people in Australia to claim a payment from another country.