Advance payment options

You may be eligible to receive part of your income support payment in advance, depending on how long you have been getting it and the amount that you get.

Eligibility

Before you are eligible for an advance payment you must have received one of the following income support payments for 3 months:

There is no minimum time limit applied to the following payments in order to be eligible for an advance payment:

Not eligible

With the exception of Mobility Allowance, you are not eligible to receive an advance payment if you:

  • are repaying an advance payment you received more than 12 months ago
  • owe a debt to the Australian Government
  • cannot afford to repay the advance payment out of your payment within 6 months without suffering financial hardship, or
  • are not in Australia when you apply for the advance payment of your income support entitlement

If you receive Mobility Allowance, you are not eligible to receive an advance payment if you are:

  • planning on leaving Australia for more than 6 weeks in the next 6 month period
  • not continuing your current activities for at least the next 6 months
  • receiving a funded package of support from National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – this does not include My Way in Western Australia

You are not eligible to get an advance payment if you have already had one in the previous 12 months while receiving:

  • ABSTUDY
  • Austudy
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Mobility Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Widow Allowance, or
  • Youth Allowance

You may be eligible for an additional advance payment of Parenting Payment single regardless of when you last received one if you:

  • apply for the advance payment within 28 days of becoming single, and
  • meet all the other eligibility requirements

Payment details

Payment details for Family Tax Benefit Part A

Number of advance payments

You can choose to receive the Family Tax Benefit advance as a one off payment or as a regular advance.

A one off advance is an advance payment you can receive on any day of the year. You can choose how much you receive, as long as the amount is within the minimum and maximum amount you are eligible for.

A regular advance is automatically paid to you every 26 weeks as long as you remain eligible, or until you ask us to stop paying a regular advance. The amount you receive as a regular advance will be the minimum advance amount. You can have only one regular advance in place at any given time.

You can have one or more one off advances at any time; however, the combined total of any regular and one off advances is capped at $1,110.69.

Amount of advance payments

The maximum amount for a one off advance is 7.5% of your annual rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A including add ons but excluding the Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement, which is capped at $1,110.69 for the 2015-16 financial year.

The minimum amount for a one off advance is 3.75% of the standard rate for 1 child under 13 years. This is also the amount for a regular advance.

If you are being paid Family Tax Benefit as a blended family, the minimum and maximum advance amounts will be based on your blended family percentage.

If you are still repaying an existing advance payment, the maximum amount you may receive is the maximum amount you are eligible for, minus the original amount of each existing Family Tax Benefit advance payment that has not been fully repaid.

Payment details for Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Widow B Pension or Wife Pension

Number of advance payments

The number of advance payments available over any given 13 fortnight or 6 month period are:

  • 1 advance payment at the maximum amount
  • 1 or 2 advance payments greater than the minimum amount, or
  • 3 advance payments each at the minimum amount

Amount of advance payments

The amount available to you is limited by a minimum and maximum amount.

Advance amount If you are single If you are partnered
Minimum $414.00 $312.10
Maximum $1,242.00 $936.30

If you receive a part rate or are receiving Disability Support Pension at the under 21 rate of payment, the maximum amount will depend on the amount of pension you receive.

These amounts are linked to increases in adult pension payments, so that the minimum and maximum advance payment amounts will keep pace with increases in pension payments each March and September.

Payment details for ABSTUDY, Austudy, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment Partnered, Widow Allowance or Youth Allowance

You can only get one advance payment in a 12 month period. The maximum amount is $500. The minimum amount is $250. The amount can be taken as one lump sum or in 2 instalments.

Payment details for Farm Household Allowance

You can only get one advance payment in a 12 month period. The maximum amount is $500. The minimum amount is $250. Advance payments of Farm Household Allowance can only be taken as one lump sum payment.

Payment details for Special Employment Advance

To receive a Special Employment Advance you must be receiving:

  • Austudy
  • Carer Payment
  • Mature Age Allowance
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Mature Age Partner Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Parenting Payment single
  • Widow B Pension
  • Widow Allowance
  • Wife Pension, or
  • Youth Allowance

and:

  • be in receipt of an eligible payment, and
  • be offered a job that will last for at least 6 weeks where your expected earnings will reduce your income support payment by at least 50%

You may also be eligible if you:

  • have been offered a job but you do not have enough money to pay for something you need to start your job, or
  • are short of money because you or your partner have worked but have not been paid for work by the employer and the earnings have reduced your income support payment by at least 50%

Amount of Special Employment Advance payments

You can get one or more advance payments up to the maximum amount of $500 at any one time. The minimum amount is $50.

Payment details for Mobility Allowance Advance

You can only get one advance payment in a 12 month period. This is equal to 13 fortnightly payments of Mobility Allowance.

If you are paid a Mobility Allowance advance payment, you will not receive fortnightly payments of Mobility Allowance for up to 6 months. If you become eligible for a higher rate of Mobility Allowance while in an advance period, fortnightly payments may start earlier than the expected 6 month period.

You cannot choose to increase or decrease the repayment amount of Mobility Allowance advance payments.

Claiming

You can apply for an advance payment online, using the Express Plus mobile app, by phone or in person.

Farm Household Allowance customers can only apply for an Advance Payment in person, by completing and submitting an Application for Advance Payment form or by calling us on the Farmer Assistance Hotline.

Online

You can claim an Advance Payment online. It is secure, convenient and easy to claim online.

If you already have a Centrelink online account

Log on to your Centrelink online account or sign in through myGov to make an online claim.

myGov

If you do not have a Centrelink online account

Read more about how to register.

Register

If you are unable to claim online

If you are unable to claim online, for example you do not have internet access, you can claim using the Express Plus mobile app, by form, by phone or in person at a service centre.

Watch our demonstration video about how to apply for an advance payment.

You can then also:

  • check when you are next eligible for an advance
  • check the balance of your current advance
  • check your advance history for the past 2 years
  • check the repayment amount for each current advance
  • manage your regular Family Tax Benefit Part A advance payment

Express Plus mobile apps

Use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app to apply.

You can then also:

  • check when you are next eligible for an advance
  • check the balance of your current advance
  • check your advance history for the past 2 years
  • check the repayment amount for each current advance

By form

Complete the Application for Advance Payment form.

If you are claiming an advance payment of Mobility Allowance, complete the Mobility Allowance – claim for advance payment form.

If you do not have access to a printer, you can pick one up from a service centre or call us on the number for the payment you receive.

By phone

Apply for an Advance Payment by using Centrelink phone self service or call us on the number for the payment you receive.

In person

Apply for an Advance Payment in person at a service centre.

Supporting documentation

You must be able to afford to repay the money, so you will need to tell us about your income and expenses. We will tell you if there are other documents and forms you need to provide. The sooner we receive your documents, the sooner we can process your claim.

Claim outcome

If we cannot give you an advance payment we will let you know why.

If you disagree with a decision we make

You always have the right to appeal any decision made by us.

Read more about reviews and appeals.

Paying advance payments back

Repayments for advance payments are made fortnightly through a reduction in your regular payment.

Repayments for your advance start the next payment date after you have received the advance payment. If you are granted an advance and are already repaying an advance, the amount you repay each fortnight will be increased.

If the payment you receive changes, repayments will continue from your new payment. If you stop receiving a payment, you will still need to repay the amount you owe.

For Mobility Allowance advance payments, the regular fortnightly payment reduces to nil and does not resume until the end of the advance payment period.

If you have received an advance and are having difficulties repaying it, please call us about your situation to find out what assistance is available.

Page last updated: 20 September 2016

This information was printed Tuesday 27 September 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/advance-payment-options It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.