Financial help if you are looking for work or participating in approved activities that may increase your chances of finding a job.
- aged 22 years or older but under age pension age
- looking for paid work
- prepared to meet the Mutual Obligation Requirements while you are looking for work
- meet an income and assets test
Eligibility & payment rates
You need to meet eligibility requirements to claim Newstart Allowance.
You may be eligible for Newstart Allowance if you:
The payment rates for Newstart Allowance are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year and are a guide only.
|If you are:||Your maximum fortnightly payment is:|
|single, no children||$535.60|
|single, with a dependent child or children||$579.30|
|single, aged 60 or over, after 9 continuous months on payment||$579.30|
|single principal carer granted an exemption from Mutual Obligation Requirements for either:
When you apply for a payment, you may not get it immediately. The time you have to wait is called a waiting period.
Income and assets tests are used to work out your payment rate. The test resulting in the lowest payment rate will apply.
Property and items you or your partner own or have an interest in, including assets held outside Australia, can affect your payment.
Working Credit lets you keep more of your income support payment and benefits while you're working.
To be eligible for Newstart Allowance, you need to satisfy residence requirements. You must:
- be an Australian resident
- be physically present in Australia on the day you lodge your claim, and
- continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment
Newly arrived residents generally have a 104 week waiting period, with some exemptions. If you are a non-protected Special Category Visa holder, you may be able to access a once only payment of either:
At the time of making a claim you must have been living in Australia continuously for at least 10 years. Time spent in Australia prior to 27 February 2001 cannot count towards these 10 years. If you are eligible, payment can be made for a maximum continuous period of up to 6 months.
Check if you are eligible for this payment before you start your claim.
Once you have read about eligibility, the next steps are:
- find out what you need before you start your claim
- begin your claim
- provide your supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- We will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
You need to do approved activities to keep getting your income support payment and increase your chances of finding work.
If you do not tell us when your circumstances change, you may be doing the wrong thing.
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
Read more about using self service.
If you owe us money, you will be sent an Account Payable letter telling you:
- why you owe the money
- the amount owed
- when the amount is due to be paid, and
- how you can make the payment
Read more about owing money and how to avoid a debt.
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.
To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Newstart Allowance.
In certain circumstances you may be eligible to get your income support payment weekly, instead of fortnightly.
How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn each fortnight so you're paid the right amount.
The Australian government is trialling a new way of delivering welfare payments in some areas using a cashless debit card.
You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.
Self service computers and printers are available in your local service centre to help you identify employment opportunities and make contact with service providers who may assist you in your search for work.
A free, confidential service that provides education and information on financial and lifestyle issues to all Australians.
If you have any questions, speak to your jobactive provider.
Read more about jobactive on the Department of Employment website or call their National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.
Our social workers can help you during difficult times by providing counselling, support and information.
A program to improve your speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills is available to help you get and keep a job.
Read more about Skills for Education and Employment.
If you are a job seeker living in a remote area of Australia, you can help your community and gain skills while looking for local work through the Community Development Programme.
Read more about the Community Development Programme.
Select the options that describe your circumstances, then explore a list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
- Education Entry Payment
- Energy Supplement
- Health Care Card
- JobSearch facilities
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Pensioner Education Supplement
- Pharmaceutical Allowance
- Rent Assistance
- Rent Deduction Scheme
- Skills for Education and Employment
- Telephone Allowance