Paid as part of some regular fortnightly income support payments to help eligible people meet the costs of daily household and living expenses.
Eligibility & payment rates
To be eligible for the Pension Supplement you need to be receiving an eligible income support payment.
You will get the supplement automatically if you are receiving:
- Age Pension
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Disability Support Pension except if you are 20 years of age or younger and have no children
- Widow B Pension, or
- Wife Pension
The Pension Supplement is also automatically paid if you are over age pension age and receiving:
The Pension Supplement Basic Amount is automatically paid if you are under age pension age and receiving the Parenting Payment Single.
Payment rates are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.
The Pension Supplement includes your eligible amount of:
- Pharmaceutical Allowance
- Utilities Allowance
- GST Supplement, or
- Telephone Allowance equivalent to the higher rate for internet subscribers
These payments are no longer paid separately to Pension Supplement recipients.
Payment rates of Pension Supplement
|Family situation||Minimum payment rate per fortnight||Maximum payment rate per fortnight|
|Couple||$26.40 each or $52.80 combined||$49.10 each or $98.20 combined|
|Couple separated due to ill health||$35.00 each||$65.10 each|
The Pension Supplement is separate and in addition to any increase in the pension rate.
If you receive an eligible income support recipients payment at a reduced rate, you will still receive the Pension Supplement or an equivalent amount if you are receiving a transitional rate.
The transitional rate of pension is a special rate for people who did not benefit immediately from the changes to the pension system on 20 September 2009.
Transferring from transitional rate of pension to the rate you would be paid under the current income test is not reversible. This should be taken into account if, for example, you are considering a brief change in employment income.
If you remain eligible for an income support payment under a means test, you will be paid at least the minimum amount of the Pension Supplement per fortnight.
If you are leaving Australia temporarily or living outside Australia, your payment may be reduced.
Read more about Pension Supplement while travelling outside Australia.
You can choose to receive part of the supplement as a quarterly payment. This can help with budgeting. It will be paid at the minimum Pension Supplement amount.
The minimum amount accrues daily during the quarter and is paid with your regular payment after 20 March, 20 June, 20 September, and 20 December each year.
If your regular pension or income support payment is cancelled, any minimum amounts that have accrued for the quarter will be paid to you immediately.
The option to receive the minimum amount fortnightly or quarterly can be changed at any time. Contact us if you would like to receive it quarterly.
You do not need to apply for the supplement.
If you are eligible, it is included as part of your regular fortnightly income support payment.
Managing your payment
If your regular pension or income support payment is cancelled, any Pension Supplement amount that has accrued for the quarter will be paid to you immediately.
There are rules about how long your Pension Supplement can be paid when you travel outside Australia.
There is support to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.