Remote Area Allowance
Financial help if you get some income support payments and live in a remote area.
Eligibility & payment rates
You may be eligible if you:
- get an income support payment, and
- live in a remote area defined as Tax Zone A, Special Zone A or Special Zone B, or
- have temporarily moved to a remote area defined as Tax Zone A, Special Zone A or Special Zone B, and expect to stay longer than 12 months
Some exemptions apply to Special Zones.
You can't get the allowance if you:
- move permanently outside the qualifying tax zones
- live in ordinary Tax Zone B, or
- live in a region within Special Zone A that is not eligible, such as Macquarie Island
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) determines tax zones. Read the Australian zone list on the ATO website to see if you qualify.
If you get Youth Allowance or Austudy as a student and usually live in a remote area, except during terms or semesters, you may continue to get this allowance for 8 weeks from the date you leave your usual home.
The 8 week limit does not apply to ABSTUDY secondary school students who live in a remote area, even if studying outside the remote area.
The payment rates are:
|If you are||The fortnightly payment is|
|Plus||$7.30 for each dependent child|
Remote Area Allowance is not taxed.
Income and assets tests
You do not have to meet income or assets tests to get Remote Area Allowance.
Zone tax offset
If you get Remote Area Allowance, the amount of zone tax offset you would usually get is reduced dollar for dollar.
Your allowance is reviewed if you change address.
You do not need to claim Remote Area Allowance. You are automatically assessed when you get your income support payment or when you move permanently to a qualifying tax zone.
If you are eligible, we will send you a letter to tell you when your payment starts and how much you will get.
Managing your payment
You need to tell us if things change while getting Remote Area Allowance. For example, you need to tell us if you change address or leave Australia.
You need to tell us about any changes within 14 days in case they affect your allowance. If you don't tell us about changes, you may be overpaid and will have to pay the money back.
To remain eligible for Remote Area Allowance while you are outside Australia, you must continue to meet the qualification rules for this payment.
There is support to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.