Utilities Allowance

Helps you to meet the costs of regular bills such as gas, electricity and water when you are on certain income support payments.


You may be eligible if you receive:

We assess your eligibility when you make a claim for these payments. You can choose not to get Utilities Allowance, but you should tell us as soon as possible.


You will automatically get Utilities Allowance with your regular payment on, or in the fortnight after 20 March, 20 June, 20 September and 20 December each year.

This rate is adjusted on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Utilities Allowance is not taxed or means tested.


These payment rates are effective from 20 March 2017.

Single customers - $617.20 per year, paid at the rate of $154.30 per quarter.

Couple combined - $617.20 per year, paid at the rate of $77.15 per quarter for each eligible member of a couple.

Travelling outside Australia

If you leave Australia temporarily, you will receive Utilities Allowance as long as your next quarterly payment falls within 6 weeks of leaving Australia. Your main payment must also be payable at that time.

Read more about the rules for travelling outside Australia if your main payment is:

Read more about payments while outside Australia.

What to do if your account is overdrawn

There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society, or credit union account.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn.

Manage your money

Getting control of your money can be hard, but we have some great advice and tools to help. Read more about budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt, to help manage your money.

Page last updated: 18 May 2017