Who can get Special Benefit

You can get Special Benefit if you're in severe financial hardship.

This payment can help if you:

  • are in severe financial hardship due to circumstances beyond your control
  • don’t earn enough to support you and your dependants
  • can’t get any other income support payment, and
  • meet residence rules

You can claim Special Benefit for a child if:

  • you have custody
  • your child is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • you can’t get any income or family support payments because you’re not a permanent resident
  • you’re in severe financial hardship
  • you can’t support yourself and your child

Severe financial hardship

You’re in severe financial hardship if you:

  • earn less than the highest Special Benefit fortnightly payment
  • can’t improve your financial position, and
  • have limited savings

Limited savings

For short term payments you must have no more than the fortnightly Special Benefit payment amount.

For long term payments you must have no more than $5,000.

For more information:

Page last updated: 22 September 2017