Rent Assistance

A regular extra payment if you pay rent and get certain payments from us.

Eligibility & payment rates

Who can get it

You can get Rent Assistance if you:

  • get a pension, allowance or benefit from us
  • get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit
  • pay:
    • rent
    • fees in a retirement village
    • lodging
    • board and lodging, or
    • site or mooring fees if your main home is a caravan, relocatable home or a boat

You must pay more than a certain amount each fortnight.

What may be different

If you’re under 25, there are special rules to get rent assistance. You can call us on your main payment number for more information.

Who can’t get it

You won’t get Rent Assistance if:

  • you lease from a state or territory housing authority
  • you own or are buying the home you live in, except relocatable homes
  • you’re travelling away from the home you own for less than 12 months
  • your bed in an approved residential aged care facility is subsidised by the Australian Government
  • your partner gets Rent Assistance with Family Tax Benefit, or
  • you get an allowance and your partner gets Rent Assistance with their pension

Payments

Your payment depends on how much rent you pay.

There is a minimum amount of rent you need to pay to get any Rent Assistance. For every $1 of rent you pay above this amount, you will get 75c. You can’t get more than the full amount.

We update Rent Assistance rates on 20 March and 20 September each year. Rates may change in line with the Consumer Price Index.

If you don't have dependent children

If you are The minimum rent you need to pay each fortnight is You will get the full amount if your fortnightly rent is more than The full amount you can get each fortnight is
single $118.60 $295.93 $133.00
single, sharer $118.60 $236.82 $88.67
couple $192.20 $359.40 $125.40
1 of a couple separated due to illness $118.60 $295.93 $133.00
1 of a couple temporarily separated $118.60 $285.80 $125.40

If you have dependent children

If you have dependent children, you'll usually get Rent Assistance with Family Tax Benefit Part A.

If you are The minimum rent you need to pay each fortnight is You will get the full amount if your fortnightly rent is more than The full amount you can get each fortnight is
single, with 1 or 2 children $155.82 $364.14 $156.24
single, with 3 or more children $155.82 $391.21 $176.54
a couple, with 1 or 2 children $230.58 $438.90 $156.24
a couple, with 3 or more children $230.58 $465.97 $176.54

What may be different

Special rules apply if you’re a single sharer, pay board and lodging, or live in a retirement village.

If you pay board and lodging, we work out your payment based on lodging only. If you can’t tell us what you pay for each, we’ll use two thirds of the total amount.

If you live in a retirement village, we’ll use the amount you paid to enter the retirement village to work out if you can get rent assistance.

Call us on your main payment number for more information.

Payment adjustments

We’ll adjust your Rent Assistance if:

  • the rent you pay increases or decreases
  • your income increases or decreases
  • your family circumstances change - for example, you move house, separate from your partner or the number of children in your care changes
  • the payment rate changes

Claiming

You don’t need to submit a claim for Rent Assistance. We'll check if you're eligible when you claim another payment or move. We may ask you for documents.

Next

Managing your payment

Change of circumstances

We need to know about changes that could reduce or stop your payment.

If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may be doing the wrong thing.

You must tell us if:

  • your rent costs change
  • you move house
  • your income changes
  • your marital status changes
  • the number of dependent children in your care changes
  • people move in or out of the house you live in

There are other changes of circumstances you need to tell us about.

Rent Certificate

We use a Rent Certificate to verify your rent details. We will give you one if we need you to fill it out.

We may send you a Rent Certificate SU523 form if you changed or updated your address with us in the last 7 days, and told us you are:

  • renting
  • lodging, or
  • paying site, mooring, maintenance, accommodation or service fees

Submit your completed form and documents we ask you for online.

If you live in community housing

Ask your community housing organisation if they use the Electronic Verification of Rent (EVoR) scheme.

If they do you don’t need to tell us when your rent changes. They can help you fill out a consent form.

Read more about EVoR.

How and when to tell us

The easiest way to tell us about changes is through our self service options.

You need to:

  • tell us within 14 days of the change
  • make sure your details are up to date in myGov

It’s never too late to report a change.

If you don’t tell us

If you don't tell us about changes in your life we may pay you too much. If this happens you’ll have to pay the money back, plus a fee.

If you deliberately don't tell us about changes, we could charge you with fraud.

Read how to avoid fraud.

Reviews

We will regularly review your details to make sure they’re up to date. We will send you a Rent Certificate SU523 form if you need to complete one.

We will send you a letter when it’s time for your review. We may review you even if you’ve already provided a copy of your lease or tenancy agreement.

If you and your partner both get a review letter, only one of you need to reply when using a self service option.

Confirm or update your details

Your Rent Assistance will stop if you don't confirm or update your details by the due date on the review letter. Tell us:

While travelling outside Australia

There are rules for when Rent Assistance can be paid when you are outside Australia

Read more about Rent Assistance while travelling outside Australia

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn

Resources

Manage your money

 

We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Page last updated: 20 September 2017