Sickness Allowance

An income support payment if you can’t work or study for a while because of illness, injury or disability.

Eligibility basics

  • at least 22 but under age pension age
  • in a job or getting ABSTUDY or Austudy as a full time student
  • under the income and assets test limits

Eligibility & payment rates

Who can get it

To get Sickness Allowance you must meet certain criteria.

Read more about who can get Sickness Allowance

How much you can get

The amount of Sickness Allowance you can get depends on your income and assets.

Read more about how much you can get

Income test

Your income can reduce how much we pay you.

Read more about the income test

Assets test

The assets you own can affect how much Sickness Allowance you can get.

Read more about the assets test

Residence rules

On the day you claim Sickness Allowance you must be an Australian resident and in Australia.

Read more about residence rules


Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim.


  • find out what you need before you start
  • complete online claim
  • submit your claim and other documents we ask for
  • wait for us to tell you the result


Managing your payment

Change of circumstances

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

Read more about change of circumstances

While travelling outside Australia

To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Sickness Allowance.

Read more about Sickness Allowance while travelling outside Australia

Someone to deal with us on your behalf

If you want someone else to deal with us, you can authorise them to enquire, act or get payments for you.

Read more about someone to deal with us on your behalf

When you reach age pension age

Sickness Allowance can’t be paid to people who are over age pension age. You should apply to transfer to Age Pension to see if you’re eligible.

Read more about how to transfer to Age Pension.

Weekly payment option

Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.

Read more about weekly payments

Income reporting

How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.

Read more about income reporting for your main income support payment

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


Payment and Service Finder

Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently receive from us.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

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

Regular deductions using Centrepay

You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.

Read more about how Centrepay works

Page last updated: 6 December 2017