While travelling outside Australia

There are rules about when we can pay your Special Benefit while you’re outside Australia.

Rules for Special Benefit outside Australia

If you leave Australia to live in another country, your payment will stop the day you leave.

If you only leave Australia for a short time, your travel has to be for an approved reason or your payment will stop the day you leave. If it’s an approved reason, your payment will continue for up to 6 weeks.

Most temporary protection type visa holders aren't paid Special Benefit outside Australia for any reason.

Approved reasons for payment overseas

We don’t normally pay Special Benefit to people outside Australia. However we may pay it for the following reasons:

  • to attend an acute family crisis - such as visiting a family member who is critically ill
  • for humanitarian reasons - such as adopting a child or attending custody proceedings, or
  • to get eligible medical treatment that isn’t available in Australia

When to tell us about your travel

You should always tell us if you are leaving Australia.

The easiest way to tell us about your travel plans is to use your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can get information on how your payments and concession cards could be affected. You may need to phone us to discuss your circumstances further.

Read more about payments while outside Australia.

Page last updated: 20 September 2019