Telephone Allowance

Who can get it

You can get Telephone Allowance if you have a telephone connected in your name and get a certain payment. You can also get it if the connection is in your partner’s name.

There are 2 rates of Telephone Allowance:

  • basic rate, or
  • higher rate

What basic rate is

You can get the basic rate if you have:

  • a telephone connected, including a landline or mobile, and
  • the account is in your or your partner's name

You must also get one of these payments and meet the extra rules for them.

Disability Support Pension

If you get Disability Support Pension you must be under 21 with no dependent children to get Telephone Allowance.

Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance

You may get Telephone Allowance if you’re not employed full time because of disability and get:

  • Newstart Allowance, or
  • Youth Allowance

Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance or Farm Household Allowance

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if you’re over 60 and had income support payments for 9 months and get:

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance, or
  • Farm Household Allowance

Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance or Farm Household Allowance

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if you’re single and the principal carer of a dependent child.

You may also get it if you’re the principal carer of a dependent child, you have a partner and your partner: 

  • is over 60
  • gets Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance or Farm Household Allowance, and
  • has been on income support payments for 9 months

Parenting Payment

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if you get Parenting Payment and you’re:

  • single and under age pension age, or
  • partnered and you can't be full time employed because of disability

Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Special Benefit or Parenting Payment partnered

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if you get one of these payments and:

  • you’re partnered and over 60 but under age pension age, and
  • had income support payments for 9 months

Partner Allowance or Parenting Payment 

You may get Telephone Allowance if you have a partner and your partner:

What higher rate is

You can get a higher rate of Telephone Allowance if you:

  • get Disability Support Pension
  • are under 21 with no dependent children, and
  • have internet for any device in your or your partner's name

How to get it

We’ll assess if you can get the allowance when you claim certain support payments. You don’t need to do anything.

You’ll need a phone or internet service to get the allowance. If you get a phone or internet service after you’re assessed, tell us. Do this by updating your details online.

You don’t have to meet income or assets tests to get it.

When we review

You need to let us know if your phone or internet details change. We’ll review your allowance when you advise of a change.

Page last updated: 20 August 2018