Help for refugees, humanitarian entrants and new arrivals

There is help for you if you have recently come to live in Australia, depending on your visa. You may have to serve a waiting period, and other rules may apply.

You may have heard that refugees get more support than other Australians. This is not true.
Read Australian Government assistance to refugees: fact v fiction on the Parliament of Australia website.


You may be able to get some payments, depending on your visa subclass and circumstances.

Refugee or humanitarian entrants

To be eligible for an income support payment, you must have come to Australia on a refugee or humanitarian visa. If you’re granted a Permanent Protection Visa in Australia you may also be eligible.

If your situation is difficult or extreme, you may also be able to get Crisis Payment. This is a one off payment. You’re only eligible if you’re already getting an income support payment.

If you’ve come to Australia under the Community Support Program, your situation is different. Under this program another person or organisation has said they will support you for your first 12 months.

They do this with an assurance of support. This means you won’t usually get payments from us. If the relationship with your assurer breaks down we may be able to give you payments. But your assurer will have to pay that back to us.

Our Refugee Servicing Network can help you with other payments. They can also help with health services and to settle into life in Australia.

New arrivals to Australia

We provide payments to support new arrivals who may be in hardship. What you can get depends on your residence status. There may be a waiting period first. Read more about the newly arrived resident’s waiting period.

If you’re in severe financial hardship, you may be able to get Special Benefit straight away. You must contact us to discuss your circumstances.


There are other services to help you settle into Australia.

The Adult Migrant English Program can help you learn English.

The Skills for Education and Employment program can help you with speaking, reading, writing and maths skills.

Our Multicultural Service Officers can help you with other government services.

In your language

You can read, listen to and watch videos about our payments and services in your language.

Call our Multilingual Phone Service to speak to a skilled bilingual service officer about Centrelink payments and services.

Call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National for help with Medicare and Child Support.

We also have free interpreters to help you with our payments and services. You can ask for a free interpreter or translation services when you call, book an appointment or visit us.

Other government and community support services

There are other organisations that provide services and useful information. Use Payment and Service Finder to find help in your local area.

MoneySmart can help you make the most of your money. Read the Budget planner or other languages section on the MoneySmart website. connects you to information and services across Australia. This includes information on living in Australia.

If you're experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, you may find it helpful to talk to somebody about your mental health. Use Payment and Service Finder to find help.

Australian Red Cross provides information about advocacy, relief and support services for vulnerable people in need.

Once you're able to work in Australia, visit Australian JobSearch. It's a free online jobs website. It has job vacancies across all industries and regions in Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs has a range of information about Australian visas and Australian citizenship. This includes links to useful resources and support services.

Related subjects

Page last updated: 15 November 2018

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