Help for refugees, humanitarian entrants and new arrivals
You may get help if you’ve recently moved to Australia, depending on your visa. Rules apply to get help and you may have to wait before claiming a payment.
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 and circumstances.
Refugee or humanitarian entrants
You may be eligible for payments and services if you’ve either:
- arrived in Australia on a refugee or humanitarian visa
- been granted a permanent protection visa in Australia.
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 able to get this if you’re already getting an income support payment.
If you’ve come to Australia under the Community Support Program, your situation is different. This is because a person or organisation has said they’ll support you for your first 12 months in Australia. They do this with an Assurance of Support. If the relationship with your assurer breaks down, you may get payments from us. If this happens, your assurer will have to pay us back.
Our Refugee Servicing Network can help you with payments and services. It can help you access services to help you 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. If you’ve recently arrived in Australia, you may have to wait before claiming our payments or services. 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.
There are services to help you settle into Australia.
Our Refugee Servicing Network can help you access services, including health care.
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 our services.
In your language
You can read, listen to or watch information in your language.
You can also talk to someone in your language Monday to Friday between 8 am to 5 pm by calling:
- our Multilingual Phone Service to speak with us about Centrelink payments and services
- the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National to speak with us about Medicare and Child Support services.
We also have free interpreter and translation services to help you with our payments and services. You can ask for an interpreter when you call 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.
australia.gov.au 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.
If you’re a humanitarian entrant, you may get help from the Department of Home Affairs’ Humanitarian Settlement Program.
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.
Page last updated: 10 October 2019