Australia's Future Tax System

Architecture of Australia's tax and transfer system

2.11 Additional tax and transfer tables (continued)

Table 2.23: Supplementary payments as at 1 July 2008

Payment type Payment rates Other features
Supplements included as part of the maximum rate of income support

Pharmaceutical Allowance (PhA) is automatically paid to pensioners and recipients of Mature Age and Sickness Allowances.

PhA can also be paid to other allowance recipients, depending upon their circumstances (see details in third column).

PhA is paid at a rate of $5.80 per fortnight for single people (and illness separated) and $2.90 per fortnight for each eligible member of a couple.

PhA is paid in addition to the base pension or allowance.


PhA can be paid to recipients of allowances if they are in certain special circumstances, such as: being temporarily incapacitated, or having a partial capacity to work, or being a single 'principal carer' of a dependent child, or being aged over 60 years in receipt of income support continuously for at least nine months.

Remote Area Allowance (RAA) provides additional assistance to income support customers residing in remote areas. It recognises that many customers do not get the full benefit of zone tax offsets. RAA makes a contribution towards some of the costs associated with living in particularly remote areas.

$18.20 per fortnight for a single person.

$15.60 per fortnight for each eligible member of a couple.

$7.30 per fortnight for each dependant.

RAA is in addition to the relevant pension or payment.

RAA is not indexed, and while it is not taxable, it does reduce the amount of any Tax Zone Offsets otherwise available.

RAA is payable to pensioners and allowees (and Abstudy recipients) who usually reside in ordinary Tax Zone A (including, with certain exceptions, Special Tax Zone A) and Special Tax Zone B.

RAA is not reduced under the income and assets tests, it is added to any pension or payment after the income and assets tests have been applied.

Supplements paid in addition to income support or concession card entitlement

Telephone Allowance (TAL) is a payment to assist with the cost of maintaining a telephone service. It is paid to pensioners, certain allowees and CSHC holders who are telephone subscribers.

A higher rate of TAL is payable for income support recipients of Age Pension age, CSHC holders, and DSP and CP if a person, or their partner, has a home internet connection.

$88.00 per annum ($22 per quarter) for singles and couples combined.

The higher rate of TAL for home internet subscribers is $132.00 per annum ($33 per quarter) for singles and couples combined.


TAL is paid quarterly with the customer's regular income support payment. Eligibility test dates are 1 January, 20 March, 1 July and 20 September.

TAL is adjusted annually for increases in the CPI.

Utilities Allowance (UA) is a payment to people of Age (or Veteran) Pension age in receipt of an income support payment, and to recipients of Mature Age, Widow and Partner Allowances, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Bereavement Allowance, Widow B Pension, Wife Pension, Invalidity Service Pension and Income Supplement regardless of age.

$500 per annum ($125 per quarter) for singles.

$250 per annum ($62.50 per quarter) for each eligible member of a couple.


UA is paid quarterly. Eligibility test dates are 20 March, 20 June, 20 September and 20 December each year.

UA is adjusted twice a year for increases in the CPI.

UA is intended to provide assistance towards regular household bills and is paid regardless of whether a person is liable for utilities bills.

Seniors Concession Allowance (SCA) is a similar payment to UA paid to Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card holders of pension age are also eligible for SCA who do not already receive UA.

$125 per quarter for each recipient of SCA, whether single or partnered.

Similar to UA.

Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) is paid to the following income support customers if they are studying: Parenting Payment (Single), Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Special Benefit (in some circumstances), Widow Allowance, Widow B Pension, Wife Pension (in some circumstances), Newstart Allowance/Youth Allowance (previously received PES while on Parenting Payment), and certain other allowees transferred from Disability Support Pension previously receiving PES.

PES is paid at two rates: $62.40 per fortnight or $31.20 per fortnight.

Rate depends on study load and the person's income support payment.

A person can get the $62.40 per fortnight rate if their approved study load is 50% or more of a full time study load; or they are a Disability Support Pensioner or an Invalidity Service Pensioner with an approved study load of at least 25%; or they are a War Widow(er) Pensioner with a dependent child with an approved study load of at least 25%.

A person can get the $31.20 per fortnight rate if their approved part‑time study load is at least 25% of a full‑time study load.

To receive PES, a person must be enrolled in an approved course of secondary or tertiary study.

Part‑time study load students can usually get the supplement for twice the minimum period it takes to finish their course as a full‑time student.

Fares Allowance is payable to tertiary PES students who live away from a partner or child to study.

Education Entry Payment (EdEP) is a lump‑sum payment to assist with the cost of beginning approved study (available annually for continuing study if receiving PES).

It is available to income support recipients who qualify for PES, and to recipients of Mature Age Allowance, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment (partnered), Partner Allowance and Widow Allowance if they have been on income support for at least 12 months.


Only one EdEP payment per calendar year is payable.

EdEP is a taxable payment.

Work for the Dole Supplement is a fortnightly supplement to assist Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients with the cost of participating in Work for the Dole programs.

$20.80 per fortnight.


Language, Literacy and Numeracy Supplement is a fortnightly supplement to assist people on eligible income support payments with the costs associated with participating in the Language, Literacy and Numeracy program.

$20.80 per fortnight.


Pension Bonus Scheme pays a one‑off lump sum to people who defer receipt of Age Pension and continue to work. A number of qualification rules apply.

The maximum rate is $33,409.50 (singles) and $27,910.50 (each member of a couple).

The maximum amount is paid if the person has accrued 5 full years of bonus periods and receives maximum rate of Age Pension when they eventually claim.


The scheme is funded through the Age Pension appropriation.

Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment is a one‑off lump sum paid to the surviving partner of a deceased Pension Bonus Scheme member who did not make their claim for a Pension Bonus before their death.

See Pension Bonus Scheme.


Commenced from 1 January 2008.

Funded from the Age Pension appropriation.

Crisis Payment is a one‑off payment to help people who are in severe financial hardship. It is available to social security income support recipients who are forced to leave their own home due to extreme circumstances, such as natural disaster, or who are victims of domestic violence, newly released prisoners or newly arrived humanitarian entrants.

Equivalent to one week's payment of the person's income support payment without add‑ons.

Must claim within 7 days after the event leading to the Crisis Payment claim.

Other supplementary payments

Mobility Allowance is a non—means tested income supplement for people with a disability who are aged 16 or over and who are unable to use public transport without substantial assistance.

There are two rates of Mobility Allowance.

Basic rate: $75.90 per fortnight

Higher rate: $106.20 per fortnight


Standard rate — must be engaged in approved activity for at least 32 hours every 4 weeks (combination of employment, voluntary work or vocational training).

Higher rate — must be in receipt of DSP, NSA, YA (other) and working at least 15 hours a week or looking for such work.

Carer Allowance is for people who provide daily care and attention at home to a person with a disability or medical condition who is: aged 16 or over with substantial functional impairment; or a dependent child under age 16 who needs substantially more care than child without a disability.

Child Disability Assistance Payment (CDAP) is available to recipients of CA (Child) at 1 July each year.

$100.60 per fortnight.

Child Disability Assistance payment: $1,000 per annum

Non‑means tested.


Carer Allowance is indexed annually. CDAP is not indexed.

The child and the carer must live together in the same private residence, or if the child is hospitalised, there must be an intention for the child to return home to live with the carer.

CDAP is intended to help with the purchase of support, aids, intervention, therapies or respite care.

Carers Bonus Payments

Carer Payment — one‑off lump sum paid to recipients of: Carer Payment; DVA Carer Service Pension; or Wife Pension and Carer Allowance; or DVA Partner Service Pension and Carer Allowance.

Carer Allowance — one‑off lump sum paid to Carer Allowance recipients.

The Carer Payment Bonus is $1,000.

The Carer Payment Bonus is $600.


Paid by June 30 after the following Budget speeches:






Seniors Bonus payments — eligible recipients vary between years.

In 2008, eligible recipients include: income support recipients of Age (or Service) Pension age; recipients of Mature Age, Partner and Widow Allowances; and people who qualify for Seniors Concession Allowance. In 2008, the one‑off payment was extended to recipients of Wife Pension and Widow B Pension.

In June 2008, the Seniors Bonus payment was $500.


Bonus (or similar bonus) paid by June 30 after the following Budget speeches: