Advance payment

You may get part of your income support payment or Family Tax Benefit (Part A) early. This is an advance payment. You pay it back later out of your payments from us.

Who can apply

You can apply for an advance after at least 3 months getting one of these payments:

You can apply for an advance at any time if you’re getting one of these payments:

When you’re not eligible

You can’t get an advance if you already had one in the past 12 months. This applies while you’re getting one of these payments:

You’re also not eligible for an advance if you:

  • are repaying one you got more than 12 months ago
  • owe a debt to the Australian Government
  • can’t afford to repay it within 6 months
  • have less than the lowest advance amount available
  • are outside Australia.

If you get Mobility Allowance

You can’t get an advance if you get Mobility Allowance and any of these apply:

  • you plan to leave Australia for more than 6 weeks in the next 6 months
  • you plan to stop your current work or training for at least the next 6 months
  • you get money from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, not including My Way in Western Australia.

What you can get

There’s a limit on how much money we can pay you in advance. The amount depends on what kind of payment you get.

Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A

If you get FTB Part A you can get one regular advance at a time. You can also ask for a one off advance at any time. But your advances can’t go over a total of $1,296.09.

For a regular advance, the amount you can get is 3.75% of the standard rate for one child under 13. We pay it to you every 26 weeks. We do this as long as you’re still eligible or until you ask us to stop.

For a one off advance the highest amount you can get is 7.5% of your annual rate. This includes add-ons but not Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement.

The highest advance you can get depends on if it’s a one-off advance or a regular advance.

You’re a blended family

If you’re a blended family the highest and lowest amount you can get depend on your blended family percentage.

You’re still paying back another advance

If you’ve already got an advance from us that you’re still paying back, there’s a limit. It’s the most you would be eligible for minus the FTB advances you haven’t fully repaid.

Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment

In any 6 months or 13 fortnights you can only get one of these:

  • one advance at the highest amount
  • up to 2 advances of smaller amounts
  • 3 advances at the lowest amount.

You can’t get another advance if you have less than the lowest advance amount available. If you have less than the lowest advance amount available, you’ll need to wait until you’re eligible again.

You can ask to have the amount paid all at once or in 2 instalments.

The lowest and highest amounts change along with pension amounts each March and September.

Your situationLowest amountHighest amount
You’re single$529.15$1587.45
You’re part of a couple$398.85$1196.55

You’re getting a part rate of your payment or you’re under 21 and get Disability Support Pension

We’ll work out how much advance we can give you using the pension amount you get.

ABSTUDY, Austudy, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment or Youth Allowance for job seekers and students

The lowest advance you can get is $250. The highest advance you can get is $500.

We can pay this either:

  • all at once
  • in 2 instalments.

Farm Household Allowance

The lowest advance you can get is $250. The highest advance you can get is $500.

We can pay the advance all at once.

Special Employment Advance

The lowest Special Employment Advance you can get is $50. The highest advance you can get is $500.

You may get a Special Employment Advance if you've been getting one of these payments for at least 3 months:

You can apply for this advance if you get a job and both of the following apply:

  • the job is for at least 6 weeks and your income support will reduce by at least 50%
  • you don’t have enough money to pay for something you need to start it such as work boots, tools or hi-vis work shirts.

You can also apply for this advance if you or your partner have worked and both of the following apply:

  • the earnings will reduce your income support by at least 50%
  • the employer has not paid you or your partner yet and will not pay you in the next 2 days.

You’re not eligible for a Special Employment Advance if you:

  • owe a debt to the Australian Government
  • have less than the lowest advance amount available
  • are outside Australia.

Mobility Allowance Advance

You can get one advance in 12 months.

The amount of the advance payment is equal to 13 payments of Mobility Allowance.

If you get an advance payment, your Mobility Allowance will stop. It will start again when the advance period has finished. This can be up to 6 months. We may restart your normal payments earlier if you start being eligible for a higher rate.

You can’t increase or decrease your repayment amounts.

How to apply

The quickest way to apply online or with the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

  1.  

    1. Get ready to apply

    The easiest way to apply is online.

    To apply online, you need a Centrelink online account linked to myGov. If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink online account you’ll need to create them.

    When you apply, you must tell us your income and expenses. We need these to check if you can repay us.

  2.  

    2. Make your application

    If you can apply online

    If your Centrelink account is linked to myGov, you can apply online.

    To do this:

    1. Sign in to myGov.
    2. Select Apply for Advance and we’ll tell you if you’re eligible to apply.
    3. If you’re eligible, select Get Started then follow the prompts to apply.

    Sign in to myGov

    Watch the video about how to apply for an advance payment.

    You can also apply using the Express Plus mobile app. Read our online guide to apply for an advance payment using the mobile app.

    If you can’t apply online

    If you can’t apply online or with the Express Plus app, you can:

    If you get Farm Household Allowance

    If you want an advance and get Farm Household Allowance you need to call us on the Farmer Assistance Hotline.

    If you want to claim Special Employment Advance

    You need to complete and submit a Claim for Special Employment Advance form. The details are on the form.

  3.  

    3. After you apply

    After you submit your application online, you’ll get a receipt telling you if it was successful.

    We’ll also give you a summary of your advance payment details.

    If you think we’ve made a mistake you can ask us to review our decision.

Check other things online

You can use your Centrelink online account or Express Plus Centrelink app to check:

  • when you can next apply for an advance
  • how much you owe
  • how much your repayments are.

If you get Family Tax Benefit Part A you can also manage your regular advance online or through the app.

How to pay the money back

Every fortnight you pay back part of your advance. This starts on the next date we pay you after you get the advance.

We take the repayments out of the amount we would normally pay you. You don’t need to do anything to set this up.

You can also repay your advance payment early. Read our online guide to making an advance repayment.

Repayment amount

The amount you repay each fortnight will be the advance amount divided by 13. This is because you will repay the advance over 13 fortnights.

If you want to increase your repayments, you can do this online or call us on your regular payment line. If you get Mobility Allowance, you can’t make changes to your repayment amount.

If you’re already repaying an advance

If you get FTB or a pension payment, you may be able to have multiple advances. If you do, we’ll take out more each fortnight to pay for all of the advances.

If you stop getting a payment from us

You still need to repay the money you owe us. We’ll tell you how to do this.

If you can’t pay

If you’re having trouble repaying an advance, call us on your regular payment line. Ask us about what help you can get.

Page last updated: 11 April 2024.
QC 30201