Travel outside Australia

There are rules about when you can get Sickness Allowance when you travel outside Australia.

What the rules are

If you leave Australia to live in another country, your payment will stop on departure.

If you leave Australia on a temporary basis, you need to be travelling for an approved reason. Otherwise, your payment will stop on departure.

You may get Sickness Allowance because of a residence exemption for certain New Zealand citizens. If you do and your payment stops while you are overseas, you won’t get the exemption again when you return.

What the approved reasons for payment overseas are

We may pay Sickness Allowance outside Australia for up to 6 weeks for any of these approved reasons:

  • to attend an acute family crisis – for example, to visit a family member who is critically ill
  • humanitarian reasons – for example, to adopt a child or attend custody proceedings
  • to get eligible medical treatment that you can’t get in Australia.

When to tell us about your travel

You should always tell us if you’re leaving Australia.

The easiest way to tell us about your travel plans is to use your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can get information on how your travel could affect your payments and concession cards. You may need to call us to discuss your circumstances further.

Read more about payments while outside Australia.

Page last updated: 13 March 2020