Who can get it

You can get Special Benefit if you're in severe financial hardship.

This payment can help if you meet residence rules and all of the following apply to you:

  • you’re in severe financial hardship due to circumstances beyond your control
  • you don’t earn enough to support you and your dependants
  • you can’t get any other income support payment.

You can claim Special Benefit for a child if any of the following apply:

  • you have custody
  • your child is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • you can’t get any income or family support payments because you’re not a permanent resident
  • you’re in severe financial hardship
  • you can’t support yourself and your child.

Severe financial hardship

You’re in severe financial hardship if any of the following occurs to you:

  • you earn less than the highest Special Benefit fortnightly payment
  • you can’t improve your financial position
  • you have limited savings.

Limited savings

For short term payments you and your partner must have no more than the fortnightly Special Benefit payment amount.

For long term payments you must have no more than $5,000.

For more information you can either:

Page last updated: 20 February 2020