Who can get it

You can get Telephone Allowance if you have a telephone connected in your name and get a certain payment. You can also get it if the connection is in your partner’s name.

There are 2 rates of Telephone Allowance either:

  • basic rate
  • higher rate.

What the basic rate is

You can get the basic rate if you have both:

  • a telephone connected, including a landline or mobile
  • the account is in your or your partner's name.

Who can get it

You must also get 1 of these payments and meet the extra rules for them.

Disability Support Pension

If you get Disability Support Pension you must be under 21 with no dependent children to get Telephone Allowance.

JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance

You may get Telephone Allowance if you’re not employed full time because of disability and get either:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance.

Sickness Allowance, JobSeeker Payment or Farm Household Allowance

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if all of these apply:

  • you’re over 60
  • you’ve had income support payments for 9 months
  • you get Sickness Allowance, JobSeeker Payment or Farm Household Allowance.

Youth Allowance, JobSeeker Payment or Farm Household Allowance

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if you’re single and the principal carer of a dependent child.

You may get it if you’re the principal carer of a dependent child, and you have a partner. Your partner must be all of these:

  • over 60
  • get JobSeeker Payment, Sickness Allowance or Farm Household Allowance
  • have been on income support payments for 9 months.

Parenting Payment

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if you get Parenting Payment and you’re either:

  • single and under Age Pension age
  • partnered and you can't be full time employed because of disability.

Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Special Benefit or Parenting Payment partnered

You may be eligible for Telephone Allowance if you get 1 of these payments:

  • Partner Allowance
  • Widow Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Parenting Payment partnered.

You must also meet all of the following:

  • have a partner
  • be over 60 but under Age Pension age
  • had income support payments for 9 months.

Partner Allowance or Parenting Payment

You may get Telephone Allowance if you have a partner and they meet all of these. Your partner:

Who can get a higher rate

Disability Support Pension

You can get a higher rate of Telephone Allowance if all of these apply. You:

  • get Disability Support Pension
  • are under 21 with no dependent children
  • have internet for any device in your or your partner's name.

Farm Household Allowance

You automatically qualify for the higher rate of Telephone Allowance if you’re eligible for the basic rate.

How to get it

We’ll assess if you can get the allowance when you claim certain support payments. You don’t need to do anything.

You’ll need a phone or internet service to get the allowance. If you get a phone or internet service after you’re assessed, tell us. Do this by updating your details online.

You don’t have to meet income or assets tests to get it.

When we review

You need to let us know if your phone or internet details change. We’ll review your allowance when you advise of a change.

Page last updated: 20 March 2020