Payments for visa holders

If you’re living in Australia with an eligible visa we have a range of help to support you.

Subject to the passage of legislation: holders of the following visa subclasses will meet the definition of an Australian resident for social security purposes:
  • subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)
  • subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional).

Read more about New Skilled Regional Visas (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019 on the Parliament of Australia website.

Eligibility for payments

If you’re living in Australia and an Australian resident, you may be eligible for payments. You may also be eligible if you’re a temporary visa holder. It depends on what payment you apply for.

You may also need to meet a qualifying residence period or newly arrived resident's waiting period, unless you’re exempt.

Other waiting periods may apply.

There are different rules for New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia.

You may be eligible for some payments if you live in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia. Agreements may also allow you to use insurance periods in an agreement country to meet the Australian residence period requirements.

Payments to help families with children

If you’re the primary carer of your child, you may be eligible for some payments.

Family Tax Benefit helps with the cost of raising children. It’s a 2 part payment.

We support parents who have just had a baby or adopted a child.

Child Care Subsidy helps with the cost of approved child care. Additional Child Care Subsidy gives extra help to families who need it. We’ll pay these directly to your child care provider to reduce the fees you have to pay.

Payments to help people with disability

Disability Support Pension provides financial support if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • are between 16 and Age Pension age
  • have a permanent medical condition that stops you from working
  • meet residency requirements
  • meet income and assets tests.

Carer Payment helps if you’re unable to work because you’re a full time carer for someone who either:

  • has a severe disability or medical condition
  • is frail aged.

Carer Allowance is available if you’re providing additional daily care and attention to someone with either a:

  • disability
  • severe medical condition.

Check the residence rules for these payments to see if you’re eligible.

Payments for special circumstances

Crisis Payment is a one off payment. This payment can help you if you’re going through difficult or extreme circumstances. This payment helps people who arrive in Australia for the first time on a refugee or humanitarian visa.

Special Benefit can help if you’re in severe financial need because of both:

  • reasons outside of your control
  • you can’t get any other Centrelink pension or benefits.

Check the residence rules for Special Benefit to see if you can get it.

Support with health care

Medicare can provide you with access to some health services and subsidised medicines if you live in Australia.

Check the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements we have with some countries to see if you’re eligible.

Becoming an Australian citizen

Read about living in Australia and becoming a citizen on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Other government and community help

There are other organisations that provide support services and information you may find helpful. You can use Service Finder to locate assistance in your local area.

Related subjects

Page last updated: 20 February 2020