Payments for visa holders

We have payments, services and information to support you if you’re living in Australia with an eligible visa.

Eligibility for payments

If you’re an Australian resident or a temporary visa holder, you may be eligible for some payments.

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

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be changes to waiting periods. Stay up to date with our news.

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

You may be eligible for some payments if the country you live in 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.

Subject to legislation passing

We may define the following visa subclasses as Australian residents if legislation passes:

  • 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.

Payments to help people looking for work

JobSeeker Payment is financial help if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age.

You can get it when you’re either:

  • unemployed and looking for work
  • sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study for a short time.

Check the residence rules for JobSeeker Payment to see if you can get it.

Youth Allowance for job seekers is an income support payment if you’re between 16 and 21. You can get it while you’re:

  • looking for full time work
  • studying part time and looking for work
  • temporarily unable to work.

Check the residence rules for Youth Allowance to see if you can get it.

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 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: 3 September 2020