Who can get it

You may get Special Benefit if you aren’t eligible for any other income support. You’ll need to meet some rules.

Rules for not being eligible for other income support

To get Special Benefit you must not be eligible for any other income support payment.

You may not be eligible for another income support payment because any of the following apply:

  • you haven’t lived in Australia long enough
  • you’re the holder of a temporary visa
  • you’re an Australian resident younger than 16.

What the rules are for claiming Special Benefit for a child

You may be the parent or guardian of a child and can’t get any other income support payment. If this is the case, you may be able to get Special Benefit for your child.

You must meet some rules. You can claim Special Benefit for a child if all of the following apply:

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

What the rules are if you study

You can get Special Benefit if your Employment Services Provider approves either your:

  • full time study for a specific time
  • training to meet a mutual obligation requirement.

They’ll only approve study or training that will improve your prospects for getting a job.

Rules for financial hardship

You’re in financial hardship if all of the following apply:

  • you have less than $5,000
  • your income is less than the Special Benefit fortnightly payment
  • you can’t improve your financial position.

To get Special Benefit you’ll need to meet the income and assets test and all eligibility rules.

Page last updated: 5 January 2022