Who can get it

You may get Special Benefit if you’re not eligible for any other income support and you meet the eligibility rules.

The eligibility rules depend on whether you’re applying for yourself, or applying for a child.

Eligibility rules for you

You may get Special Benefit if all of these apply:

  • you’re in financial hardship
  • you’re unable to earn a sufficient livelihood for yourself or family due to circumstances outside of your control
  • you’re not eligible for other income support payments from us
  • you don’t get certain payments from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
  • you hold an approved temporary visa, or you are an Australian citizen or Australian resident younger than 16
  • you meet the income and assets test.

You’re in financial hardship if all 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.

If you’re an Australian Citizen or permanent resident older than 16, you may not be eligible for this payment.

If you’re not eligible for Special Benefit, use our Get a Centrelink payment tool to see if you’re eligible for another payment.

If you study

You can get Special Benefit if you meet the eligibility rules and 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.

Eligibility rules for a child

If you can’t get Special Benefit for yourself, you can claim Special Benefit for a child if all the following apply:

  • you can’t get an income or family support payment because you’re not a permanent resident
  • your child is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • you have custody of the child
  • you’re in financial hardship.
Page last updated: 4 July 2024.
QC 43751