UPDATED: Over 40 Family Support Services & Rebates on Offer!

family support services
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I just found out that I could be entitled to benefits and family support services from the Australian government and other agencies across the state and country! And you could be too!

I started writing this article just to compile benefits for our current circumstances, but as I researched I found SO MANY benefits available to families that I decided to add as many as I could find!!

Below I have listed a huge range of income support payments and family support services that you should check into to see if you are eligible. I have applied to a few of them in this morning, so don’t delay. Get this sorted now!!

This is not an exhausted list…. this is just to help you get started! Some of these benefits and family support services are specific to the pandemic, others are available at any time! So please check carefully!

*Please note the following does not constitute financial advice. The information below is a list of benefits and family support services available in Australia. Your eligibility depends on your own circumstances.  I advise you to check with your personal advisor before making any decisions that affect your financial position!

family support services

Rent Assistance

You can claim up to $185 a fortnight in rent assistance.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re:

  • Already receiving certain Centrelink payments (such as JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, or Youth Allowance), or getting more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit
  • Paying one of the following:
    • Rent
    • Fees in a retirement village
    • Lodging
    • Board and lodging
    • Site or mooring fees if your main home is a caravan, relocatable home or a boat

How do I claim?

If you are already receiving an eligible payment, you don’t need to make a separate claim. To make sure you have been assessed for Rent Assistance, follow the steps below:

  1. Log into myGov and go to My Details
  2. Select either Update address details, Update contact details or Update accommodation details
  3. Make sure your address and personal details are correct
  4. If your application is successful you’ll be paid to your nominated bank account in addition to your regular payments

Login to MyGov to claim here.

Mortgage Relief

You could get a freeze or take a mortgage holiday on paying your mortgage for up to 6 months.

Am I eligible?

Most financial institutions are offering mortgage holidays, with conditions, to their customers.

How do I claim?

  1. You can find a list of banks offering mortgage freezes here
  2. Contact your financial institution or check their website
  3. Read the fine print including how this will increase your total repayments in the future

Learn more about mortgage freezes here.

Electricity & Gas Rebate

You could get $340.85 to help reduce the cost of your electricity bill.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • Have an electricity account with your name on the bill
  • Hold (or someone you share your main place of residence with holds) a Pensioner Concession Card, Centrelink Health Care Card, Queensland Seniors Card, Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card marked with either War Widow, War Widower Pension or Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) or asylum seeker status
  • Live alone or share your main place of residence with someone who:
    • Is your spouse or;
    • Provides care and assistance or;
    • Receives an income support payment from Centrelink, the Family Assistance Office, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or;
    • Doesn’t pay rent

How do I claim?

  1. Have your recent energy bill and concession card handy
  2. Call your electricity retailer and ask for the Electricity Rebate

Find out more about the electricity & gas rebate.

Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme

You could get up to $720 every 2 years if you’re having trouble paying your electricity or gas bills due to an emergency or a short-term financial crisis.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • You’re part of your energy retailer’s hardship program or payment plan
  • Hold a Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Veterans’ Affairs Card; or
  • Your income is less than or equal to the Government’s maximum income rate for part-age pensioners

How do I claim?

  1. Call your electricity retailer and ask them to send you an application form. They will assess your eligibility for the program.
  2. Complete and submit the application form by email or post to the address provided.

Find out more about the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme.

Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme

You could get $340.85 to help reduce your electricity costs if you have a chronic medical condition which is aggravated by changes in temperature.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • Hold a Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card
  • Live at your main place of residence, which has an air-conditioning or heating unit
  • Need cooling or heating to stop the worsening of a qualifying medical condition including:
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Autonomic system dysfunction
    • Loss of skin integrity or sweating capacity
    • Severe compromise of functioning at extreme temperatures
    • Hypersensitivity to extreme temperatures leading to discomfort
  • Are financially responsible for paying the electricity bill

If you’re the parent or legal guardian of a child with a qualifying medical condition and meet the criteria above you’re also eligible to claim.

How do I claim?

  1. Download and complete the application form
  2. You’ll need your doctor or specialist to complete Section F of the form
  3. Use the details on the form to send your application by post

Learn more about the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme.

Family Tax Benefit

family support services

You could get a fortnightly payment up to $242 per child to help with the cost of caring for children.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you live in Australia and:

  • Meet income limits (these will depend on how many children you have and their ages)
  • Have a dependent child aged 19 years or younger
  • Provide care for the child for at least 35% of the time
  • You and your child/children are either Australian citizens, or hold a permanent visa, Special Category visa, or hold a certain temporary visa type

What will I need?

  • Your family’s income details
  • Your partner’s residency details
  • Tax file numbers (TFN) for you and your partner
  • Documents that show you have dependents such as their birth certificate

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready. You’ll need to meet an income and assets test and provide your supporting documents.
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Start a claim to apply for the Family Tax Benefit

Start a claim for Family Tax Benefits here.

JobSeeker Payment

You could get a fortnightly payment of up to $790.10 to help you while you look for work or recover from sickness or injury.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re at least 22 years old and under Age Pension age (65 to 67) and meet one of the following:

  • Able to prove you’re looking for paid work
  • Unable to study or work due to sickness or injury
  • Your partner has recently passed away

Coronavirus changes

Jobseeker Payment criteria has been expanded to provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the coronavirus. This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the coronavirus.

Asset testing will be waived for the period of the coronavirus supplement and the one week ordinary waiting period has been waived.

What will I need?

  • Financial documents such as Tax File Number, bank statements, proof of assets
  • Employment documents such as pay slips, income tax returns
  • Living arrangement documents such as housing, rental property or real estate details, rent certificate

If relevant, you’ll also need to provide details about the following:

  • Relationships (parent/guardian details, partner)
  • Australian residency
  • Child care
  • Medical
  • Study

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready. You’ll need to meet an income and assets test.
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up
  3. To start a claim online go to Payments and Claims, then Get Started

To find out more about JobSeeker payments.

Oral Health Scheme

You could get dental treatment at a public dental clinic at no cost.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • Hold a Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card, Queensland Seniors Card or Seniors Health Care Card

Your child is eligible if they’re one of the following:

  • Between 4 years of age and completing Year 10
  • Hold a concession card or are a dependent of current concession card holder
  • Under the guardianship of the Director-General, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

How do I claim?

  1. Call your local public dental clinic to book an appointment

Find out more about the Oral Health Scheme.

Child Dental Benefits Scheme

Brisbane Dental Hospital

Receive discounted or free dental services for your child if you receive an eligible payment.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a parent, guardian or approved care organisation and:

  • You or your child receive an eligible payment
  • Your child is eligible for Medicare and between 2 and 17 years old

How do I claim?

  1. Book a dentist appointment and say you want to use the Child Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS)
  2. When you arrive at your appointment, discuss what each service will cost and confirm with the dentist that CDBS will cover the services
  3. If the dentist bulk bills, you don’t need to pay or lodge a claim. If they do not bulk bill, you will be given a bill to pay and then you can submit a claim with Medicare

Find out more about the Child Dental Benefits Scheme.

Spectacle Supply Scheme

You could get a free pair of prescription glasses, including basic frames, lens and lens treatments, every 2 years.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • Have a clinical need for glasses
  • Hold a Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or Queensland Seniors Card

How do I claim?

  1. Make an appointment with a participating optometrist for an eye test
  2. Ask your optometrist to help you complete the Spectacle Supply Scheme application form
  3. They’ll lodge your application at your appointment

Find out more about the Spectacle Supply Scheme

Child Care Subsidy

You could get up to 85% off your child care fees if your child is 13 years old or younger, or 14-18 years old with a disability that requires supervision.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Care for a child 13 years old or younger, or a child 14-18 years old with a disability that requires supervision
  • Use an approved child care service and are responsible for paying fees
  • Meet residency and immunisation requirements

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up
  3. Start a claim to apply for Family Assistance (Child Care Subsidy)

Find out more about the Child Care Subsidy

On April 2nd, The Prime Minister announced that families will be eligible for free childcare for a period of time. You can see those details here.

Carer Allowance

You could get a fortnightly payment if you provide daily care to someone who is frail aged or has a disability or serious illness.

What will I get?

If you’re providing care to a child under 16 years old you can get $129.80 a fortnight if they have lower needs. If they have higher needs you can also get a Carer Allowance Health Care Card for the child.

If you’re providing care for someone who is 16 years or older you can get $129.80 a fortnight.

Am I eligible?

As the carer, you’re eligible if you’re an Australian resident and:

  • Provide care to someone who has a disability or severe illness or is frail aged
  • You and your partner’s combined adjusted taxable income is under $250,000 a year

The person receiving care is eligible if they’re an Australian resident and:

  • Have a disability, severe illness or is frail aged
  • Their care needs score high enough on the ADAT or DCLAD
  • They’ll have these needs for at least 12 months or the rest of their life

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready. You may also need to provide other documents such as a medical report and care needs assessment.
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Start a claim to apply for Carers Allowance

Learn more about Carer Allowance.

Carer Adjustment Payment

You could get up to $10,000 if your child under 7 has a severe illness, medical condition or major disability because of a catastrophic event.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if your child under 7 needs care for at least 2 months and you:

  • Are the full time carer for your child who has s a severe illness, severe medical condition, or major disability because of a catastrophic event
  • Get Carer Allowance for your child
  • Have a very strong need for financial help
  • Are unable to receive Carer Payment or another income support payment

When should I apply? 

You need to apply less than 2 years after the first time a doctor diagnoses the severe illness, medical condition or major disability.

How do I claim?

  1. Have your supporting documents handy (medical reports, bank statements, letters from your employer, or proof of need for financial help)
  2. Download the application form, request one at a Centrelink Service Centre or call the Carers line
  3. Submit your form and documents by post or visit a Centrelink Service Centre

Learn more about the carer adjustment payment.

Crisis Payment

You could get a one-off payment equal to a weeks pay if you’re in severe financial hardship or extreme circumstances.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Have experienced an extreme life change such as leaving a violent relationship, getting out of jail or being a refugee, or involved in a natural disaster
  • Are in severe financial hardship
  • Are eligible for an income support payment (not including Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Subsidy)
  • Haven’t received a Disaster Recovery Payment or another disaster relief payment for the same event
  • Meet residency requirements

How do I claim?

  1. Call the Help in an emergency line within 7 days of your crisis. They’ll check your eligibility for the payment and inform you of supporting documents that may be required.
  2. Download the form for your circumstance
    1. Extreme circumstance and domestic violence form (SU510)
    2. Humanitarian Entrants form (SU622)
    3. Prison Release and Anticipated Payment form (SU508)
  3. Submit your form and documents online, by post or at a Centrelink Service Centre.

Learn more about Crisis Payments.

Parental Leave Pay

You could get $719.35 per week before tax for up to 18 weeks to help you care for your new child while you’re on leave from work.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re:

  • The birth mother of a newborn child
  • The adoptive parent of a child, or another person caring for a child under exceptional circumstances

You’ll also need to:

When should I apply?

You need to apply before, or within 34 weeks of the birth or adoption of your child. You’ll need to make a claim before your payments can start.

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Start a claim to apply for Family Assistance (including Paid Parental Leave)

Learn more about Parental Leave Pay.

Dad and Partner Pay

Family Support Services

You could get a payment of $740.60 (before tax) for up to 2 weeks while you’re on unpaid leave from work to help care for your new child.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re either the:

  • Child’s biological father 
  • Partner of the biological father or partner of the birth mother
  • Adoptive parent or partner of an adoptive parent
  • Person caring for a child born of a surrogacy arrangement
  • Partner of a new carer where care arrangements have changed, other than a foster care or permanent care arrangement

You also need to:

When should I apply?

You need to claim before your child turns 1 year old. You can claim from 3 months before the expected date of birth or date of adoption. If you claim after your child’s birth or adoption, you’ll need to supply proof of birth or adoption. You’ll need to make a claim before your payments can start

What will I need?

When you claim Dad and Partner Pay you’ll need your:

  • Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) and Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Australian residency documentation, such as citizenship papers or passport
  • Income details for the financial year either before the date of your claim, or before your child’s date of birth or adoption, whichever is earlier
  • Details of your work over the last 13 months, including hours worked and any unpaid leave you took
  • Proof of your child’s birth or adoption if you’re claiming after your child was born or entered your care.

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up
  3. Start a claim to apply for Family Assistance (including Paid Parental Leave)

Learn more about Dad and Partner Pay.

Low Income Health Care Card

You could be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card with access to discounts on healthcare, medicines, services, and more if you meet an income test.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

What will I need?

  • Financial documents (Tax File Number, bank account details, superannuation)
  • Employment, work or study documents
  • Living arrangement documents or residence details if you’ve lived outside of Australia
  • Relationships and child care documents
  • Medical documents

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink then select Make a claim
  4. Under Concession Cards select Get Started
  5. Submit your claim

Learn more about the Low Income Health Care Card.

Up to 3-month toll credit

You could have your tolls credited for up to 3 months during the Covid-19 pandemic. The credit covers the period from 1 April to 30 June.

Am I eligible?

Eligible people include:

  • People who have lost their jobs or experienced significant reduction in hours directly as a result of COVID-19
  • Eligible Healthcare workers
  • Registered healthcare practitioners working in hospitals, aged care or disability facilities
  • Registered medical practitioners and nurses working outside of hospitals
  • In-hospital workers
  • Aged and disability carers
  • Emergency service personnel
  • Paramedics, ambulance officers and those involved in emergency patient transfer
  • Police and Fire Fighters
  • Front-line emergency services personnel directly dealing with high-risk people or environments with increased exposure to COVID -19

How do I claim?

Apply online here.

Where customers do not meet the full criteria for the toll credit, but have been impacted by COVID-19, consideration will be given to applying a partial toll credit. Consideration will also be given to waiving past toll debt for impacted customers on a case-by-case basis.

Mobility Allowance

You could get a fortnightly payment up to $136 to cover travel costs for work, study or looking for work.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Are 16 years or older
  • Are unable to use public transport without a lot of help
  • Have a disability, illness or injury
  • Need to travel for study, training, work or to look for work
  • Are an Australian resident, and in Australia, on the day you claim

What will I need?

  • Medical documents
  • Financial, employment and study documents
  • Residence and living arrangement documents
  • Relationship or child care details (if applicable)

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink then select Make a claim
  4. Complete and submit your application form

Learn more about the Mobility Allowance.

Taxi Subsidy Scheme

You could get up to $25 off your taxi fare per trip if you’re unable to use public transport due to a severe disability.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and have one of the following severe disabilities:

  • Physical disability requiring dependence on a wheelchair
  • Severe ambulatory problem that’s unable to functionally be improved and restricts walking to an extremely limited distance
  • Total loss of vision or severe visual impairment (both eyes)
  • Severe and uncontrollable epilepsy with seizures involving loss of consciousness
  • Intellectual impairment or dementia resulting in the need to be accompanied by another person at all times for travel on public transport
  • Severe emotional and/or behaviour disorders resulting in the need to be accompanied by another person at all times for travel on public transport

How do I claim?

  1. Have 2 passport sized photos handy
  2. Download an application form and complete part A
  3. You’ll need your doctor to complete parts B and C of the form
  4. Send your application and supporting documents by email or post

Learn more about the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.

Essential Medical Equipment Payment

You could get $160 to help reduce your electricity costs if you have a chronic medical condition which is aggravated by changes in temperature.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you or the person you care for:

  • Needs heating, cooling or certain equipment for medical needs
  • Has a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Pensioner Concession Card or a Health Care Card
  • Pays the electricity bill

What will I need?

  • Proof of medical equipment needs from a medical practitioner
  • Proof that you or the person you care for pays the energy running costs

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Complete and submit your application form
  4. If your application is successful you’ll be paid to your nominated bank account

Learn more about the Essential Medical Equipment Payment.

Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme

You could get subsidised travel, accommodation and escort services when you access specialist medical services.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident or have no fixed address and:

  • Are a current Medicare card holder
  • You travel more than 50km from your nearest public hospital to access the specialist medical service^ which is recommended as medically necessary by a medical practitioner

How do I claim?

  1. Download and complete forms A and C
  2. You’ll need your specialist to complete form B and your accommodation provider to complete form D
  3. Submit your forms by post or visit any QLD health care facility
  4. If you’ve travelled for specialist medical treatment within the last 12 months you can submit a retrospective application

Queensland Companion Card

Get free transport and entry to entertainment for your companion or carer if you have a disability and require lifelong care.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • You have a permanent disability requiring lifelong care support
  • You’re unable to attend venues or events without attendant care support

How do I claim?

  1. Have 2 endorsed passport sized photos of yourself handy
  2. Download the application form and complete section 1 of the form
  3. Ask your Service Provider (e.g. a provider of residential aged care or supported accommodation) or Registered Health Professional to complete section 2
  4. Return the form to the address provided on the form

Learn more about the QLD Companion Card.

Disability Support Pension

You could get a fortnightly payment up to $850.40 if you have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Are at least 16 and under Age Pension age (65 to 67)
  • Have a permanent medical condition that stops you from working
  • Have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years in total (at least 5 must have been consecutive) or have special circumstances
  • Meet income and assets tests

You may also need to show you:

  • Have done a Program of Support, and
  • Are unable to work or retrain for at least 15 hours a week over the next 2 years

What will I need?

  • Financial documents (such as Tax File Number, bank statements, proof of assets)
  • Employment documents (such as pay slips, income tax returns)
  • Living arrangement documents (such as housing, rental property or real estate details, rent certificate)
  • Medical evidence (such as medical history records or reports, medical imaging reports)

If relevant, you’ll also need to provide details about the following: 

  • Relationships (parent/guardian details, partner)
  • Australian residency
  • Child care
  • Medical
  • Study

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready. You’ll need to meet an income and assets test.
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. To start a claim online go to Disabled, ill or injured, then Get Started.

Learn more about the Disability Support Pension.

Continence Aids Payment Scheme

You could get up to $609 per year to to help meet the cost of continence products for your child.

Am I eligible?

Your child is eligible if they’re an Australian permanent resident or citizen and:

How do I claim?

  1. Download the CAPS application form
  2. Complete Part 1 of the form, and get your registered health professional to complete Part 2
  3. Return your completed form by post or to a Medicare service centre
  4. If your application is approved your payment will be paid into your nominated bank account

Learn more about the Continence Aids Payment Scheme.

Hearing Services

You could pay less for hearing aids and services to help you save money on your healthcare.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Are 21 years or older
  • Meet one of the following:
    • Hold a Pensioner Concession Card, Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card or Veterans’ Affairs White Card issued for specific conditions that include hearing loss
    • Receive Sickness Allowance from Centrelink 
    • Are a dependent of a person who has one of the above concession cards, or receives Sickness Allowance
    • Member of the Australian Defence Force
    • Participant of Disability Management Services (DMS) under the Disability Employment Service

How do I claim?

  1. Complete the Hearing Services online form
  2. If you’re eligible you’ll receive your pre-filled medical certificate and a list of eligible hearing service providers
  3. Book an appointment with your doctor and ask them to complete your pre-filled medical certificate. They’ll confirm if you need to be fitted for a device (such as an in-ear hearing aid)
  4. Book an appointment with a hearing services provider and bring your completed medical certificate
  5. Once approved your hearing services provider will give you subsidised hearing aids/services

Learn more about the Australian Government Hearing Services Program.

Home Care Package

You could get a subsidy between $8,750 and $50,750 per year to help you live independently in your own home if you have complex care needs.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re:

  • An older person who needs coordinated services to help you stay at home, or
  • A younger person with a disability, dementia or other care needs which are not met through other specialist services

Eligibility is also determined on an individual basis through a face-to-face assessment.

Your financial situation won’t affect your eligibility, however, it will determine the amount of the concession.

How does it work?

Under the home care package, the government provides a subsidy to an approved provider of home care, so they can deliver services and care at a heavily discounted rate. Depending on your needs, you can get assistance with services such as:

  • Personal care (E.g. grooming, showering)
  • Nursing and medical care
  • Allied health and therapy
  • Meal preparation and diet
  • Domestic assistance (E.g. basic chores, cleaning)
  • Home maintenance and modifications
  • Good, equipment and assistive technology (E.g. shower chair, walking frame)
  • Transport
  • Social support (E.g. community based activities)

How do I claim?

  1. Call My Aged Care. They’ll let you know if you need a face-to-face assessment.
  2. If you need a face-to-face assessment, they’ll come to your home to assess your care needs
  3. If you’re eligible you can choose a service provider to provide the relevant services and/or care
  4. The government will pay your provider a subsidy to reduce the cost of your service package.

Learn more about the Home Care Package.

Education Entry Payment

You could get $208 per year if you’re studying an approved education course and receiving certain income support from Centrelink.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Have started an approved education course
  • Have received one of the following payments for the last 12 months:
    • Newstart Allowance
    • Parenting Payment Partnered
    • Partner Allowance
    • Widow Allowance
    • Wife Pension
  • Haven’t received an Education Entry Payment in the last 12 months

How do I claim?

  1. Call the students line and ask for the Educational Entry Payment

Learn more about the Education Entry Payment.

Subsidised Training Program

You could get subsidised course fees for TAFE, certificate 3, certificate 4, diploma and priority skills. The government will pay a portion of the training costs for your course directly to your chosen training provider up to a set amount.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible for Free TAFE if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • Have completed Year 12 in Queensland and hold a Senior Statement
  • Enrol in training with an approved provider in a high priority qualification by the end of the calendar year following completion of Year 12

You’re eligible for Certificate 3 Guarantee and Higher Level Skills if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • Are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a Australian permanent resident
  • Are 15 years old or over
  • Have left school
  • Haven’t previously or are currently enrolled in a certificate 3 or higher qualification

You’re eligible for Higher Level Skills if you’re a QLD resident and:

  • Are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a Australian permanent resident
  • Are 15 years old or over
  • Have left school
  • Haven’t previously or are currently enrolled in a certificate 4 or higher qualification

How do I claim?

  1. Choose your high priority qualification and an approved training provider
  2. Contact your provider to enrol in the course

Learn more about Free TAFECertificate 3 Guarantee or Higher Level Skills.

Austudy

secondary school ranking for high schools Brisbane

You could get up to $596 per fortnight to help you cover the cost of living while you’re studying full time or doing an Australian Apprenticeship.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re:

  • At least 25 years old
  • An Australian resident and in Australia on the day you claim
  • A full time student in an approved course or an Australian Apprentice
  • Meet an income test

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink then select Make a claim
  4. Under Students, Trainees and Apprentices, select Get Started
  5. Complete and submit your application form

Learn more about Austudy.

Adult Migrant English Program

You could get up to 510 hours of free English language tuition if you’re an eligible migrant or humanitarian entrant.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Are a permanent resident of Australia or you hold an eligible temporary visa
  • Have less than a functional level of English
  • From the date your VISA started or you arrived in Australia you:
    • Register with an Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) service provider within 6 months (or within 12 months if you were under 18 years of age when you arrived in Australia)
    • Commence your tuition within 12 months
    • Complete your tuition within 5 years

How do I claim?

  1. Contact your local AMEP provider
  2. Choose from a range of learning options including
    • Classroom tuition through either full-time or part-time study
    • Distance learning supported by regular telephone or internet contact with an AMEP qualified teacher
    • Home Tutor Scheme, which provides language assistance by a trained volunteer
    • Self-paced e-learning using an online program.

Learn more about the Adult Migrant English Program.

School Transport Assistance Scheme

You could get subsidised transport to reduce the cost of your child’s travel by rail, bus and ferry to and from school if your child does not have a state school in their local area, or if your child lives near a state school but is financially disadvantaged.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible for distance based assistance and conveyance allowance if you’re a QLD resident and your child:

  • Is under the age of 19
  • Attends an approved school full-time
  • Travels from one home address to one school address, at least twice per week
  • Is a primary school student who lives more than 3.2km from the nearest school
  • Is a secondary school student who lives more than 4.8km from the nearest secondary school

You’re eligible for safety-net travel assistance and rail transport assistance if you’re a QLD resident and your child:

  • Is under the age of 19
  • Attends an approved school full-time
  • Travels from one home address to one school address, at least twice per week
  • Is listed as a dependent on your Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Concession Card; or
  • Has their own applicable card, or are under a Care Protection Order

How do I claim?

  1. Have your concession card handy if you’re applying for safety-net travel assistance or rail transport assistance
  2. Download and submit the appropriate application form:

Learn more about the School Transport Assistance Scheme.

Non State School Transport Assistance Scheme

You could get subsidised transport to reduce the cost of your child’s travel by ferry or bus to and from a non-state school.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and your:

  • Family spends more than $25 ($20 for concession) on bus or ferry fares weekly
  • Child attends a non-state school outside of the Brisbane City Council area
  • Child travels on a publicly available bus or ferry
  • Child lives more than 3.2km from their primary school or 4.8km from their secondary school (if you’re concession card holder this distance restriction doesn’t apply)

You’re eligible for disability assistance if you’re a QLD resident and your:

  • Child has been verified through the school as eligible for the Students with Disability Program for Non-State Schools
  • Child has an Individual Education Plan, Support Plan or equivalent which confirms their transport needs and has a travel capability rating or C, D, E or F.

What will I need?

  • Your Centrelink or DVA concession card number if you have one
  • The transport provider, ticket type and fares you will pay for each student for the weeks they’re catching public transport for the entire semester
  • The number of weeks the student didn’t travel to or attend school for the current semester

If you’re eligible for disability assistance, you’ll need:

  • The address of the Car to Public Transport pickup point
  • Their Students With Disability verification status
  • An Individual Education Plan with travel assistance
  • Their travel capability rating

How do I claim?

  1. Pay for transport throughout the semester and keep your receipts
  2. Then claim each May (for travel you paid between Jan-Jun) and October (for travel you paid between Jul-Dec)
  3. Have your concession card, the name of the transport provider and ticket type handy
  4. Complete and submit your application form online

Learn more about the Non State School Transport Assistance Scheme.

Travel and Accommodation Subsidy

If you’re an apprentice or trainee and travel at least 100kms return to attend off-the-job training you could get subsidised travel and accommodation.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if your apprenticeship or traineeship is registered in QLD and:

  • You travel at least 100kms return to training
  • You attend the closest organisation that offers training in your relevant qualification

How do I claim?

  1. Have your training contract registration number handy
  2. Complete the online application
  3. Ask your registered training organisation officer to complete section 6 of the form
  4. Submit your claim within 6 months of completing your training

Learn more about the Travel and Accommodation Subsidy.

Living Away From Home Allowance Scheme

You could get an allowance to help cover your child’s tuition, travel and boarding costs if you child needs to live away from home to attend a state school or an accredited non-state school.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and your child’s:

  • Enrolled in Year 1 to 12 at an approved school
  • Home is at least 16 km from the nearest Queensland Government state school and at least 4.5 km from the nearest approved school or public transport service safe pickup point; or
  • Home is less than 4.5 km from the nearest approved transport service pickup point, and the school is at least 56 km away by available transport service (from home to school).

How does it work?

The scheme provides financial support through 4 allowances:

  • Remote Area Tuition Allowance (helps pay for tuition fees charged by non-state boarding schools)
  • Remote Area Travel Allowance (helps pay for your child’s travel costs between home and boarding school during holidays)
  • Remote Area Allowance (helps pay for the cost of boarding at a Queensland Australian Agricultural College campus or a state high school campus)
  • Remote Area Disability Supplement (helps with additional boarding costs for students with disability)

How do I claim?

  1. Sign in or register to the online portal to begin your online application
  2. Complete the application form and submit
  3. If your application is successful, half of the payments will be made in Semester 1, and the other half in Semester 2

Learn more about the Living Away From Home Allowance Scheme.

FairPlay Voucher

You could get $150 per year to cover your child’s sporting membership, registration or participation fees.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re a QLD resident and your child is:

  • Between 5 and 17 years old
  • Holds or is listed on a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card

How do I claim?

  1. To claim you’ll need a QGrants account. If you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up
  2. Log into your account and go to ‘applications’ then ‘new applications’ and complete and submit your application for the current grant round
  3. If you’re successful your voucher will be sent by email
  4. Present or email the voucher to the activity provider when you register your child

Learn more about the FairPlay Voucher.

Queensland Bushfires – Disaster Recovery Payments

Get a one off payment of $1000 with an additional $400 for each child under 16 years old or a weekly allowance, if you’ve lost income or been majorly affected by bushfires from September 2019 onwards.

Am I eligible?

QLD residents who are Australian or New Zealand citizens or hold Australian permanent residency are eligible.

You’re eligible for a one off payment if you:

  • Live in a local government area affected by the bushfires
  • Have been majorly affected by the September or November 2019 bushfires in any of the following ways:
    • Your residence has sustained major damage, has been destroyed, must be demolished or has been declared structurally unsound
    • The interior of your residence has sustained major damage or been affected by sewerage contamination
    • A major asset(s) at your residence has been destroyed or damaged
    • You’ve been seriously injured
    • You’re the immediate family member of someone who has died
    • You’re the principal carer of a child who has experienced any of the above

You’re eligible for an allowance if you:

  • Live in a local government area affected by the bushfires
  • Aren’t currently claiming an income support payment
  • Work or live in an affected area and:
    • You have lost or will lose income as a result of the Queensland Bushfires in September or November 2019
    • You can show you earned less than the average weekly income in the weeks following the loss of income

What do I need?

  • Proof of eligibility such as proof of hospital admission or a damage report for your residence
  • Proof of birth or arrival in Australia or documents that add up to the value of 50 ID points such as:
    • Driver licence (40 points)
    • Bank card/statement (40 points)
    • Medicare card (20 points)
  • For a one off payment you must show proof of eligibility such as hospital admission or a damage report for your residence
  • For an allowance you must show proof of loss of income such as pay slips from an employer

How do I claim?

  1. Have your supporting documents handy
  2. Call Centrelink to submit your claim
  3. If your claim is successful you’ll be paid into your nominated bank account
  4. Phone lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-5pm Saturday and Sunday

Learn more about the Queensland Bushfires – Disaster Recovery Payments.

Youth Allowance

You could get a fortnightly payment up to $790.10 to help with the cost of living if you’re a young student, apprentice or job seeker.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re one of the following:

  • 16 to 21 years old and looking for full time work
  • 18 to 24 years old and studying full time
  • 16 to 24 years old and doing a full time apprenticeship
  • 16 to 17 years old, independent or need to live away from home to study
  • 16 to 17 years old, studying full time and have completed year 12 or equivalent

Coronavirus changes

Youth Allowance for job seekers has been expanded to provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the coronavirus. This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the coronavirus.

Asset testing will be waived for the period of the coronavirus supplement and the one week ordinary waiting period has been waived.

What will I need?

  • Financial documents (such as Tax File Number, bank statements, proof of assets)
  • Employment documents (such as pay slips, income tax returns)
  • Living arrangement documents (such as housing, rental property or real estate details, rent certificate)

If relevant, you’ll also need to provide details of the following:

  • Study (course and enrolment details)
  • Relationships (parent/guardian details, partner)
  • Australian residency
  • Child care
  • Medical

How do I claim?

  1. Get your supporting documents ready
  2. To claim you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink (if you don’t have an account you’ll need to set one up)
  3. Complete your application form

Learn more about Youth Allowance.

 

Queensland Unclaimed Money

The Public Trustee holds unclaimed money from:

  • Queensland Government Departments and Agencies such as hospitals, correctional centres and statutory authorities
  • Queensland businesses
  • Solicitors, real estate agents, accountants and nursing homes
  • Unclaimed wages for employees who receive a Queensland State Award

How do I claim?

  1. To search, go to The Public Trustee and enter your name
  2. If you find money you’ll need to complete and submit an application form

Australian unclaimed money

How does it work?

Money becomes unclaimed if a bank account is inactive for 7 years or a life insurance policy matures and isn’t claimed within 7 years. The unclaimed money is transferred to ASIC who holds the money until the rightful owner claims it.

How do I claim?

  1. To search, go to MoneySmart and enter your name or original transaction number
  2. If you find money from bank accounts, bank dividends or life insurance policies you’ll need to claim with the relevant company
  3. If you find money from shares or investments you’ll need to claim with ASIC

Search for unclaimed money here.

Lost super

$20 billion of lost or unclaimed super is waiting to be claimed.

How does it work?

If your super fund, employer or the government can’t find an account to deposit your super into, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) holds onto it on your behalf. Unclaimed or lost super is held by the ATO until you claim it from them or they can deposit it into an active super account.

Your lost or unclaimed super may be held by your super fund (as a lost member) or by the ATO.

How do I claim?

  1. Log on to or create a myGov account
  2. Link your myGov account to the ATO
  3. Select ‘super’
  4. You can then find and choose to transfer your super

Learn more about Lost and Unclaimed Super.

Solar for Rentals

This scheme is not currently available.

You could get up to $3500 to install a solar system with solar monitoring technology in your rental property.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible if the rental property is located in the Bundaberg, Gladstone or Townsville local government areas and:

  • The supply of electricity is separately metered
  • The property hasn’t benefited from this scheme or the Interest Free Loans for Solar and Storage Scheme
  • Electricity is supplied from an approved seller
  • The tenancy contract has:
    • A fixed term of at least 1 year
    • Rent $350 per week maximum
    • An increase to the rent to take effect at an agreed time after installation

The solar system must:

  • Have a capacity of 3kw or more
  • Include solar monitoring technology now or in the future
  • Not replace or change an existing solar PV system 
  • Have been purchased after 5 March 2019

What will I need?

  • A tenant consent form
  • A new lease signed by your tenant
  • A copy of the most recent council rates notice for the rental property
  • Your invoice from your approved solar supplier
  • Your proof of payment

How do I claim?

  1. Check your eligibility and register your interest
  2. Choose a solar supplier and get a quote
  3. Get your tenant’s consent for the trial
  4. Install and pay for your solar monitoring system
  5. Claim the rebate through the QRIDA application portal

Learn more about Solar for Rentals.

More Coronavirus support

JobKeeper Payment

The federal government will be paying employers $1500 a fortnight for each eligible worker for a period of 6 months. This payment is for people who are no longer working due to coronavirus but were employed on 1 March 2020. 

If you’re a sole trader, full-time, part time, or long-term casual employee you may be eligible for the payment. Your employeer will also need to be eligible and will need to apply. You don’t need to go through Centrelink to get the payment, contact your employer to discuss your eligibility. 

JobSeeker Payment

If you’ve lost your job or income and are not eligible for the JobKeeper payment you may be eligible for the JobSeeker Payment provided by Services Australia.

You may be eligible if you meet any of the following:

  • Not able to work or don’t have work 
  • in isolation or hospitalised
  • caring for children

Asset testing will be waived until September, but you’ll need to meet an income test. The partner income limits have been increased and you’ll now be eligible unless your partner earns $79,762 or more per year.

Government stimulus payments

If you’re receiving an eligible government payment, you may be eligible for two one-off payments of $750. If you’re eligible you’ll automatically receive these payments into your myGov account.

Coronavirus Supplement

If you’re receiving an eligible government payment, you may be eligible for an additional fortnightly payment of $550 as part of the coronavirus supplement. The supplement will start in April and will continue for 6 months.

Accessing your super

If you’re affected by the coronavirus you’ll be allowed to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You won’t pay tax on these amounts, and your Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments won’t be impacted. Consider getting advice before accessing super.

Help paying bills

If you receive the JobSeeker payment you will automatically receive a Health Care Card. This will grant you access to a range of different benefits, including rebates on electricity bills, vehicle registrations and more. You may also be eligible for a hardship arrangement with your utility provider, call them directly to discuss.

 

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