Federal Budget 2024: The Centrelink Payment Change Renters Need to Know About

Federal Budget 2024: The Centrelink Payment Change Renters Need to Know About

With the arrival of the May Federal Budget, Centrelink rates are a major point of discussion right now. Some payments will be seeing a boost soon, and Rent Assistance is one such example. The initiative is one many rely on right now with the current rental crisis and cost of living situation, so we’ve pulled together a guide on Rent Assistance rates, how they’re set to change, and who is eligible to apply for it.

Rent Assistance in the Federal Budget: What was announced?

The latest update in this space is that the Centrelink support payment will be getting an increase.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced in the 2024-25 Budget that the Centrelink Rent Assistance program would be receiving additional funding, with the payment increasing by 10 per cent.

The government shared a statement on this change, stating that the boost “will take maximum rates over 40 per cent higher than in May 2022 – a combined result of indexation and the actions of the Government.”

“Nearly 1 million households will benefit.”

The rate increase will require a tax investment of $1.9 billion over the next five years.

What is Rent Assistance, and who is eligible?

rent assistance

Rent Assistance is an additional payment for those already on certain payment plans with Services Australia.

It’s a scheme that is reserved for those who are a) paying rent (obviously) and b) are one another selected Centrelink payment, such as the below:

  • Age Pension, Carer Pension or Disability Support Pension
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Youth Allowance, or Austudy
  • Special Benefit
  • Family Tax Benefit
  • Parenting Payment
  • JobSeeker Payment or Farm Household Allowance

The rent payment you are making can be in the form of traditional household rent, retirement village fees, board or lodging, or site or mooring fees if your home is a boat or caravan.

You can find the full eligibility details here.

How to apply

One of the easiest parts of Rent Assistance is you don’t need to submit a claim to get it. Services Australia will check if you are eligible for Rent Assistance when you apply for one of the eligible payments. Provided you are approved for the initial claim, rent assistance will automatically be offered.

If you are, you may be asked to upload proof of your rent arrangements by uploading documents online. Find out how to do all that here.

How much are Rent Assistance payments in 2024?

Long thin for lease sign with a leased sticker over it in front of a property

Perhaps the only confusing part of Rent Assistance is figuring out how much you can receive. The payment amount is dependent on the sum of rent you pay with amounts ranging from $123 – $245 a fortnight.

As described on the Services Australia website, “There’s a minimum amount of rent you need to pay to get Rent Assistance. For every $1 of rent you pay above this amount, you’ll get 75c. You can’t get more than the maximum amount.”

The current rates for 2024 are:

Rates when paid with an income support payment or ABSTUDY

Image: Services Australia

Rates when paid with Family Tax Benefit:

Image: Services Australia

Be advised these payments index on March 20 and September 20 of each year to align with inflation. From March 20, those on an income support payment will see their rent assistance rates go up between $2.27 – $3.40 a fortnight to the maximum payment, while those under the Family Assistance Act will see an increase of between $3.92 – $4.49 per fortnight. You can see the full list of March indexation payment rates here.

Lead Image: Stock

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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