Explained: The Pension Supplement

The Pension Supplement has been paid to those on certain pensions since September 2009, but there’s still a little confusion about what it covers.

We explain what it is and how much you should be receiving.

What is the Pension Supplement?
If you receive income support from Services Australia, you should receive the Pension Supplement, which is a regular extra payment to help with utility, phone, internet and medicine costs. The payment is made fortnightly to those who are eligible.

Who receives it?
You will automatically receive the Pension Supplement if you receive:

    • Age Pension
    • Bereavement Allowance
    • JobSeeker Payment, for former Wife Pension recipients who were moved to the JobSeeker Payment on 20 March 2020
    • Carer Payment
    • Disability Support Pension – except if you are 20 or younger and have no children.

You will also receive the supplement if you are over Age Pension age and get one of the following payments:

    • Austudy
    • Parenting Payment
    • Partner Allowance
    • Special Benefit
    • Widow Allowance.

When is it paid?

The Pension Supplement is normally paid each fortnight, however if you want to plan for large bills, you can opt to have a portion of it paid quarterly. An amount equal to the minimum Pension Supplement amount accrues daily and is paid with your regular payment after 20 March, June, September and December. The amount you receive above the minimum amount is still paid fortnightly. To request quarterly payments, contact Services Australia on 13 2300.

How much is the Pension Supplement?
The maximum rate of Pension Supplement depends on your circumstances. The current rates are detailed below:

If you are Your minimum supplement per fortnight is: Your maximum supplement per fortnight is:
single $38.30 $71.20
in a couple $28.90 each or $57.80 combined $53.70 each or $107.40 combined
in a couple, separated due to illness, respite or prison $38.30 each $71.20 each

The Pension Supplement is indexed on 20 March and 20 September each year.

You only get the reduced rate, why is this?
If you receive a part-rate pension or other reduced rate income support payments, then you receive the Pension Supplement at a reduced rate, proportionate to your initial payment. As long as you remain eligible for some income support payment, no matter how little, you will be paid at least the minimum amount of Pension Supplement.

Do you think the Pension Supplement is enough to cover the expenses that it is meant to cover?

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