Pension Supplement explained

The Pension Supplement has been paid to those on certain Centrelink pensions since September 2009, but there’s still a little confusion about what it covers. Debbie explains what it is and how much you should be receiving. 


What is the Pension Supplement?
Combining the GST Pension Supplement, Utilities Allowance, Pharmaceutical Allowance and the Telephone Allowance, the Pension Supplement is paid fortnightly, along with pension payments, to those who are eligible. 


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

  • Age Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension (unless you’re under 21 and have no children)
  • Widow B Pension
  • Wife Pension

You will also receive the Pension Supplement if you are over Age Pension eligibility age and are receiving:

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


When is it paid?
As said previously, the Pension Supplement is normally paid each fortnight, however, if you would like to be able 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 the 20th of March, June, September and December. The amount you receive above the minimum amount is still paid fortnightly. To request quarterly payments, contact Centrelink on 13 2300 


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

Situation

Maximum fortnightly payment

Single

$65.90

Couple

$49.70 each or $99.40 combined

Couple separated by ill health

$65.90 each

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


I 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 reduce 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. 


What are the minimum payment rates?
The minimum payment rates which apply to those requesting quarterly payments or to those who receive part-pension or allowance rates are as follows:

Situation

Minimum fortnightly payment

Single

$34.40

Couple

$25.90 each or $51.80 combined

Couple separated by ill health

$34.40 each

Written by Debbie McTaggart



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