Criteria for sickness allowance

Geoff wants to know if he is eligible to apply for sickness allowance.


Q. Geoff
How do I apply for sickness benefits? And what are the eligibility criteria?

A. The sickness allowance is an income support payment for Australian residents who are unable to work or study for a while because of illness, injury or disability.

You can get sickness allowance if you’re 22 years or older, but under Age Pension age and either:

  • have a job
  • get Austudy or ABSTUDY as a full-time student.

You must also:

  • meet an income and assets test
  • meet residence rules
  • be temporarily unable to work or study because of a medical condition
  • provide a Centrelink medical certificate from your doctor
  • have work or study to return to when you’re better.

The easiest way to claim is online, but you will need a myGov account linked to Centrelink to do this.

There will be no new claims for sickness allowance from 20 March 2020. If you’re sick and unable to work or study, you may be eligible to apply for a JobSeeker Payment.

If you’re getting the Sickness Allowance on 20 March 2020, your payment will continue until your medical certificate expires. After it expires your sickness allowance will stop.

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Related articles:
Pension boost unlikely to help many
Jack’s deeming rate dilemma
‘Why was my pension cut?’

Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Ben


Pension boost is unlikely to help many older Australians

Freedom of Information documents reveal the change to deeming rates is insignificant.

Centrelink Q&A: Deeming rate dilemma

Jack wants to know which of his investments may be exempt from deeming rates.

‘Why has my pension payment been reduced?’

Max's pension has been cut from $574 a fortnight to just $220, and he wants to know why.