Commonwealth Rent Assistance
Updated April 2012
What is it?
Rent Assistance is a non-taxable income supplement payment added on to the pension, allowance or benefit of eligible income support customers who rent in the private rental market. Pensioners, allowees and those receiving more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A may be eligible for Rent Assistance.
Who is eligible?
You may be eligible for Rent Assistance if you:
- receive a pension (special rules apply if you are under 21 years and receive Disability Support Pension), or
- have dependent children and get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit, or
- have care of a child between 14% and 35% of the time and are not eligible for Family Tax Benefit but meet other Family Tax Benefit requirements, or
- receive an allowance or benefit (but don't have dependent children) and:
- are over 25 years, or
- have a partner, or
- are under 25 and living permanently or indefinitely apart from your parents or guardians.
To receive Rent Assistance you must also meet the residence requirements of your pension, allowance, or benefit.
To be eligible for Rent Assistance you must be paying more than the minimum amount of rent shown in the payment rates table for:
- rent (other than for public housing), or
- service and maintenance fees in a retirement village, or
- lodging (if you pay for board and lodging but are unable to tell us exactly what you pay for each, two thirds of the amount you pay will be accepted), or
- fees paid to use a caravan site or other accommodation that you occupy as your principal home, or
- fees paid to moor a vessel you occupy as your principal home.
You can visit the Centrelinnk web site for full details of rent assistance eligibility.
How do I apply?
You do not need to lodge a separate claim for Rent Assistance. Centrelink will assess your eligibility as part of your primary payment application process. Centrelink will need you to provide proof that you pay rent, and you will need to complete a Rent Certificate.
If you have a formal written tenancy agreement you will need to show this to Centrelink. If you do not have one, or are not named on the tenancy agreement, the person you pay rent to will have to sign your Rent Certificate.
Who runs it?