The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.2.15 Rent assistance (RA) - description


RA recognises the housing costs that low income families face in the private (i.e. non-government) rental market. RA is payable to eligible individuals for an FTB child ( or regular care child (1.1.R.21) who is also an RA child.

RA is not paid to individual's who pay rent to a government housing authority.

RA calculation

For the purposes of FTB, RA is included in calculating an individual's maximum rate of FTB Part A (1.1.M.26) when the rate is worked out using Method 1 or Method 3. Method 3 applies when an individual has a regular care child and no FTB children.

RA is not added to the base rate (or Method 2) of FTB Part A calculations.

The assessment of eligibility and rate of RA for FTB is contained in the FAAct. However the meaning of rent and the associated concepts are the same as under the SSAct.

RA rates

Current RA rates are available at topic

RA payment

RA is payable as part of an eligible individual's fortnightly FTB Part A instalment payment, or a lump sum payment where claim and reconciliation requirements are met.

Act reference: FAAct Schedule 1 clause 38B RA children, Schedule 1 clause 38C Eligibility for RA, Schedule 1 clause 38G Rent paid by a member of a couple, Schedule 1 clause 38H Rent paid by a member of an illness separated, respite care or temporarily separated couple

SSAct section 13 Rent definitions

Policy reference: FA Guide Rent assistance, 1.1.M.26 Maximum rate (FTB)

SS Guide 1.1.R.160 Rent (RA)

Last reviewed: