Rent assistance (RA) - description

Objective of RA

RA is a supplementary payment added on to the pension, allowance or benefit of eligible income support recipients and families renting in the private rental market and community housing.

How RA is paid

RA cannot be claimed on its own. It is only paid if a person is being paid a social security pension, allowance or FTB Part A. In addition, the person must be paying rent above a minimum threshold amount (1.1.R.190). This includes CDEP participants who are income support recipients.

RA is paid at the rate of 75 cents for each dollar of rent paid above the rent threshold, up to the maximum rate (1.1.M.60). Rent thresholds and maximum rates of RA vary depending on the person's family circumstances and whether their RA is added on a social security payment or FTB Part A. For single people without children, the maximum rate also varies according to whether or not accommodation is shared with others.

RA is paid fortnightly with the recipient's main payment, and may be reduced due to the income and asset test rules applying to that payment.

Act reference: SSAct Part 3.7 Division 2 Qualification for RA, Division 3 Rate of RA

FAAct Schedule 1 Part 5 Division 2B Rent assistance

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1 RA - qualification & payability, RA - current rates

FA Guide Rent assistance

Last reviewed: 22 March 2021