3.8.1.40 Notification, Verification & Recipient Obligations for RA

Notification obligations

RA recipients must qualify for and receive a social security pension, benefit or allowance, or FTB Part A at greater than the base rate, in order to receive RA.

RA recipients must meet all the notification obligations and requirements associated with the pension, benefit or allowance they are receiving.

Notifiable events for RA

Recipients generally have 14 days to notify Centrelink of a change in circumstances unless a specific exception applies.

RA recipients must inform DHS (Centrelink) when there is a change in their circumstances, for example:

  • there is a change of residential circumstances, such as change of address, rent amount variation, move to government housing, no longer pay an amount for rent, or
  • they marry or become a member of a couple (1.1.M.120), or
  • they separate from their partner (1.1.P.85), or
  • they start or stop sharing their accommodation with others.

Explanation: This is important even if the change does not immediately affect the rate of RA payable. This is because changes to the minimum rent thresholds and maximum rates in March and September each year may affect the rate paid.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.3 Notification & Recipient Obligations

FA Guide 5.2.1.10 Change of Circumstances - General Provisions, 5.2.1.20 Change of eligibility circumstances, 5.2.1.30 Change of Rate Circumstances, 5.1.8.50 Common Provisions Affecting Indexation of Pensions, 5.1.8.20 Common benefit rates

Verification

RA recipients must verify the amount of rent they are paying to DHS (Centrelink) by providing a current lease or tenancy agreement, Rent Certificate or Rent Declaration.

Some recipients are exempt from having to verify the amount of rent they pay. They are:

  • people living in exempt accommodation, i.e. boarding style accommodation, refuges (1.1.E.168),
  • people living full-time in a non-Commonwealth funded bed in residential care facilities (3.8.1.60) (4.6.4.30), and
  • people in retirement villages.

Policy reference: SS Guide 2.2.13.20 RA - Verification Required, 3.8.1.10 Qualification for RA

FA Guide 3.1.4.30 Rent assistance

Last reviewed: 20 March 2017