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. Pharmaceutical allowance (PhA) - description

What is PhA

PhA is a supplementary allowance that provides financial assistance to eligible income support recipients to help with the cost of pharmaceutical prescriptions under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

PhA cannot be claimed on its own. It may be paid as a component of certain income support payments.

How PhA is paid

PhA is paid fortnightly with the person's main payment. It may be paid in advance to certain pensioners.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061F(1) Qualification for advance PhA, section 1068 Module D PhA

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.2 PhA - qualification & payability, PhA - current rates, 5.4.3 PhA advance payment

Background information

From 20 September 2009 as part of major pension reform, the value of PhA was incorporated into:

  • the pension supplement ( for most pensioners and for income support recipients who have reached the qualifying age for age pension, and
  • the transitional rate of pension (

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