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. Remote area allowance (RAA) - description

Objective of RAA

RAA helps to meet additional costs associated with residence in remote areas. It recognises that many income support recipients who do not pay tax, or pay very little tax, do not receive the full benefit of tax zone rebates. RAA makes a contribution towards some of the higher costs associated with living in particularly remote areas.

To qualify for RAA a person must:

  • be receiving a social security pension, allowance or benefit
  • be physically present in a remote area, AND
  • have their usual place of residence situated in a remote area.

The definition of remote area in the SSAct is based on the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 Schedule 2 Parts I & II.

For the purposes of RAA, the remote areas are the specified area of Taxation Zone A, including Special Taxation Zone A and Special Taxation Zone B. The remote areas include the Torres Strait Islands, Lord Howe Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island.

The following areas specified in Taxation Zone A are NOT part of the RAA specified area:

  • Macquarie Island
  • Heard Island
  • McDonald Islands
  • Australian Antarctic Territory, and
  • Toorak Research Station.

Act reference: SSAct section 14(1) Remote area definitions

How RAA is paid

RAA is paid fortnightly with the income support recipient's main payment.

Background information

RAA was introduced on 1 May 1984.

Act reference: SSAct Part 3.1 to Part 3.6A Rate Calculators, section 14 Remote area definitions

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.8 RAA - qualification & payability, RAA - current rates

Last reviewed: