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. Priority needs under income management

Priority needs

Priority needs are defined in the SS(Admin)Act section 123TH. The Minister may expand on the list by making a legislative instrument. A person's priority needs are:

  • food
  • non-alcoholic beverages
  • clothing
  • footwear
  • basic personal hygiene items
  • basic household items
  • housing including
    • rent
    • home loan repayments
    • repairs
    • maintenance
  • household utilities including
    • electricity
    • gas
    • water
    • sewerage
    • garbage collection
    • fixed line telephone
    • short-term residential accommodation ( which means crisis or emergency accommodation: hostels, boarding houses or caravan parks or similar accommodation for residential use for a period of generally 3 months duration or less)
  • rates and land tax
  • health including
    • medical, nursing, dental or other health services
    • pharmacy items
    • the supply, alteration or repair of artificial teeth
    • the supply, alteration or repair of an artificial limb (or part of a limb)
    • artificial eye or hearing aid
    • the supply, alteration or repair of a medical or surgical appliance
    • the testing of eyes
    • the prescribing of spectacles or contact lenses
    • the supply of spectacles or contact lenses
    • the management of a disability
  • child care and development
  • education and training
  • toys (that are educational, this does not include electronic toys)
  • items required for the purposes of the person's employment, including
    • a uniform or other occupational clothing
    • protective footwear
    • tools of trade
  • funerals
  • public transport services, where services are used wholly or partly for purposes in connection with any of the above needs, and
  • the acquisition, repair, maintenance or operation of
    • a motor vehicle
    • a motor cycle, or
    • a bicycle
    • that is used wholly or partly for purposes in connection with any of the above needs.

Note: This list is not a hierarchy. All priority needs are equal in status for the purposes of income management.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 123TH Priority needs

Last reviewed: