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. Qualification for ES

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria - for pensioners & income support recipients

The ES is mostly paid as a supplement to a qualifying payment. The ES is added to the MBR of a person's qualifying payment if the person is:

  • residing in Australia, AND
  • in Australia or temporarily absent from Australia for a continuous period not exceeding the allowed portability period for the qualifying payment.

Note: Where a person's qualifying payment can be paid for longer than 6 weeks, for example: Age and DSP (for those with indefinite portability), the ES is only payable for the first 6 weeks of a temporary absence from Australia.

Qualifying payments for the ES:

  • age pension
  • DSP (aged 21 or over, or aged under 21 with dependent children)
  • carer payment
  • parenting payment (single)
  • jobseeker payment
  • parenting payment (partnered)
  • SpB (whose rate is worked out as if the person were qualified for JSP)
  • youth allowance
  • austudy payment
  • DSP (aged under 21 without dependent children), OR
  • SpB (whose rate is worked out as if the person were qualified for Austudy or YA).

Note: ES payments may also be paid to qualified payment recipients under the following legislation and administrative schemes:

Non-protected SCV holders who are qualified for a one-off period of payment for up to 6 months of JSP or YA may receive the ES with their primary payment if eligible.

Recipients of ECRPs paid under the Farm Household Support Act 1992 will receive the same rate of ES as either a YA or JSP recipient (depending on which rate their ECRP is linked to).

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'clean energy qualifying payment'

Policy reference: SS Guide Residence requirements, Application of portability rules (portability table)

Qualification criteria - for CSHC holders

To qualify for ES, a person must be the holder of a CSHC. From 20 March 2017 the ES was closed to new CSHC holders. Refer to for more details.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061U Qualification for ES, section 1061ZUB Non-cancellation of concession cards for temporary overseas absences


A pensioner or income support payment recipient does not need to make a specific claim in order to qualify for an ES. The ES will be automatically included in the calculation of the rate of a person's qualifying payment if the person meets the qualification criteria.

CSHC holders, to whom a positive amount of ES is payable, do not need to make a specific claim for ES as the payment is linked to the card.

Last reviewed: