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. Supplementary benefits & employment assistance for PA recipients

Note: PA ceased on 1 January 2022. The following information is for historical purposes only.

Other departmental benefits

PA recipients MAY also qualify for the following benefits, if they meet the relevant qualification criteria:

  • rent assistance (
  • pharmaceutical allowance (
  • telephone allowance (
  • utilities allowance (
  • crisis payment (
  • clean energy advance (
  • energy supplement (
  • remote area allowance (
  • bereavement payments (3.1.5)
  • health care card (
  • PCC in restricted circumstances (that is, where a PA recipient who is 60 years of age or more and has been receiving income support for the preceding 9 months) (
  • pension supplement if over age pension age (
  • education entry payments (, and
  • language, literacy and numeracy training and supplement (

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZK Qualification: general rules (HCC), section 1061ZA General qualification rules (PCC)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1 RA - qualification & payability, 3.8.2 PhA - qualification & payability, 3.8.6 EdEP - qualification & payability, 3.8.7 TAL - qualification & payability, 3.8.8 RAA - qualification & payability, 3.9.1 HCC - Qualification Provisions, 3.9.2 PCC - Qualification Provisions, 3.7.4 CrP - qualification & payability, 3.1.5 Bereavement payment provisions, 3.12.1 Pension supplement - qualification & payability, 3.15.1 CEA - qualification & payability, 3.15.2 ES - qualification & payability

Employment assistance

PA recipients are eligible for employment assistance through jobactive or CDP, which will not affect their qualification for PA or make any difference to their obligations.

Explanation: This means they do not have to look for work although they may choose to do so on a voluntary basis.

Employment incentives

PA recipients may receive the following incentives to take up a job:

  • access to working credits
  • payment of certain supplementary benefits during the employment income nil rate period
  • continued use of their HCC or PCC for a certain period, and
  • able to have their payment resumed during the employment income nil rate period if they report a fall in income sufficient for PA to be payable again.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4) …, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A) …, section 1061ZMA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income (HCC), section 1061ZEA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income (PCC)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.11 Working credit, 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period, Qualification for HCC - automatic issue, PCC extension rules

Last reviewed: