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5.2.1 Eligibility for Remote Area Allowance (RAA)
Last amended: 5 January 2006
Eligibility criteria for RAA
To be eligible to receive RAA, a person must:
- be receiving a service pension or income support supplement at a rate greater than nil, and
- have their usual place of residence situated in a remote area, and
- be physically present in the remote area, or
- be temporarily absent from the remote area for less than 8 weeks.
The rate of RAA payable to a person is increased by the child rate per fortnight for each child a person has if:
- the child meets the definition of a FTB child under the Family Assistance Act 1999, and
- the child is in Australia (not necessarily in the remote area), or
- the child is temporarily absent from Australia and the absence has been less than 8 weeks
RAA remains payable to a person in respect of an FTB child for a period of 14 weeks after the death of the child.
Temporary absence from remote area
A person who is receiving RAA and who is temporarily absent from an identified remote area, remains eligible for payment of RAA for the first eight weeks of the absence. If additional RAA is paid in respect of a child, Commission may extend eligibility for RAA beyond the normal 8 week period under special circumstances.
Your obligations if you receive the Remote Area Allowance
You need to tell us within 28 days of the event if:
- your dependent child dies; or
- you are absent from your permanent address for more than 8 weeks;
- you move from your present address; or
- you or your child go overseas.
Remote area allowance is a supplementary payment added to the rate of income support pension where the pensioner's usual place of residence is situated in a remote area, and where the pensioner is physically present in the remote area.
A remote area is defined as one of the following:
- Tax Zone A, including the following islands:
-The Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands,
-The Australian Antarctic Territory,
-The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands,
-The Territory of Christmas Island, and
-Lord Howe Island,
- Locations within Tax Zone B that are 250 kilometres distant from the nearest urban centre with 2,500 people (known as Special Tax Zone B); and
- Those places in Australia that the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 treats as being either in Tax Zone A or Special Tax Zone B.
FTB child has the same definition as given in section 22 and 22A of the Family Assistance Act (i.e. A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999).
For more information, see also 9.4.3/Effect of Children on Remote Area Allowance (RAA) CS Policy Library.