Date amended:
What is rent assistance?


Rent assistance is an allowance which may be paid fortnightly to a service pensionerincome support supplement or veteran payment recipient to assist in meeting the cost of privately rented accommodation.    


What is rent for rent assistance purposes?


Rent can be broadly defined as amounts paid by a person as a condition of occupancy for a premises which is their principal home.

Where a person resides in a retirement village, a regular maintenance charge which must be paid as part of condition of occupancy of a retirement village unit can be regarded as rent. In some cases, rent may include gas and electricity charges, where a delegate is reasonably satisfied that these charges form part of the services that are provided by the retirement village and the person does not have a separate contract with a utilities provider.

Payment of rent assistance

Under the rules of payment:

  • the rent paid must be verified, and
  • the rent threshold reached.

The rate payable depends on the family situation.    



A person receiving rent assistance should be provided with an obligation notice to notify within 14 days (28 days if receiving a remote area allowance) if the person:

  • stops paying rent
  • changes address
  • starts paying government rent, including paying rent to another person who pays government rent
  • travels overseas
  • moves into a retirement village or other living arrangement
  • changes units within the retirement village
  • enters respite care
  • changes relationship status
  • starts to receive rent assistance with Family Tax Benefit for a dependent child, or
  • starts paying a reduced amount of rent.