Centrelink Payment Rates

The current Centrelink Payment rates and related qualifying information published by the Department of Human Services. Many benefits are indexed throughout the year. Find out what you can get.

Centrelink Payment Rates
20 September 2022 to 31 December 2022

For the rates booklet Download PDF here

Inflation increases for payments from 20 September 2022

Social Security payment increases applying from 20 September 2022 are the flow-on effect of recent inflation.

As such the increases do not provide a real increase in purchasing power for pensioners and other recipients, but rather seek to maintain the real value of the payments.

Perhaps surprisingly, the increases are not historically noteworthy. See article: High inflation = higher social security rate increases – Flagpost blog post 06/09/2022 by Michael Klapdor, Australian Parliamentary Library Services

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card Income Limits To Be Increased

[27 July 2022] The government has introduced a Bill to parliament to increase the income limits for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. 

The income limit for couples is going up to $144,000 from 20th September 2022 (instead of indexation). For singles the new income limit will be $90,000.

Services Australia has noted it here.

The Bill is here: Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Lifting the Income Limit for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card) Bill 2022

Pensioners’ Asset Test Amendments – Incentivising Downsizing

The government has introduced a Bill to parliament to

  • extend by 12 months (to 2 years) the asset test exemption on sale of home proceeds to give more time to establish a new principal home before affecting pension entitlements; and
  • reduce the deeming rate on principal home sale proceeds which are to be used for a new home. The current rate of 2.25% is reduced to 0.25% per annum.

Subject to approval by parliament, the measures are expected operate from 1 January 2023.

See: Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Incentivising Pensioners to Downsize) Bill 2022 and media release.

and see also

Rates indexation updates (DSS)

Age Pension Eligibility and Rates

Qualifying for the Age Pension payable by the government is based on attaining the minimum age, together with income, assets and residence requirements.

Age Pension Qualifying Age

When you become eligible depends on your date of birth. The qualifying age is being increased over time to reach 67 years by 1 July 2023.

When were you born?Your qualifying pension age is..
From 1 July 1952 to 31 December 195365 years and 6 months
From 1 January 1954 to 30 June 195566 years
From 1 July 1955 to 31 December 195666 years and 6 months
From 1 January 1957 onwards67 years
Source: Department of Social Services

Age Pension Residence Requirement

The residence qualification requires you to have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years, including at least 5 years without a break in residence.

There are exceptions to the 10 years requirement for refugees and for those transferring from Partner and Widow allowances, having reached the Age Pension age.

A woman who has been an Australian resident for 2 years and whose Australian resident partner has died will also avoid the 10 years requirement.

Being an “Australian resident” for these purposes has a specific meaning. The rules require that you live in Australia as a citizen, PR visa holder, or a Special Category visa holder (New Zealander) who did not arrive after 26 February 2001.

It also a requirement that you be living in Australia at the time of application.

If only one partner of a couple has reached pension age, and the other tests are satisfied, the pension is paid at half the couples rate.

Age Pension Means Tests (Income and Assets)

Eligibility to receive the Age pension is subject to means tests which are applied at the time of application, and ongoing. Worldwide assets and income are counted.

The value limits and pension rates are indexed twice a year, on 20 March and 20 September. We have included the latest schedule of indexed values in the list above.

The value limits vary according your family situation (couple or single) and whether you own a home or not. Values in excess of the current limit reduce the pension available in a sliding scale.

The income test allows a minimum threshold amount, over which the pension payable reduces by a percentage of the excess. The thresholds vary according whether you are single or a couple.

To calculate your pension entitlements, you will need to check the following references, or for a quick estimate use the calculators below:

Age Pension calculators

The following calculators (links below) are regularly kept up to date, and can be used to estimate your Age Pension entitlement.

Note: These calculators provide estimated calculations, based on specific assumptions. Only Services Australia (Government agency) can provide an official assessment of your entitlements.

This page was last modified 2022-09-20