You may be thinking that the amount of rent assistance you will be entitled too is a straight forward thing to ask. Rent assistance is actually determined through a test which is applied to the level of rent you will be paying as a eligible recipient of Centrelink payments. The way it works is like a sliding scale, so basically the people who have to pay more to get that little extra bit of cash to pay the rent each week. This makes sense when you think about it, although some areas such as in the country such as students attending the university of Armidale, the weekly rent they will pay will be far less than for Students living in the inner city of Sydney attending the University of New South Wales.
So, I write this today because I am on the look out for a new place to move now since my flat mate is moving home and we must end the lease. I asked myself, how much rent can i afford? the answer depends on how much Centrelink will be paying me over the next year. So I gave them a call and was able to determine in a nutshell how Centrelink actually calculates Rent Assistance for Students.
Before I start, must say these figures are based on only applicable for 2014. Since they change every year to keep up with inflation and things like that. These figures are what was applicable to me a recipient of Youth Allowance/ Austudy sharing accommodation.
So basically to start with there is a threshold of $110, pay less than this in rent and you will receive nothing in Rent Assitance.
For every dollar I pay in rent above $110 fortnight I receive 75 cents extra per fortnight.
The upper threshold is $220.22 and what this means is that If I pay $220.22 or more in rent Centrelink will pay me the maximum payment amount of $82.67.
So for Example if I am paying $180 per week in rent my fortnightly Rent Assistance will be as follows:
Rent Assistance: (180 – 110) x 0.75 = $52.50
So what if your not a Single Sharer with no children? Well you will have a different Maximum Payment rate of rent assistance and Upper & Lower threshold’s which you can use to determine how much Rent Assistance you may be eligible for. You can find these rates here on the Centrelink website.
I wrote this article as I am sure there is many people out there who are confused by how Centrelink calculates their payments, I hope it helps people to make better decisions about their Financial situation and provide better security during a period of being a recipient of Centrelink Benefits. Please feel free to leave a comment of your appreciation, or ask a question in the comments below.