How income management can affect your pension

Last updated: 
21 January 2020

This page explains what income management is and how it affects DVA pensioners.

What is income management?

Income management, first introduced in 2007, is a set of initiatives to encourage socially responsible behaviour by parents and other adults, to ensure the wellbeing of children. It is designed to ensure that Government money is spent on the needs of dependent children and the family as the first priority.

Income management means that money usually available to the person will be directed to meet essential expenses such as food, clothing, shelter and school expenses. Income management will be tailored on a case by case basis to ensure that the needs of children and the family are met. Affected individuals will have the opportunity to discuss their expenses and needs on a regular basis with Centrelink or a non-government provider of case management.

People will not lose any Government entitlements as a result of these initiatives. Private income, such as wages, superannuation, or child support, will not be subject to income management.

DVA income support payments are subject to income management under the child protection measures but DVA disability pensions are not subject to income management.

Child Protection measure

What is the Child Protection measure?

The Child Protection measure provides state and territory governments with the option of asking Centrelink to apply income management to the Centrelink welfare payments and DVA income support payments of people where they consider it to be in the interest of children who may be at risk of neglect.

Why was this introduced?

The Government believes that payments provided for the benefit of children should be used for this purpose. While the vast majority of parents do the right thing and spend these payments on the needs of their children, there are a small number of parents who do not.

This measure provides an additional tool that can be applied, where considered necessary by state and territory child welfare authorities, to income manage payments to ensure that parents provide basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter for their children.

Who does this affect?

Income management affects people receiving Centrelink welfare payments or DVA income support payments where a state or territory child welfare authority notifies the Australian Government that income management should be applied. This includes people in receipt of one of the following payments:

  • Service Pension
  • Income Support Supplement
  • Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA)
  • Age Pension
  • ABSTUDY
  • Austudy
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Parenting Payment (single and partnered)
  • Jobseeker Payment
  • Special Benefit
  • Youth Allowance

DVA disability pensions are not subject to income management.

Will this affect my DVA payments?

If you are receiving a DVA income support payment and meet the criteria for income management, up to 100% of your income support payment and family assistance payments will be income managed under this measure. If impacted, you will negotiate with Centrelink or a non-government provider of case management about how your payments will be managed. DVA disability pensions are not subject to income management.

Voluntary income management

If you live in one of the following locations, you can also choose to volunteer for income management:

  • Whole of Northern Territory
  • Perth Metropolitan and the Kimberley region, Ngaanyatjarra (NG) Lands and Laverton Shire, Western Australia
  • Logan, Rockhampton and Livingstone Queensland
  • Bankstown, New South Wales
  • Playford, Greater Adelaide and The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and Ceduna and the surrounding region in South Australia
  • Greater Shepparton, Victoria

What is voluntary income management?

Voluntary income management works by directing 50% of a person’s income support payments towards meeting their basic needs such as food, clothing, housing and utilities. Those who wish to participate in voluntary income management need to talk to Centrelink. If a person volunteers, they must participate for at least 13 weeks.