Start Work Bonus

The Start Work Bonus assists tenants starting work for the first time or re-entering the workforce after a break.

We know that starting work can sometimes mean extra costs such as new clothes and travel.

From June 2016, if a person in the household over the age of 18 commences employment and you are approved for the Start Work Bonus, the extra money from starting a new job will not be included for up to 26 weeks when we calculate your rent. You will pay the same rent as you did just before you started work.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible if you are over the age of 18 and you:

  1. start work, and
  2. tell us about starting work within 28 days.

You are not eligible if you:

  • already pay market rent
  • are changing jobs
  • are moving from casual to permanent or from part-time to full-time work.

How do I apply?

You should tell us if you or a household member are starting work as soon as possible. You can do this by telephoning or writing to your local client service officer. To apply for the Start Work Bonus you will need to fill out a Rent Subsidy Application form with the date you (or the household member) started work and your new household income details. Where possible, supply a first payslip.

We will assess your rent subsidy application and if we approve you for the Bonus we will write to you to confirm this. The letter will include information about how much rent you should pay and the date to pay that amount from.

How much extra money would I have in my pocket?

During the Start Work Bonus period you will have no increase in your rent so you will have extra money in your pocket. You can use the Start Work Bonus Calculator to see how much extra money you will have in your pocket if you start work and are approved for the Start Work Bonus.

What happens when the Start Work Bonus ends?

After 26 weeks, your rent will increase based on your new household income. After getting a job, most tenants find they still only have to pay 25% of their income in rent and they continue to receive a rent subsidy. That means you are still better off than you would be in the private rental market.

If you or a household member stop working during the 26 week period, please tell us as soon as possible. This allows us to reassess your rental subsidy correctly and ensure that you pay the correct rent.

How much will my rent increase?

After the Start Work Bonus ends, you will have to pay more rent, but maybe not as much as you thought. In most cases this is how much extra rent you would pay:

Extra IncomeExtra Rent

Will my lease end if I start work?

No matter how much you earn, your lease will continue until its end date. Before your lease ends, we will review your income.

More information

For more information contact 1800 422 322 or visit your FACS Housing office.

For help finding work, call the Employment Services Information Line on 13 62 68 or look for a local Job Active provider on www.jobactive.gov.au.