Left Job, Partner Earns $1k Fortnightly, $2k in Savings (Can We Ask for Rental Assistance?)

We live in a rental house. My job is gone, I resigned (long story).

I also needed a break from it to focus on my health and wellbeing and spend time with my 1 year old bub and start new after at least 3 months. I know, we do not have huge savings and my partner only earns 1k fortnightly.

Can we ask for rental assistance? It's $1420/month. Are there any programs which support low income earners?


  • +1

    You should be fine make a claim ASAP, you sound like you are under the liquid asset test for this claim, have you thought about going back to/doing study full time? It’s the easiest way to get a payment and reskill. Centrelink can waive waiting periods for payments depending on the situation. If you were a casual you don’t need a separation certificate it wasn’t ongoing, same as a contract

  • 500 - 355 = 145; you'll live on that per week. i know have.

    • +1

      While supporting two other humans, including one dependent? I don’t think so.

      • -4

        145 ➗ 3 = $48.33 per week per human. Bread + jam or fish in can. Bread loaf about $2 for store brand which should last a whole week. Jam maybe about another $3 which should last a good month or longer depending on how much spread you use. fish in can is usully a can a day and if gotten on sale would be $1 a can….soooo about $12 a week….still got about $36 a week to spare for each person….unless I did my maths wrong or something else unaccounted for….

        • +7

          something else unaccounted for….

          A lot actually.

        • +5

          Yep, because 1 year old babies can totally survive on bread and fish in a can. 🙄

          • -2

            @kerfuffle: Can't they? i would test myself but I dont have a 1 year old next to me…..anyone would like to offer their 1 year old so I can test and prove you wrong?

            • +2


              Can't they? i would test myself but I dont have a 1 year old next to me…..

              Child protective services would and should be called if so. Good thing you don't have kids…
              Really not sure if your trolling or really really really young.

              • -2

                @Ughhh: Maybe give me a baby and I'll learn from experience first hand?

                • +2

                  @Zachary: Some things you shouldn't and don't need to 'experience first hand' to know.

                  • -2

                    @Ughhh: But I want to know otherwise how do I know you're telling the truth if I've never seen it first hand myself? Maybe by doing this I could even be proved wrong and you were right all along? I wouldn't know since I've never done it before….

                    • +3

                      @Zachary: So you want to kill a baby to understand the importance of nutrition, particularly for a growing baby?

                      Given your comments, you wouldn't even know if the baby was dead. .

                      • @Ughhh: I don't know if it would kill the baby….I assume the baby would gobble it up like it's nothing!

                        Ok, give me a baby and I'll prove to you that I can keep it alive till you get it back!

                        • +2

                          @Zachary: You've yet to prove that you can be trusted wth a pet rock, let alone a baby.

                          • @Ughhh: A pet rock is already dead - I can't keep something alive if it's dead to start off with…..

        • +2

          Check out what food pantry’s etc are in the area for the essentials, secondbite/ozharvest supply plenty of vegetables etc, if you go hungry in Australia you are doing something wrong

          • +1

            @SirMurduck: Are those like places to get free food and drinks for the really poor people who cant even afford a meal a day? Yeah most people wouldnt know about them since they dont advertised outright so it's really word of mouth and unless you're in the area with other poor people or crashing at a mate's house, you're gonna die from starvation…..

            • @Zachary: Most neighbourhood centres and some councils have community directories to assist people, if anyone needs help looking for services in their area I can assist just PM me

              • @SirMurduck: Yeah as I said, word of mouth - you being on ozb and if anyone sees this who are homeless and are broke, would be able to get referred to from you but anyone who's the same but doesn't use ozb or even reading your post on this thread, wouldn't know about it….

        • +2

          They could also eat garbage, they could start with your advice here.

          • @OhmyRyzen: Ewww….garbage….atleast mine advice is fresh bread and fish……well almost fresh fish in a can….but jam's always fresh until it expires….

  • +9

    So you choose to have a baby, then resign without another job to go to. Now want rental assistance because you want 3 months off while your family only has $145 a week left to live on after rent?

  • +4

    OP is the reason https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy is a documentary

    You are buying too much useless shit OP

    Nah this has to be a troll, OP wants 3 months off too.

  • Do you get family tax benefit?
    I think your eligibility would depend on your combined total earnings for the year..

    although our family are(understandably) not eligible for Centerlink payments due to not h having the required citizenship/residency status, we did receive Family Tax A and B payments fortnightly, which including an amount for rent assistance (iirc it was less than enough to cover a quarter of our $230 week rent, but that combined with the family tax was a huge help for our family and we are very grateful for it).

    I think with 2 adults 3kids and a single income of 50-60kish the FTB+rent assistance payments were an extra$600-700 a fortnight roughly.
    I have no clue if our rent had been higher the rent assistance would have gone up..

    might be worth having alook into whether you might be able to draw a $10k hardship payment from your super, I know of several ppl who have done this recently, since the covid stuff

    • It’s got back to the old criteria now, have to be on payments I think for a year and the government takes a 20% cut

  • +1

    See your doctor, be assessed. ? Centrelink medical certificate.

    See Centrelink asap.

    Get yourself sorted out quickly so that you can get a job that agrees with you.

    I agree with other posters, probably more stressful being unemployed.

    Good luck.

  • +1

    I don't know, but all the best.

    I just quit my job yesterday, too.

    • Yep, sometimes you just have to to bail because things will just get worse

  • +2

    I get where you're coming from OP, I also quit my job due to the toxic work culture and declining mental health. Sometimes you need to put your mental health first before you end up doing something that could hurt everyone.

    However, instead of seeking rental assistance, try and look for other jobs you might not have even considered. There are also a lot work from home jobs out there too now, and others with hybrid working conditions where you only need to go to the office a few times a week.

    I ended up working in customer service for a bit and it was actually surprisingly fulfilling to do a job completely outside of my comfort zone. So my advice would be to be open minded to other job opportunities out there.

    All the best OP.

  • Can We Ask for Rental Assistance?

    Yes you can ask. Since whether you'll qualify depends on a lot of variables, it's a question you should ask Centerlink.

    • Well strictly speaking you actually can't, because rent assistance is an automatic & add-on payment only available to recipients for certain payments. You can neither apply for it nor refuse to accept it.

  • -1

    Centrelink is a joke.

    Speaking on behalf of a friend.

    He worked full time and paid tax for the past 20 years right after university. He did not receive a cent from Centrelink right after uni.

    The latest job was so stressful so he resigned (after a series of sleep loss, hair loss, high blood pressure, and even hospital admittance).

    His saving ran out after 4-5 months, so he asked Centrelink for help.

    Centrelink did not give a cent, and they quoted "because you resigned & had a mortgage, you are not eligible".

    He was lucky that he received assistance from family, and luckily found a job 2 months after that.

    • Yeah before the covid crisis it was a mess but maybe he should have appealed. I suffered minor hair loss and got heaps of grey hairs by the end of my last role, it’s amazing how your body tells you when enough is enough

  • +6

    A lot of heated responses to this post. I too am or was a bit worked up about it.

    Some have shown support for OP which is fine. I too don't want to see people unnecessarily struggle when they don't have to. It's okay for OP to quit his/her job too.

    Where I get stuck in the post is that OP wants a 3 month break from his/her job and wants to be paid ie. get financial assistance, for that choice.

    For those posting about how the OP has been courageous and needs support, is it still a line they'd take if it meant putting their child at risk?

    The responses are contextual. When I was without family, I might have been okay to quit and make do with surviving for a period of time. As a father of two young ones now, I make it my mantra to ensure that I do what I can to ensure my childrens' health, future, etc.

    • Realistically, when you have a infant you are going to get assistance for sure

  • +3

    I'm sure there's enough comments in here blasting OP for what he's done. I'll assume what you're saying is true.

    What's done is done, there's no changing this if you've actually gone ahead and done that.

    I think your first priority, rental assistance etc aside is actually to start applying for jobs ASAP. Print out a resume, go every where, hand these out. Apply online in your waking time. You absolutely must put your family's interests first here, this is not a joke or worth blaming you for. Your family relies on you and as much as your mental health contributed to you leaving your last job I'm sure that your mental health isn't going to get any better once the stress of not having an income kicks in.

    Next, consider any and all options you have to get assistance outside of rental assistance, centrelink etc. If you can live somewhere cheaper, do it. If you can get free food, do it. It's embarassing but again your first priority should be to get back on your feet and to cut all costs as far as possible.

    Finally, you need to seriously consider speaking to a professional about your mental health. This isn't criticism (or maybe it is, but I don't intend it to be), but you're clearly not thinking straight. You didn't consider the impacts of your decision on your family, and you clearly haven't understood what supports you might have available to you if you made the decision you did. I can only assume that this is a big issue because no rational person would have done what you have OP. If your mental health has deteriorated to a state where this seemed like a good idea you need professional help in addition to any help you can get with your financial situation.

    If not, then yes you deserve every piece of criticism you get because the level of stupidity and immaturity in this decision is beyond comprehension. Either way you need to have a serious look at yourself, drop any pride you have left and start asking for help from everyone and anyone (not on OZB) that will listen to you.

  • -3

    You are so lucky, I have to pay $2500 a month for friggin in-laws from Wuhan here for the past 4-5 years now.. Now that is hell you don't want to be a part of.

    • +2

      The (profanity) you talking about?

  • +1

    All I have to say is having a child is a great responsibility. And with great responsibilities comes great power, or something like that.

  • +1

    So after rent you still have $500+ a month for other stuff. What's the problem?

  • any chance we can get the second half of the account to log in, take a look around and churn out some replies?

  • -1

    you can ask , you can be legally entitled, but that may not be enough

    good luck - you're gonna need it.

  • +2

    The best advice is get a job.

    • Not really, if I were in his shoes I would take a day or so to go through Centrelink's website and the social security guide on DSS website.

      From what he mentioned he should be eligible for FTB A&B, rent assistance, parenting payment partnered (mutual obligation requirements waived until youngest child reaches 5 yo) and potentially jobseeker depending on if he is interested in fulfilling the mutual obligation requirements. With some of these payments both he and his wife can be eligible for health care cards which translates to pretty significant savings on public transport and PBS medicines along with car regos and utilities. You would be surprised by how much these payments add up to.

      Actually I feel our welfare system is overly generous but they are trying to cut cost through obscurity. I would say you definitely need a college degree and some affinity for these legal mumbo jumbo to claim all the welfare payments you are eligible for. Not exactly disadvantaged-friendly. Rich ones can afford to hire attorneys and accountants to get richer yet poor ones can't even get good advice they need to claim welfare payments, how sad.

      He shouldn't even be asking this question as rent assistance is an automatic payment if he is paid FTB A, which he would be eligible unless their combined income used to exceed $100k+/year. If that was the case they must have some serious problem managing their finance with only $2k in savings.

      • He quit his job voluntarily despite unemployment being really high right now.
        It's going to be months before Centrelink will hand him a single cent.
        Jobseeker is designed for people who can't get a job, not people who choose not to work.

        • Wrong, currently the only waiting period that might apply in his case is the liquid asset for jobseeker and parenting payment. If he really has only 2k in savings then there is absolutely no waiting period. Centrelink has waived a number of waiting periods that used to apply before covid.

          • @truetypezk: Proof?

            I'd be surprised if the voluntary unemployment waiting period is no longer in effect. They may have waived the standard waiting periods for people impacted by COVID, but OP does not fall into that category.

  • +1

    Mental health break. Pffft

  • +4

    I am a hard working Italian, I want to say Australia has too many bludgers. It is not hard to find a job, do something to survive first. Government payment is the last resort only. If more people are working, government can lower the tax.

    • -5

      Hard work ≠ success

      • +1

        I never said hard work = success


        • +2

          Lazy and can't read = failure

          • +2

            @CoreJava: Couldn't agree more! Too many Aussies think they deserve a handout. My girlfriend is Italian and she has been working full time since 14 even whilst studying. She now has 2 masters and earns more than everyone I know.

            • @RIBBS: There are too many Australians being lazy and just stay at home thinking they don’t have to work.

              U can’t be dependant on Centrelink your whole life

            • @RIBBS:

              Couldn't agree more! Too many Aussies think they deserve a handout. My girlfriend is Italian and she has been working full time since 14 even whilst studying. She now has 2 masters and earns more than everyone I know.

              MARRY HER!

          • @CoreJava: Ah judging someone a failure because you deem so? How righteous of you!

            I was just making a point that your so called hard work doesn’t make one successful. There’s plenty of hard workers without any progression in their career pathway.

  • +5

    Something tells me op wont be back, they didnt get the sympathy handout they were expecting (from us taxpayers)

  • -1

    load of crap posted here - easy to see why robodebt killed so many.

    if you're sick apparently you're a bludger, if you're disabled apparently you're a bludger, if you're old sick and disabled you're a bludger - all go through the one stop stinking pit of centrelink.

    • +5

      Which of those is op?

      • i don't know do you?

        • +2

          Well, this thread was started by op, who has said nothing about being disabled or sick, and as far as I can see, no one has made reference to anyone being disabled or sick. So this seems completely irrelevant at best.

          • -3

            @brendanm: may well be sick - look at the libs claiming sickness when they're caught out - been going on since little jonny

  • I'm so sorry op, it's a tough situation to be in. You'll need to find other ways of making money like do odd jobs on airtasker, any casual job. Or even borrow money from your friends while waiting the period out. Hope they are sympathetic and understand that you were at your breaking point.

  • +1

    Why not just get a job in a casual or even part time capacity? If it brings in 200 a week it’s 200 a week extra you have.

    • +6

      Because its easier to sit home, cry poor and expect a handout.

  • FTB should easily keep you going, with the money from partner think that's like 300-400 a week plus the 500 earned income from partner.gives you about 800-900 a week. Unless your are counting your FTB as your partners income ?

  • +3

    Very Very stupid quitting your job when you have a newborn and with a partner on such a low income.

  • +3

    Congrats on leaving your job. Seems like it wasn't a pleasant place to work. So many people continue to do what they do knowing they are unhappy but you've made the brave call and actually did it despite facing financial problems. Kudos. I'd rather be poor than be depressed.

    Things to do to stay afloat during this time:
    - change your spending habits immediately. Don't spend more than you earn. Work towards a budget.
    - hustle on the side. Sell things on marketplace around the house that you don't need within the 3 months or so. Learn to let go of things. You can always buy it back (second hand) if needed.
    - don't buy dumb stuff, don't go out to eat, don't get take out. Be frugle.
    - downgrade your car if possible and put the extra cash towards your 2k emergency fund. Don't spend it.
    - Again, don't spend more than you earn!

    These may all seem fairly extreme for some, but you've got a little one and the last thing you want is to be homeless. Do what you need to do! Good luck.

    • So basically your suggestion is to be depressed to not go homeless…

      • Haha Depends how you want to look at it. But being an extreme tightarse for a few months and hustling hard may be a nice wake up call for some.

    • These may all seem fairly extreme for some,

      How is spending less than you earn extreme?

      The problem op has, is that after rent, he has very little left over. It's very easy to say "spend less than you earn", a lot more difficult to do on $145 a week with electricity, water, food etc to pay for.

      • In other words, live within your means. OP's situation has drastically changed, therefore, the spending habits must be adjusted accordingly. So many people over-inflate their lifestyle based on more pay. It then becomes more difficult to let go of pride and sell off some fancy things. This should ease the burden and hopefully have them gain a better outlook.

        $150p/w is obviously tough… it can be done. But as an example, if OP refuses to cancel Netflix during this time, then he's in big trouble.

  • +4

    So now i have to subsidise you with my hard earned tax dollars?

        • +1

          really? quote some figures then to back up your Stokes story.

          you seem very uninformed.

  • +3

    Maybe get a job?

    • yeah a well paid one with a great pension giving away other peoples money to billionaires…. no qualifications required…

    • looks like OP has a photography business

      • sounds like cash in hand on the side

        • -1

          like most pollies then….

  • +4

    Where did the $200-290K money you had in 2018 go?

  • -1

    Man… I hope you get back on your feet soon buddy

  • Why ask randoms off a bargain site when they won't be reviewing/approving your claim? Fill the forms in, get your documents sorted, apply and wait for an outcome.

  • +3

    What happened to your 100k+ in savings OP ? https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/514708

    Seems like you want to have a 3 month break and get paid for it and not touch your savings.

    Dodgy. Also, leaving a job when you can't support your family? wow

    • -3

      bit like kerry stokes media channel for liberal hire paid for by taxpayers

      'Step forward billionaire Kerry Stokes and Seven West Media. Yesterday, Seven West Media reported a stronger-than-expected $116 million half-year net profit, which sent its share price surging to a near two-year high of 50 cents….

      At $47 million, Seven West Media will finish in the top 100 national recipients of JobKeeper — not that we’ll ever be officially told that by the federal government.

      Given that it went into COVID-19 with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion, it needed to prove a 50% monthly revenue drop to qualify. How on earth it qualified is yet to be explained.'

      jack-gibson above seems to know how it qualified for the scheme - not including its agreement to trot out liberal propaganda endlessly via its papers and channels

  • +2

    I guess that photography business didn't work out.

  • lol people digging up OP's past history……he probably spent it all on his house to rent out to other people which I guess is not getting enough to pay his rent that his living in.

    • probably just another fake thread to put over the false conception that all claimants at centrelink are entitled, quitters, bludgers etc. to influence people.

      Some people post fake threads for a living - in that way by adding to a fake story you can build up the idea that believing crap is popular and sensible. Sites full of em. Libs do this full time because the only way to sell a lie is to embellish it through the media.

      Take our new 4 pillocks alliance with japan ( American controlled) and india. In india they routinely use shotguns on protesters but according to emperor Scomo that's a shared value with oz - why he was boasting to australian women they were lucky to be allowed to protest without fear of being shot means he was fully aware of India's extremely violent policing of dissent, but it still sounds very threatening - but he's the emperor and he alone decides when oz laws are applied and where.

      • Huh……

        Some people post fake threads for a living - in that way by adding to a fake story you can build up the idea that believing crap is popular and sensible. Sites full of em. Libs do this full time because the only way to sell a lie is to embellish it through the media.

        Soo….how to tell if real or fake?

        • very hard - look at the topic being posted and make your own judgement

          negs give you information as does page use - when pages go against the intended influence - the influencers add to a different page

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