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DSS Benefit and Payment Recipient Demographics - quarterly data

The DSS Payment Demographic data set is made up of:

Selected DSS payment data by

  • Geography: state/territory, electorate, postcode, LGA and SA2 (for 2015 onwards)

  • Demographic: age, sex and Indigenous/non-Indigenous

  • Duration on Payment (Working Age & Pensions)

  • Duration on Income Support (Working Age, Carer payment & Disability Support Pension)

  • Rate (Working Age & Pensions)

  • Earnings (Working Age & Pensions)

  • Age Pension assets data

  • JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) Principal Carers

  • Activity Tested Recipients by Partial Capacity to Work (NSA,PPS & YAO)

  • Exits within 3, 6 and 12 months (Newstart Allowance/JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Sickness Allowance & Youth Allowance)

  • Disability Support Pension by medical condition

  • Care Receiver by medical conditions

  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance by Payment type and Income Unit type have been added from March 2017. For further information about Commonwealth Rent Assistance and Income Units see the Data Descriptions and Glossary included in the dataset.

From December 2022, the "DSS Expanded Benefit and Payment Recipient Demographics – quarterly data" publication has introduced expanded reporting populations for income support recipients. As a result, the reporting population for Jobseeker Payment and Special Benefit has changed to include recipients who are current but on zero rate of payment and those who are suspended from payment. The reporting population for ABSTUDY, Austudy, Parenting Payment and Youth Allowance has changed to include those who are suspended from payment. The expanded report will replace the standard report after June 2023.

Additional data for DSS Expanded Benefit and Payment Recipient Demographics – quarterly data includes:

• A new contents page to assist users locate the information within the spreadsheet

• Additional data for the ‘Suspended’ population in the ‘Payment by Rate’ tab to enable users to calculate the old reporting rules.

• Additional information on the Employment Earning by ‘Income Free Area’ tab.

From December 2022, Services Australia have implemented a change in the Centrelink payment system to recognise gender other than the sex assigned at birth or during infancy, or as a gender which is not exclusively male or female. To protect the privacy of individuals and comply with confidentialisation policy, persons identifying as ‘non-binary’ will initially be grouped with ‘females’ in the period immediately following implementation of this change. The Department will monitor the implications of this change and will publish the ‘non-binary’ gender category as soon as privacy and confidentialisation considerations allow.

Local Government Area has been updated to reflect the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2020 boundaries from March 2021.

Commonwealth Electorate Division has been updated to reflect the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2018 boundaries from March 2019.

SA2 has been updated to reflect the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2016 boundaries from March 2019. Prior to this Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2011 was used.

From December 2021, the following are included in the report:

  • selected payments by work capacity, by various demographic breakdowns

  • rental type and homeownership

  • Family Tax Benefit recipients and children by payment type

  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance by proportion eligible for the maximum rate

  • an age breakdown for Age Pension recipients

For further information, please see the Glossary.

From June 2021, data on the Paid Parental Leave Scheme is included yearly in June releases. This includes both Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay, across multiple breakdowns. Please see Glossary for further information.

From March 2017 the DSS demographic dataset will include top 25 countries of birth. For further information see the glossary.

From March 2016 machine readable files containing the three geographic breakdowns have also been published for use in National Map, links to these datasets are below:

Pre June 2014 Quarter Data contains:

Selected DSS payment data by

  • Geography: state/territory; electorate; postcode and LGA

  • Demographic: age, sex and Indigenous/non-Indigenous

Note: JobSeeker Payment replaced Newstart Allowance and other working age payments from 20 March 2020, for further details see: https://www.dss.gov.au/benefits-payments/jobseeker-payment

For data on DSS payment demographics as at June 2013 or earlier, the department has published data which was produced annually. Data is provided by payment type containing timeseries’, state, gender, age range, and various other demographics. Links to these publications are below:

Concession card data in the March and June 2020 quarters have been re-stated to address an over-count in reported cardholder numbers.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title DSS Benefit and Payment Recipient Demographics - quarterly data
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia
Data Status active
Update Frequency quarterly
Landing Page https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/cff2ae8a-55e4-47db-a66d-e177fe0ac6a0
Date Published 2014-07-02
Date Updated 2023-03-17
Contact Point
Department of Social Services
Temporal Coverage 2016-09-30 00:00:00
Geospatial Coverage Australia
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency Department of Social Services