How prevalent are late receipt of Newstart Allowance and volatile payment amounts?

This study by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, RMIT University and Australian National University examines patterns of receiving Newstart Allowance, as a step towards understanding the scope and scale of income volatility in Australian households.

Ascertaining how fortnightly Newstart payments fluctuate (due to wages notification, suspensions, etc.) provides insight into a key factor that increases the risks of financial hardship. International research finds incomes that vary by more than 25% from one pay period to the next lead to heightened risks of household financial hardship and emotional conflict.

The study will draw on a Department of Social Security database that records every Australian’s interactions with Centrelink since the year 2000. This daily, event-based data provides an important opportunity to examine individual patterns of NSA receipt over an 18-year period, and especially since 2009, the year after the global financial crisis.

Contact: Dina Bowman dbowman(at)

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes