Main type of personal government benefit payment (administrative data) (IGAP)

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Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period


This variable indicates the main type of government benefit payment that a person received based on all government benefits, pensions, and allowances recorded in administrative data for the 2020/2021 financial year. 

This variable wasn’t derived from data collected on the Census form but has been created by linking administrative data from the Person Level Integrated Data Asset (PLIDA) to the Census. 


Persons aged 15 years and over


00Nil or negative income
01Age Pension
03Carer Allowance
04Carer Payment
05Dad and Partner Pay
06Disability Support Pension
07Family Tax Benefits
08Future Flexible Support Payment
09Mobility Allowance
10Newstart Allowance and JobSeeker
11Paid Parental Leave Payment
12Parenting Payment
13Special Benefit
14Widow Allowance
15Youth Allowance
16Other government pensions and allowances
17Type of benefit unknown
18Did not receive government pension or allowance
99Admin not available
@@Not applicable
VVOverseas visitor 

Number of categories: 22

Admin not available (99) category comprises:

  • Persons who were not able to be linked to PLIDA, and therefore did not have administrative income information available

Not applicable (@@) category comprises:

  • Persons aged under 15 years

How this variable is created

This variable wasn’t derived from data collected on the Census form but has been created by linking administrative data from the Person Level Integrated Data Asset (PLIDA) to the Census. The PLIDA data asset contains administrative data on government benefits, pensions, and allowances from the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Social Services, this is the source data for this variable. 

The payments received between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021 are added together within each category. The main type of government benefit payment is the category with the largest amount recorded. This variable does not record the dollar amount of government benefits, pensions, and allowances received; it records what the main benefit type is. 

All payments recorded in the administrative data are included, however some Government benefit payments have been excluded from this variable as they are deemed not to represent income. The excluded payments are: 

  • Rent Assistance 
  • Fares Allowance 
  • HECS or Course Fees 
  • Student Start-up Loan 
  • Home Equity Access Scheme / Pension Loans Scheme 
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 

History and changes

This is a new variable for 2021.

Data use considerations

This variable provides an alternative, more detailed view on income than income data collected in the Census. It is based on Government benefit, pension and allowance information recorded in linked administrative data, and is not data collected from a Census question. 

Financial Year income as a measure of usual income 

Financial Year income from the administrative data is used to measure the main type of Government benefit payment received. The Financial Year captures longer term trends of income and is not subject to short term changes around Census time. This means that this variable may not align with what a person received, or usually received around the time of the Census.  

Linkage rates between Census and administrative data 

This variable relies upon the accurate linkage of Census to the administrative data. Data linkage rates (denoted through the 99 and 9999 categories) need to be considered when assessing totals.  


A number of regions across the country were in various stages of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the 2020-2021 Financial Year. This resulted in a greater number of people being temporarily stood down, which impacted the government benefit payments recorded in administrative data. 

Related variables and glossary terms

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