1.1.B.70 Board & lodging (RA, SpB)

Definition: RA

Board is defined in SSAct subsection 13(1) as the provision of meals on a regular basis in connection with the provision of lodging. However, only the amount paid for lodging is counted as rent for RA purposes. For the purposes of RA, a payment for lodging is the same as a private rent payment, regardless of whether the lodging is provided in private or government housing accommodation.

Act reference: SSAct section 13(1)-'board'

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1.70 Board & Lodging for RA

Definition: SpB

The following table explains the meaning of board and lodging for the purposes of SpB.

The term… Means money paid for…
board, the provision of meals and accommodation on a regular and continuing or indefinite basis.
lodging, the provision of a room that the recipient can access as required on a continuing or indefinite basis.

An SpB applicant or recipient is considered to be in receipt of free board and lodgings where meals and accommodation are provided free of charge on a continuing or indefinite basis. As a guide, a continuing basis is regarded as more than 6 weeks.

Example 1: Jim is in receipt of SpB and his relatives provide him with a bedroom and all meals. He would be considered to be receiving free board and lodgings for SpB purposes.

Example 2: Maria has claimed SpB. Until her claim is determined her relations are providing her with meals and a bed on the understanding she will contribute financially when she is able. Maria is not considered to be receiving free board and lodgings as the current arrangement will not continue when she is granted SpB.

Example 3: Jesse is in receipt of SpB and his friends provide him with the sole use of a bedroom as well as all meals. They have indicated that they cannot continue this arrangement indefinitely as they are expecting their son to return home within the next 6 weeks. The date is unknown at this time. As Jesse's arrangement may end at any time it cannot be considered continuing or indefinite and therefore he would not be considered to be receiving free board and lodgings for SpB purposes.

An SpB applicant or recipient is considered to be receiving free lodgings where accommodation only is provided free of charge. The accommodation must be in the form a room the recipient can access as they require.

Example 1: Bill is in receipt of SpB and is provided with a bedroom. However, he is responsible for his own meals. Bill is considered to be receiving free lodgings.

Example 2: Joe is in receipt of SpB and staying with friends until he can find alternate accommodation. He is sleeping on the lounge and has no meals provided. Joe is not considered to be receiving free lodgings as he doesn't have access to a room as required and the arrangement is short term.

Example 3: Wilma is in receipt of SpB. Her son and daughter-in-law provide her with accommodation. She shares a bedroom with her grandchild and has access to this bedroom at all times. In these circumstances Wilma should be considered to receive free lodging as she is able to access the room when she requires.

Example 4: Leo is in receipt of SpB. During the day when the friends are out or at work Leo does not have access to the residence. He does not have a key to enter the premises on his own. Leo would not be considered to be receiving free lodging as he does not have access to the room on an as needs basis and must leave the house when the owners are absent.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.7.1 SpB - qualification & payability, 3.7.1.80 Determining the Rate of SpB

Last reviewed: 21 March 2016