1.1.L.50 Liquid assets


This definition applies to:

  • newstart allowance,
  • youth allowance,
  • partner allowance,
  • austudy payment,
  • widow allowance,
  • parenting payment,
  • sickness allowance, and
  • crisis payment.


The liquid assets of a person means that person's cash and other readily realisable assets. It also includes such assets of the person's partner (1.1.P.85) and any such assets owned by BOTH the person and their partner.

Example: Liquid assets include:

  • cash on hand from any source (including borrowings),
  • shares and debentures, term deposits,
  • other money available at short notice,
  • some payments made or due to be made by a person's last employer,
  • 10 year insurance bonds,
  • amounts deposited or lent to banks or other financial institutions whether or not the amount can be withdrawn or repaid immediately (excluding bonds or bank guarantees for the purposes of an AoS),
  • assets given to a son or daughter in some circumstances,
  • loans to other people,
  • unencumbered proceeds from sale of business,
  • monies in trust funds, bank accounts including mortgage offset accounts, BUT NOT balances of mortgage redraw accounts, and
  • compensation payments.

Further details about the treatment of some types of liquid assets are in

Assets not considered liquid

Liquid assets DO NOT include:

  • proceeds from the sale of the person's principal home in some circumstances,
  • draw down loan facilities, such as margin loan facilities, mortgage redraw account balances or credit card limits,
  • the value of a person's investment in a first home saver account (within the meaning of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008),
  • bonds or bank guarantees for the purposes of an AoS,
  • voluntary one-off payments of a person's non-housing debts in some circumstances,
  • the surrender value of a life insurance policy,
  • NDIS amounts (1.1.N.03) and returns on NDIS amounts, held by, or on behalf of, an NDIS participant, (1.1.N.05) to pay for future disability expenses in accordance with the participant's NDIS plan (1.1.N.06),
  • an amount of an AGDRP that the person received, if the Secretary is satisfied that the length of time since receiving the payment is still reasonable in the circumstances, and
  • superannuation and termination payments that have been rolled over or are going to be rolled over directly from the person's employer.

Note: Only employment termination payments (ETPs) (1.1.E.105) that fall under the ETP transitional arrangements can be rolled over into superannuation. Not all of an ETP can be rolled over. Redundancy payments or ETPs that are not rolled over are liquid assets. Refer to

For full-time tertiary students claiming YA or Austudy the recipient's liquid assets can be reduced by certain allowable deductions directly related to their course of study. A student's liquid assets may be reduced for reasonable expenditure incurred, or likely to be incurred, such as:

  • up-front course fees,
  • HECS-HELP payments,
  • student union fees,
  • costs of text books,
  • costs of any tools or equipment required to undertake the course, including computer software,
  • expenses directly related to any field trips undertaken for the purposes of the course, and
  • such other expenses as are approved by the Secretary.

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home, section 14A Social security benefit liquid assets test definitions, section 19C Severe financial hardship definitions, section 549A Liquid assets test waiting period (YA), section 575A Liquid assets test waiting period (Austudy), section 598 Liquid assets test waiting period (NSA), section 676 Liquid assets test waiting period (SA)

Policy reference: SS Guide Liquid Assets Waiting Period, Treatment of Liquid Assets

Last reviewed: 3 July 2017