1.1.P.80 Partner income free area

Usage

This definition applies to NSA, YA, PA, Austudy, PPP and SA.

Definition

The partner income free area is the amount of income a recipient's partner can receive before the recipient's payment is affected. The partner income free area varies depending on the partner's age and whether they are receiving a social security benefit.

If a recipient's partner (1.1.P.85) gets a social security benefit, the partner income free area is the amount of income (rounded up to the nearest dollar) beyond which that benefit would cease to be payable to the partner under the personal income test.

If a recipient's partner does not get a social security benefit, the partner income free area is the amount of income (rounded up to the nearest dollar) that would preclude payment of NSA or YA job seeker under the relevant personal income test IF the partner was qualified for the payment. When calculating the partner income free area:

  • if the partner is under 22 years, the appropriate YA job seeker rate is used (including the MBR and ES but excluding any other supplementary amounts), or
  • if the partner is 22 years or over, the appropriate NSA rate is used (including the MBR, ES and, if the partner is of age pension age, the pension supplement but excluding any other supplementary amounts).

Note: If a recipient's partner is receiving a social security pension or DVA service pension, the partner income free area is not relevant. Instead, the recipient's personal ordinary income is assessed as half of the couple's joint income.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security benefit', section 1068-G9 Partner income free area, section 1068B-D22 Partner income free area, section 1067G-H26 Partner income free area, section 1067L-D25 Partner income free area, section 1068-G2 Ordinary income of members of certain couples

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.2 Benefits Income Test & Limits, 4.2.4.20 PPP income & assets tests & limits, 4.2.8.40 Independent YA - Partner Income Test & Limits

Last reviewed: 1 July 2019