3.7.6.20 Determining the rate of DRA

Summary

The rate for DRA is determined by the Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management. The current determination is the Social Security (Disaster Recovery Allowance) (Rate calculator) Determination 2015.

Income cut-off test

A person's DRA payment rate will be nil if their income is greater than a certain amount (the 'income cut-off rate'). The DRA income test is used to determine that amount. The income cut-off test is detailed in 4.2.7.

How is the rate of DRA determined?

The following table explains the steps in determining the rate of DRA payable:

Step Description
1 Calculate the person's maximum rate of NSA or YA they would otherwise receive.
2 Calculate the person's disaster affected income.
3 Calculate the person's projected income.
4 IF the difference between the person's projected income and disaster affected income is less than the person's maximum rate, then the person's rate of payment is an amount equal to the difference between the person's projected income and disaster affected income.

IF the difference between the person's projected income and disaster affected income is greater than or equal to the person's maximum rate, then the person's rate of payment is an amount equal to the person's maximum rate.

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.2 Benefits Income Test & Limits

Maximum rate

Calculate the maximum rate of NSA or YA the person may be eligible to receive. The person's rate of DRA CANNOT exceed their maximum rate of NSA or YA.

Projected income

A person's projected income is the average fortnightly income that the person reasonably expected to receive in the 13 week period after the person first lost income as a direct result of the Part 2.23B major disaster (major disaster), had the person not suffered a loss of income as a direct result of the major disaster.

Disaster affected income

A person's disaster affected income is the fortnightly income that the person has received, or is likely to receive, in the 13 week period after the person first lost income as a direct result of the major disaster.

Income

DRA is designed to be made available in a short period of time, without the delays associated with some other types of income support payments. For this reason, when assessing a person's projected income and disaster affected income, a simplified definition of 'income' is used. Sources of income which can take time to assess or verify have been excluded from the definition of income. Income from the following sources are not taken into account when determining a person's rate of DRA:

  • income from bank accounts held in trust
  • payments that compensate a person for lost earnings or lost earnings capacity, and
  • income from private companies.
Last reviewed: 1 July 2019