4.10.4.10 Historical Widow Class A & Sole Parent Benefit Means Test Limits

Summary

This topic contains historical means test limits for widow class A and sole parent benefit from July 1942 to present. In 1989, sole parent pension replaced class A widow's pension. In 1998 the sole parent pension was replaced by PPS.

This topic contains the following 3 tables:

Table Number Explanation
1 Means test - July 1942 to October 1958
2 Merged means test - March 1961 to December 1983
3 Income and assets (1.1.A.290) test - March 1985 to present date

Act reference: SSAct section 8(1)-'income'

Table 1: Means test - July 1942 to October 1958

The table shows amounts in dollars. Income is shown in dollars per annum.

Date

Note A

Permissible income Limit of property Property exemption Income deduction for children
27/07/1942 65 2,000 100  
13/08/1946 104 2,000 100  
08/07/1947 104 2,000 100 26 or 52 Note B
26/10/1948 156 2,000 200 26 or 52
06/11/1951 156 2,500 300 26 Note C
07/10/1952 156 2,500 300 52
05/11/1953 208 3,000 300 52
19/10/1954 364 3,500 400 52
28/10/1958 364 4,500 400 52

Notes for Table 1

Note Explanation
A Dates on which the rates applied.
B

The income of a widow with children was reduced by an amount of $26.00 per year in respect of the first child under 16 years in her custody, care and control and by $52.00 per year in respect of each additional child under 16 years. The maximum deduction was reduced by any payment (e.g. family allowance, state assistance) received in respect of the child and/or children.

C

Deductions from income were allowed in respect of dependent children (1.1.D.70) under 16 years. Income was reduced to $26.00 per year for each child in the widow's custody, care and control. The maximum deduction was reduced by any payment other than family allowance received in respect of the child.

Table 2: Merged means test - March 1961 to December 1983

The table shows amounts in dollars. Income is shown in dollars per annum.

Date

Note D

Means as assessed Property exemption Income deduction for children
14/03/1961

364

Note E

2,000 52
08/10/1963 364 2,000

52

Note F

19/10/1965 364 2,000

52

Note G

04/10/1966 364 2,000

156

Note H

02/05/1967 520 2,000 156
30/09/1969

520

Note I

2,000 208
10/10/1972 1,040 2,000 312
27/03/1973 1,040 2,000

312

Note J

25/11/1976 1,040

abolished

Note K

312
04/11/1982 1,560 - -
01/12/1983 1,560 -

312

Note L

Notes for Table 2

Note Explanation
D Dates on which the rates applied.
E

Merged means test was introduced. Maximum pension was reduced by the amount by which 'means as assessed' (income plus property component) exceeds $364.00. If property is $4,500, or less, property component is 'nil'. If property exceeds $4,500, the property component is $2.00 for each $20.00 of property over $2,000.

Fixed disqualifying limit of property was abolished, except to the extent that, if a recipient has more than one child, no pension was payable if the property component was equal to or exceeded the maximum rate of pension (excluding additional pension for children) plus $364.00.

F The deduction from income of $52.00 per year in respect of each child in the widow's custody, care and control was extended to include a child over 16 years until the end of the calendar year in which he or she reached 18 years if the child was dependent on the widow and receiving full-time education.
G The period for which the deduction from income was allowed in respect of a student child was further extended until the date of his or her 21st birthday.
H The maximum deduction from income for each child under 16 years or dependent full-time student under 21 years in the widow's custody, care and control was increased by $104.00 per year to $156.00 per year. The amount of war pension, service pension or education allowance paid by DVA was no longer a reduction from the maximum income deduction allowed.
I A tapered means test was introduced. The maximum rate of pension was reduced by half of the amount by which means as assessed exceeds permissible means as assessed.
J The age limit of 21 years for dependent full-time student children was removed thereby enabling the income deduction to be continued indefinitely, where suitable.
K The property test was abolished. The means test became an income test only with property excluded. However, any monies received by, for example, rental of the property, were included as income. As from 9 November 1978 payment of additional pension in respect of a dependent full-time student ceased at an upper age limit of 25 years.
L Eligibility for supporting parent's benefit extended to a person caring for a child, who lives apart from the partner indefinitely due to the partner's ill health.

Table 3: Income & assets test - March 1985 to present date

The table shows amounts in dollars. Income is shown in dollars per annum.

Date Permissible income Allowable assets Income deduction for children
homeowner non-homeowner
21/03/1985 1,560 70,000

120,000

Note N

312
01/05/1986 1,560 75,750 129,750 312
25/06/1987 1,560 83,250 143,250 312
09/07/1987

2,080

Note O

83,250 143,250 624
23/06/1988 2,080 89,250 153,250 624
22/06/1989

2,080

Note P

96,000 164,500 624
21/06/1990 2,080 103,500 177,500 624
01/07/1991 2,184 110,750 190,250 624
01/07/1992 2,236 112,500 193,000 624
01/07/1993 2,288 112,750 193,250 624
01/07/1994 2,340 115,000 197,000 624
01/07/1995 2,444 118,000 202,000 624
01/07/1996 2,548 124,000 212,500 624
01/07/1997 2,600 125,750 215,750 624
01/07/1998 2,600 125,750 215,750 624
01/07/1999 2,652 127,750 219,250 624
01/07/2000 2,756 133,250 228,750 639.60
01/07/2001 2,912 141,000 242,000 639.60
01/07/2002 3,016 145,250 249,750 639.60
01/07/2003 3,120 149,500 257,500 639.60
01/07/2004 3,172 153,000 263,500 639.60
01/07/2005 3,224 157,000 270,500 639.60
01/07/2006 3,328 161,500 278,500 639.60
01/07/2007 3,432 166,750 287,750 639.60
01/07/2008 3,588 171,750 296,250 639.60
01/07/2009 3,692 178,000 307,000 639.60
01/07/2010 3,796 181,750 313,250 639.60
01/07/2011 3,900 186,750 321,750 639.60
01/07/2012 3,952 192,500 332,000 639.60
01/07/2013 4,056 196,750 339,250 639.60
01/07/2014 4,160 202,000 348,500 639.60
01/07/2015 4,212

202,000

Note Q

348,500

Note Q

639.60

Notes for Table 3

Note Explanation
M Dates on which the rates applied.
N The assets test was introduced on 21 March 1985. Non-homeowners are allowed extra assets. There is no increase in the allowable assets amounts for children.
O

Allowable income for married supporting parents (see Note L) was increased to $1,820.

P

In March 1989 supporting parent's benefit and class A widow's pension were amalgamated under a new title of sole parent's pension.

Q Indexation of the assets test for PPS was paused for 2 years from 1 July 2015.
Last reviewed: 1 July 2015