4.2.4.20 PPP income & assets tests & limits

Summary

This topic covers the modifications to the benefits income and assets tests that apply to PPP (1.1.P.50). This topic includes the:

  • PPP income test
  • income assessment period, and
  • PPP assets test.

PPP income test

PPP is subject to a modified version of the benefits income test, comprising the following:

  • For partners of allowees or low income earners (including NEIS and ABSTUDY recipients) or DVA disability pensioners (and not receiving social security or DVA service pensions)
    • a personal income free area of $104 per fortnight (pf)
    • a lower personal income taper of 50 cents in the dollar for income between $104 and $254 pf
    • an upper personal income taper of 60 cents in the dollar for income above $254 pf
    • a partner income free area of the amount of income that would reduce the partner's payment (if the partner is not in receipt of an income support payment the YA (job seeker) income free area applies if the partner is aged under 22 years or NSA if the partner is 22 years or over) to nil, rounded up to the next highest dollar, and
    • a partner excess income taper of 60 cents in the dollar for partner income above the partner income free area.
  • For partners of social security or DVA service pensioners
    • personal ordinary income is assessed as half the joint fortnightly ordinary income of the couple
    • a personal income free area of $104 pf
    • a lower personal income taper of 50 cents in the dollar for income between $104 and $254 pf, and
    • an upper personal income taper of 60 cents in the dollar for income above $254 pf.
  • For partners of non-independent YA recipients
    • personal ordinary income only is assessed - partner income is ignored
    • the PPS income test is applied.

These amounts are current as at 1 July 2017. The personal income free area is usually indexed annually by CPI on 1 July and the partner income free area increases in line with changes in the cutout point of the partner's payment, or NSA, whichever is applicable. However, under the Social Services Legislation Amendment Act 2017, the indexation of PPP income free areas was paused for 3 years from 1 July 2017. Indexation resumes on 1 July 2020.

Act reference: SSAct section 1068B-A1 Method of calculating rate-general, section 1068B-D1 Effect of income on maximum payment rate, section 1068B-D19 Period over which ordinary income taken into account, section 1068B-D20 Fortnightly rate of ordinary income, section 1068B-D23 Partner income excess, section 1068B-D24 Partner income reduction

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.2 Benefits Income Test & Limits, 4.2.4.10 PPS income & assets tests & limits, 4.3.5.20 About DVA Service Pensions, 4.3.5.30 About DVA Disability Pensions, 5.1.4.30 Calculating a rate of PP - partnered

Income assessment period

Income, EXCLUDING leave payments subject to the IMP, and EXCLUDING employment income (1.1.E.102) that is assessed on a fortnightly basis, may be taken into account over an appropriate period of up to 52 weeks, rather than fortnightly. This means that the continuing rate of current income is used, UNLESS the recipient's partner receives a social security benefit. For these recipients, income is assessed in the fortnight in which it is first earned, derived or received - consistent with their allowee partner's income assessment.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security benefit', section 1068B-D19 Period over which ordinary income taken into account

Policy reference: SS Guide 5.1.4.30 Calculating a rate of PP - partnered, 4.3.1.40 Determining the Rate of Income for PP

PPP assets test

PPP is subject to the benefits assets test. PPP is NOT payable if a recipient's assets exceed those limits. The limits are halved if the recipient's partner is receiving a social security payment.

Act reference: SSAct section 500Q(3) The assets value limit of a person who is a member …

Last reviewed: 20 September 2019