Employment income for allowees


This topic provides information about the following:

  • payments covered by this policy
  • income assessed for employees (1.1.E.87)
  • casual earnings assessed in fortnight earned, and
  • exempt income.

Payments covered by this policy

This policy applies to the following benefit payments:

  • jobseeker payment
  • youth allowance
  • austudy payment
  • sickness allowance
  • partner allowance, and
  • special benefit.

Income assessment for employees

The money (or other valuable consideration) earned, derived or received from remunerative work done by the person as an employee in an employer/employee relationship is assessed as the person's income without any reductions. This income is called employment income (1.1.E.102) and includes, but is not limited to, commissions, salary, wages, employment-related fringe benefits, or a combination of these.

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

Casual earnings assessed in fortnight earned

For allowees, income from casual earnings IS treated as income for social security purposes. It is assessed in the actual fortnight it is earned or derived, not in the fortnight it is received.

Income that applies to a date AFTER a person ceases to qualify for a benefit is NOT considered.


  • Recipients, such as casual school teachers, are often not paid for the work they have done until many weeks later. It may be necessary to contact the recipient to help estimate the amount earned in each relevant benefit fortnight.
  • If a recipient or claimant for JSP, YA, Austudy, SA or SpB receives payment for casually assisting a relative, the payment is regarded as income when it is earned. If no money is paid, the claimant or recipient MAY be receiving a 'valuable consideration' for their services that is to be taken into account.

Act reference: SSAct section 1067G-H23 Ordinary income generally taken into account when first earned, derived or received, section 1067L-D19 Ordinary income generally taken into account when first earned, derived or received, section 1068-G7A Ordinary income generally taken into account when first earned, derived or received

Policy reference: SS Guide Determining the Rate of Income for Benefits, Income from employment or independent contracting, Deferred income, salary sacrifice, valuable consideration & fringe benefits

Seasonal work (1.1.S.60)

Special rules apply to the assessment of seasonal work earnings (1.1.S.61).

Income from independent contracting

A contract OF service or labour indicates an employer/employee relationship. A contract FOR services to produce a result indicates self-employment.

Policy reference: SS Guide Income from employment or independent contracting

Exempt income

Some income from employment is exempt from assessment.

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.3.2 Income Exempt from Assessment

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020