220.127.116.11 Calculating a rate of PP - partnered
This topic explains the way in which the rate of PP is calculated for a recipient with a partner, and the effect of factors that apply only to PPP. The rate calculation for PPP uses the same principles as are applied to social security benefits, except that in some cases income may be brought to account for periods of up to 12 months, rather than fortnightly (except for employment income (1.1.E.102) which is always assessed fortnightly).
Act reference: SSAct section 1068B Rate of PP-PP (partnered)
Income assessment period
The period over which income is brought to account for PPP depends on the individual circumstances of the recipient:
- for partners of allowees, income is assessed over the fortnight of the payment period
- for all other recipients, income is assessed over whatever period is appropriate to the particular income type (except for employment income).
Explanation: The income of recipients partnered to allowees is assessed in the same way as their partner's income. The income of all other PP recipients is assessed in the same way as for pensioners.
Example: Casual employment income for the partner of an allowee is taken into account in the fortnight the income is paid (by being assessed from the beginning of the fortnight in which it is paid and apportioned forward for the relevant number of days).
Act reference: SSAct section 1068B-D19 Period over which ordinary income taken into account
Policy reference: SS Guide 4.3 Ordinary Income, 18.104.22.168 Determining the rate of income for benefits, 22.214.171.124 Determining the rate of income for pensioners of age pension age from 20/09/2009, 126.96.36.199 Determining the assessable income for pensioners below age pension age, 188.8.131.52 Rate of income - couples, blind pensioners & children, 184.108.40.206 Determining the rate of income for PP
Income test tapers
The income test for PPP comprises:
- a personal income free area of $106 per fortnight (pf)
- a lower personal income taper of 50 cents in the dollar for income between $106 and $256 pf
- an upper personal income taper of 60 cents in the dollar for income above $256 pf
- a partner income free area, and
- a partner excess income taper of 60 cents in the dollar.
Act reference: SSAct section 1068B-D1 Effect of income on maximum payment rate
JSP partner - zero rate provision
If a PPP recipient has a current JSP partner and as a result of casual employment income the PP is reduced to nil, the PP recipient remains current while their JSP partner remains current.
Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period