The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.P.235 Personal effects & household contents


This definition applies to all payments subject to assets testing provisions.


'Personal effects and household contents' include:

  • clothing
  • jewellery
  • hobby collections (e.g. stamps and coins)
  • furniture
  • paintings and works of art
  • soft furnishings (e.g. curtains)
  • electrical appliances other than fixtures such as stoves and built-in items.
    • Explanation: Permanent fixtures are regarded as part of the home and not as household contents.


The following are NOT personal effects and household items:

  • vehicles (e.g. cars, boats, trailers, caravans and motor cycles)
  • bullion
  • unmounted gems, and
  • collections held for other than purely personal purposes.

Policy reference: SS Guide Assessing personal effects, household contents, vehicles & cash

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