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. Payments Exempt under Agreements

Exempt payments

Most of Australia's agreements allow for income tested welfare payments made by the other country to be disregarded from the income test. The chapter for each agreement must be checked before a payment is exempted from the income test.

It is very rare for a country to pay one of it's welfare payments to a person who is not living in that country. This is why this type of exemption will mostly apply to people living outside Australia. In some agreements this also includes autonomous pensioners who are in an agreement country or living overseas.

If it becomes apparent that a person is receiving one of these payments, then it is to be disregarded from the Australian income test.

Note: It is important to note that these payments may be assessable when the person's rate is calculated using the direct deduction rules.

Some agreement countries make payments towards the cost of personal care that are given income test concessions through the SSAct. These payments are not treated as income for people paid pensions regardless of whether the person's rate is calculated using an agreement. Payments exempt under the SSAct are listed at Income exempt from assessment - legislated.

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