The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ 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. Payability of PP - partnered rate


This topic explains the following payability issues that relate uniquely to PPP recipients:

  • income and assets tests
  • waiting periods
  • payable to one member of a couple (1.1.M.120) only
  • income received from other programs
  • non-payment or rate reduction periods for JSP, YA or Austudy
  • temporary absences in New Zealand for partners of people who are receiving DSP by virtue of the 1995 Agreement with New Zealand, and
  • PP participation failures.

Income & assets tests

The following table explains which income and assets tests apply to PPP:

Payment Tests
PPP as the partner of a non-independent YA recipient The same personal assets test and income test as PPS. The maximum payment rate is limited to the rate for a partnered person.
All other PPP Benefits asset and income tests

Policy reference: SS Guide PPP income & assets tests & limits

Waiting periods

New claimants of PPP may be required to serve an OWP ( before they can receive payment. Depending on their circumstances, PPP claimants may also be subject to other waiting or preclusion periods. The OWP cannot be served concurrently with any other waiting or preclusion periods and starts on the day after all applicable waiting periods have ended.

PPP claimants may be required to serve an IMP (1.1.I.60) before they can receive payment if they or their partner have received leave or redundancy payments. If a new claimant or their partner have been engaged in seasonal or intermittent work in the 6 months prior to lodging the claim, they may be required to serve an SWPP (1.1.S.455).

Act reference: SSAct section 500Z(1) Seasonal workers-preclusion period

Policy reference: SS Guide Who is affected by the SWPP, 4.3.4 Income maintenance period, Ordinary waiting period

PP payable to only one member of a couple (1.1.M.120)

PP is ONLY payable to one member of a couple.

Example: One partner cannot be paid for one child and the other partner for another child.

If both members of a couple are qualified and neither agrees to surrender payment or withdraw the claim:

  • a written determination must specify the person to whom PP is payable, and
  • a copy of the determination must be given to both.

In this case the person not receiving PP may claim another payment.

Act reference: SSAct section 5(18) to section 5(20) Principal carer-a child can only have one principal carer, section 5(20A) to section 5(20B) Principal carer-which member of a couple can be a principal carer

Policy reference: SS Guide Child-related qualification for PP - shared care

Income received from other programs

PP is NOT payable to a partnered claimant who is receiving payments from ABSTUDY Scheme (other than the ABSTUDY Tertiary Scheme as a part-time student).

Act reference: SSAct section 500V Educational schemes exclusion-person member of a couple

JSP, YA or Austudy non-payment or rate reduction period

PP is NOT payable to a partnered person while they are serving:

  • a non-payment period for JSP, YA or Austudy, or
  • an employment related exclusion period.

Exception: Payability is NOT affected if:

  • these periods of non-payment or rate reduction are applied to the PARTNER of a person claiming PP, or
  • an event has occurred that would lead to one of these periods of non-payment or rate reduction, but the person has NOT claimed JSP, YA or Austudy.

A partnered person with children cannot avoid the application of a non-payment or rate reduction period for JSP, YA or Austudy by claiming PP as an alternative payment.

Example: If Mary had been receiving PP and her partner Bill was subject to a JSP non-payment period, they could attempt to avoid this non-payment period by effectively swapping payments, with Mary claiming JSP and Bill claiming PP. These provisions are designed to prevent such an outcome.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act Schedule 2 clause 5 Effect of exclusion period, Schedule 2 clause 5A Start day for PP where one member of a couple ā€¦

Recipient in New Zealand - temporary absence

If a female PPP recipient has a partner in receipt of DSP and DSP is paid by virtue of the 1995 social security agreement with New Zealand, the recipient can only be paid PP for the first 4 weeks of a temporary absence to New Zealand.

Policy reference: SS Guide Portability provisions for recipients paid under the 1995 Agreement with New Zealand going to New Zealand or to another country

Participation failure

PP may not be payable to a PP recipient who commits a serious failure.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 42P Consequences of serious failure

Policy reference: SS Guide Types of failures & penalties

Last reviewed: