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 intended only as a guide to social security payments. 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.

4.10.4.20 Historical widow B means test limits & additional payments

Summary

This topic contains historical means test limits and additional payments for Widow Class B from July 1942 to March 2020. On 20 March 2020, WidB ceased with remaining recipients transferring to Age. This topic contains the following 3 tables:

Table Numbers Explanation
1 Means test - July 1942 to October 1958
2 Merged means test - March 1961 to November 1984
3 Income and assets (1.1.A.290) test - March 1985 to present date

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

Table 1: Means test - July 1942 to October 1958

The table shows amounts in dollars. Income is shown in dollars per annum.

Date
Note A
Permissible income Limit of property Property exemption RA
Note B
27/07/1942 65 800
Note C
100 -
13/08/1946 104 1,300 100 -
26/10/1948 156 1,500 200 -
06/11/1951 156 2,000 200 -
05/11/1953 208 2,500 300 -
19/10/1954 364 3,500 400 -
28/10/1958 364 4,500 400 52
Note D

Notes for Table 1

Note Explanation
A Dates on which the rates applied.
B Before 5 September 1985 RA was known as 'supplementary assistance'.
C No pension was payable if income or property exceeded the limits.
D RA of $52.00 per year was paid to pensioners paying rent (1.1.R.160) and entirely dependent upon pension.

Table 2: Merged means test - March 1961 to November 1984

The table shows amounts in dollars. Income is shown in dollars per annum.

Date
Note E
Means as assessed Property exemption RA
Note F
14/03/1961 364
Note G
400 52
19/10/1965 364 400 104
Note H
02/05/1967 520 400 104
30/09/1969 520
Note I
400 104
10/10/1972 1,040 400 208
05/11/1974 1,040 400 260
Note J
25/11/1976 1,040 abolished
Note K
260
11/02/1982 1,040 - 416
Note L
04/11/1982 1,560 - 520
Note M
01/11/1984 1,560 - 780
Note N

Notes for Table 2

Note Explanation
E Dates on which the rates applied.
F Before 5 September 1985 RA was known as 'supplementary assistance'.
G The merged means test was introduced. Maximum pension was reduced by amount by which 'means as assessed' (income plus property component) exceeds $364.00. The fixed disqualifying limit of property was abolished.
H RA - means test was introduced under which the maximum rate was reduced by the amount by which means as assessed exceeded $52.00.
I A tapered means test was introduced. Maximum rate of pension was reduced by half of the amount by which means as assessed exceeded permissible means as assessed.
J The increase was applied subject to the principle that the rate did not exceed the amount of rent paid. No existing payment was reduced as a result of adopting this principle.
K The property test was abolished. The means test became an income test only with property excluded. However, income from property was included as income.
L

The maximum rate of RA increased to $8.00 per week (one half was paid to each member of a pensioner couple) and the rules for payment changed. The rate of RA was:

  • half the amount of rent in excess of $10.00 per week to the maximum of $8.00 per week, and
  • less half the income (combined income for a husband and wife) apart from pension. Entitlement ceased when income reached $16.00 per week.

RA was not payable if rent was paid to a State or Australian Government Housing Authority. A savings provision protected payments current at 1 February 1982.

M

The maximum rate of RA was increased to 10.00 per week. The rate of RA payable was:

  • half the amount of rent in excess of $10.00 per week to the maximum of $10.00 per week, and
  • less half the income (combined income for a husband and wife) apart from pension. Entitlement ceased when income reached $20.00 per week.
N

The maximum rate of RA was increased to $15.00 per week. The rate of RA payable was:

  • half the amount of rent in excess of $10.00 per week to a maximum of $15.00 per week, and
  • less half the income (combined income for a husband and wife) apart from pension. Entitlement ceases when income reaches $30.00 per week.

The savings provision which applied on 1 February 1982 still applied.

Table 3: Income & assets test - March 1985 to present date

The table shows amounts in dollars. Income is shown in dollars per annum.

Date
Note O

Permissible income

Allowable assets RA
Note P
Homeowner Non-homeowner
21/03/1985 1,560 70,000
Note Q
120,000 780
1/05/1986 1,560 75,750 129,750 780
25/12/1986 1,560 75,750 129,750 780
Note R
25/06/1987 1,560 83,250 143,250 780
09/07/1987 2,080 83,250 143,250 780
23/06/1988 2,080 89,250 153,250 780
22/06/1989 2,080 96,000 164,500

780 or 1,040

Note S

21/12/1989 2,080 96,000 164,500 1,040 or 1,300
26/04/1990 2,080 96,000 164,500 1,040 or 1,300
21/06/1990 2,080 103,500 177,500

1,300, 1,560 or 1,820

Note T

27/09/1990 2,080 103,500 177,500 1,560, 1,820 or 2,080
28/03/1991 2,080 103,500 177,500

1,612, 1,882.40 or 2,150.20

Note U

01/07/1991 2,184 110,750 190,250 1,612, 1,882.40 or 2,150.20
26/03/1992 2,184 110,750 190,250 1,635.40, 1,911 or 2,181.40
01/07/1992 2,236 112,500 193,000 1,635.40, 1,911 or 2,181.40
24/09/1992 2,236 112,500 193,000 1,638, 1,913.60 or 2,184
01/07/1993 2,288 112,750 193,250 1,747.20, 1,918.80 or 2,189.20
01/07/1994 2,340 115,000 197,000 1,778.40, 1,955.20 or 2,230.80
01/07/1995 2,444 118,000 202,000 1,825.20, 2,002.00 or 2,288.00
01/07/1996 2,548 124,000 212,500 1,918.80, 2,236.00 or 2,532.40
01/07/1997 2,600 125,750 215,750 Note V
01/07/1998 2,600 125,750 215,750  
01/07/1999 2,652 127,750 219,250  
01/07/2000 2,756 133,250 228,750  
01/07/2001 2,912 141,000 242,000  
01/07/2002 3,016 145,250 249,750  
01/07/2003 3,120 149,500 257,500  
01/07/2004 3,172 153,000 263,500  
01/07/2005 3,224 157,000 270,500  
01/07/2006 3,328 161,500 278,500  
01/07/2007 3,432 166,750 287,750  
01/07/2008 3,588 171,750 296,250  
01/07/2009 3,692 178,000 307,000  
01/07/2010 3,796 181,750 313,250  
01/07/2011 3,900 186,750 321,750  
01/07/2012 3,952 192,500 332,000  
01/07/2013 4,056 196,750 339,250  
01/07/2014 4,160 202,000 348,500  
01/07/2015 4,212 205,500 354,500  
01/07/2016 4,264 209,000 360,500  
01/01/2017 4,264 250,000 450,000
Note W
 
01/07/2017 4,368 253,750 456,750  
01/07/2018 4,472 258,500 465,500  
01/07/2019 4,524
Note X
263,250 473,750  

Notes for Table 3

Note Explanation
O Dates on which the rates applied.
P Before 5 September 1985 RA was known as 'supplementary assistance'.
Q Assets test introduced on 21 March 1985. Non-homeowners were allowed extra assets. The assets test only applied if it produced a lesser rate. Recipients whose rates were determined under the assets test were ineligible for RA.
R

From 25 December 1986 the rate of RA payable was:

  • half the amount of rent in excess of $15.00 per week to a maximum of $15.00 per week; and
  • less half the income (combined income for husband and wife) apart from pension. Entitlement ceased when income reached $30.00 per week.
S From 22 June 1989 the maximum rate of RA for recipients with dependent children increased by $5.00 per week to $20.00 per week.
T From 26 June 1989 the rates of RA increased by $5.00 per week plus an additional increase of $5.00 per week for recipients with 3 or more children.
U From March 1991 RA became subject to twice yearly indexation.
V Rates of RA set after 1 July 1996 can be found in topic 5.2.6.10 RA rates - June 1990 to present date.
W From 1 January 2017, the assets test free areas increased under a one-off adjustment as part of the measure to rebalance the assets test parameters. Regular indexation arrangements continued after this date.
X On 20 March 2020, WidB ceased with remaining recipients transferring to Age.

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