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. PPS income & assets tests & limits


This topic describes the ordinary income (1.1.O.30) and assets tests and limits for PPS. The income and assets tests for PPP are described in a separate topic,

This topic covers the following matters:

  • the ordinary income test
  • income free area limits
  • how income reduces payment
  • compensation (1.1.C.240) income
  • the effect of the IMP, and
  • the PPS assets test.

Ordinary income test

The following table shows the 4 steps involved in applying the ordinary income test for PPS.

Step Action
1 Determine the person's ordinary income for the fortnight.
2 Determine the person's ordinary income free area limit.
3 Does the person's ordinary income exceed their ordinary income free area?

  • If NO, the ordinary income excess in NIL.
  • If YES, the difference is the ORDINARY INCOME EXCESS.
4 Determine 40% of the ordinary income excess.


Income free area limits

Information on current income free areas and income limits for PPS can be obtained from the Parenting Payment - Income and assets tests page on the Services Australia website.

These limits are indexed from 1 July each year.

How income reduces payments

Income over the income free area limit reduces the payment received by 40c in the dollar until the payment is reduced to nil.

Act reference: SSAct section 1068A-E1 Effect of income on maximum payment rate

Policy reference: SS Guide Pensions income test, Additional Free Area for Dependent Children, 4.2.2 Benefits income test & limits, Determining the rate of income for PP, 5.5.4 Samples of PP rate calculations

Compensation income

Compensation such as weekly worker's compensation payments, are assessed under a separate income test. Lump sum compensation payments are also subject to special rules.

Act reference: SSAct section 17 Compensation recovery definitions, Part 3.14 Compensation recovery

Policy reference: SS Guide Compensation & payability, 4.13 Compensation, 6.4 Compensation Recovery

Effect of IMP

An IMP applies to leave and redundancy payments received from employment, in the same way as the benefits income test.

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.3.4 Income maintenance period

PPS assets test

PPS is subject to the benefits assets test. PPS is NOT payable if a recipient's assets exceed those limits.

Act reference: SSAct section 500Q(2) Assets test-payment not payable if assets value limit exceeded

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.3 Pensions & benefits assets tests

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