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. Independent YA - partner income test & limits


This topic covers the following matters:

  • exemptions from the partner income test, and
  • the partner income test.

Exemptions from the partner income test

A dependent YA recipient in a member of a couple relationship, and their partner (1.1.P.85), are EXEMPT from the partner income test. This includes:

  • new YA recipients not yet receiving payment (see example), and
  • members of a couple (1.1.M.120) whose partner is a dependent YA recipient.

Example: A YA recipient serving a waiting period.

This does NOT include a person whose claim has been rejected.

Example: Due to high parental income.

Explanation: The reason is that a dependent YA recipient is subject to the parental income test and therefore should not also be subject to the partner income and assets tests, or the partner's liquid assets or compensation (1.1.C.240) payments. For consistency, as the partner's income and assets, liquid assets or compensation are not taken into account for the YA recipient, the YA recipient's income and assets, liquid assets and compensation are not taken into account for the partner.

Act reference: SSAct section 4 (6A) Member of a coupleā€”special excluding determination, section 14A-'liquid assets'

Partner income test

The partner income test applies where an independent YA recipient is a member of a couple. A recipient's rate of YA is reduced by 60c for each dollar of their partner's ordinary income (1.1.O.30) that exceeds the partner income free area. The partner income free area is the same as for the benefits income test.

Exception: If the recipient's partner is receiving a pension, both partners income is added together. Each partner is then assessed on half the combined income.

Act reference: SSAct section 1067C Member of a YA couple, section 1067G-H1 Effect of ordinary income on maximum payment rate

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.M.130 Member of a YA couple (YA), 4.2.2 Benefits income test & limits

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