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. Assessing personal effects, household contents, vehicles & cash


This topic discusses how to assess a person's and their partner's:

Personal effects & household contents

A person's and their partner's personal effects and household contents are assessed as being $10,000, UNLESS the person advises a different amount.

If the person advises that the net market value (1.1.M.40) of their personal effects and household contents is less than $10,000:

  • accept the person's assessment, UNLESS
  • there are very strong indications to suggest that the value is significantly understated.

If the person's valuation appears to be significantly understated:

  • ask how they arrived at the decision, AND
  • explain the meaning of 'market value'.

A person is ALWAYS required to declare the value of personal effects and household contents IF that value exceeds $10,000.

Act reference: SSAct section 1118(3) Value of certain personal effects of less than $10,000


A person's estimate of the market value of their vehicle is accepted UNLESS the valuation:

  • is significantly over or understated, AND
  • would affect their payability or rate.

Explanation: Vehicles include a motor vehicle, motor cycle, trailer, caravan (other than the principal home), or boat (other than the principal home).

Exception: Commonwealth vehicles provided under the 'vehicle assistance scheme' are an exempt asset (1.1.E.170).

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home


The person's estimate of the value of cash on hand other than that held to meet day-to-day expenses is accepted. On call deposits with a bank, credit union or building society are assessed at face value.

Act reference: SSAct section 1118 Certain assets to be disregarded in calculating the value of a person's assets

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