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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