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. Reviews - hardship cases


This topic contains information on when to review the circumstances of an income support recipient who was assessed under hardship provisions.

When to review

When a review is conducted on asset (1.1.A.290) tested pensions, pensions and benefits paid under the hardship provisions should also be reviewed. A date for review should be noted in the system, aligned as close as possible to CPI increases, to obtain:

  • commercial lease values, and if applicable, revaluations of real estate for the person, AND
  • income tax returns of the person, and if applicable, their partner and children.

While intrusion into a person's affairs is to be kept to a minimum, in a number of hardship situations, especially those of temporary or short-term hardship, more frequent reviews may be required. A review at 3 monthly intervals should be conducted if a property is:

  • subject to a property settlement, OR
  • vacant due to a matrimonial dispute, OR
  • on the market at a reasonable sale price.

The decision to accept that the asset cannot be sold should be reviewed IF a person:

  • refuses an offer that is within 10% of the value maintained for assets test purposes, AND
  • has had the property on the market for 3 months.

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.6.7 Asset hardship rules

Last reviewed: