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 intended only as a guide to social security payments. 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. Splitting restrictable payments


This section contains information about how the restrictable payments ( are split into a restricted ( and unrestricted portion ( and how these portions are paid to the participant.

Splitting restrictable payments

Restrictable payments will be split into a restricted portion and an unrestricted portion.

By default, if after an income and assets test is conducted an instalment of a restrictable payment is payable to a trial participant or voluntary participant:

  • 80% of the gross amount of the payment is restricted (the restricted portion), and
  • 20% of the gross amount of the payment is unrestricted (the unrestricted portion).

After any Centrelink deductions or withholdings, any money remaining of the restricted portion is paid into the welfare restricted bank account ( and cannot be used to purchase alcohol, gambling or illicit drugs, cash-like products and it cannot be withdrawn as cash.

The unrestricted portion is paid into the participant's normal bank account and can be used at the discretion of the participant, including withdrawing cash.

In some trial areas, a community body can reduce the percentage of the restricted portion and increase the percentage of the unrestricted portion. See 8.7.7 for more detail.

Example: Sue lives in Ceduna and receives JSP, which is a trigger payment, so she automatically becomes a participant in the Cashless Debit Card Trial. Sue also receives FTB and ES, both of which are restrictable payments. Therefore Sue's JSP, FTB and ES will all be subject to restriction.

When the trial starts, the financial institution will open a welfare restricted bank account for Sue and issue Sue with a Cashless Debit Card. Then each time Sue is due to receive JSP, FTB and ES payments, the gross payment will be split into 80% restricted portion and 20% unrestricted portion. The restricted portion is put onto Sue's welfare restricted bank account accessed by her Cashless Debit Card and the other 20% will go into her normal bank account. The total amount Sue receives is the same as before the trial.

Sue can use her Cashless Debit Card to buy anything except alcohol, gambling, illicit drugs and cash-like products. She also will not be able to withdraw cash from the card.

The 20% that is paid into her normal bank account can be accessed as cash and/or used to buy anything including alcohol and gambling.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 124PL Payment of restricted portion of restrictable payment, section 124PP Welfare restricted bank accounts, section 124 PM Recipient's use of funds from restrictable payments, section 124PQA cash-like product

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