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.

9.4.3.10 Assurer eligibility requirements - individuals

Summary

This section sets out the requirements an individual must meet in order to provide an AoS, including:

  • residence requirements
  • age requirements
  • income requirements.

These requirements are set out in the Social Security (Assurances of Support) Determination 2018.

Note: The requirements a corporation or unincorporated body must meet to provide an AoS are outlined in 9.4.3.30 and 9.4.30.40. The requirements for individuals and organisations providing an AoS for a Community Support Program (CSP) entrant are outlined in 9.4.3.50.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZZGB Who may give an assurance of support?, section 1061ZZGH Determinations

Residence requirements

A prospective assurer must be an Australian resident as defined in SSAct section 7.

For joint AoS applications, all applicants must be Australian residents as defined in the SSAct.

Act reference: SSAct section 7 Australian residence definitions

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.1.10 Residence requirements

Age requirements

A prospective assurer must be over the age of 18 years at the time of application.

For joint AoS applications, all applicants must be over the age of 18 years at the time of application.

Income requirements

The prospective assurer/s must meet the income requirements to give an AoS. The income requirements that apply will depend on:

  • the number of assurers
  • the number of dependent children of the assurer/s, and
  • the number of adult assurees to be supported under the AoS.

The income requirements outlined below are only applicable to individuals giving an AoS and do not apply to bodies giving an AoS (see 9.4.3.30 and 9.4.3.40 for the requirements that apply to corporations, unincorporated organisations and state/territory agencies).

Note: Sole traders are considered individual assurers and are subject to the requirements for individuals, including the below income requirements.

To meet the income requirements, the prospective assurer/s must have income above the minimum threshold for their circumstances. If there is only one assurer, only the income of that person is assessed. For a joint AoS involving 2 or 3 assurers, the combined income of all the assurers is used in the assessment.

The minimum income threshold is equal to the sum of:

  • the annual maximum basic JSP amount for each of the adults involved in the AoS, whether they are an assurer or assuree, and
  • the annual base rate of FTB Part A plus the rate of FTB Part A supplement (as at 1 July of the current financial year) for any children under 18 years an assurer has.

The annual maximum basic JSP amount is the fortnightly basic rate of JSP for a single person with dependent children (not including any supplements), as at 1 July of the current financial year, multiplied by 26.0714286. The current financial year is the year in which the AoS application was made. See Part 5 for payment rates.

The prospective assurer/s must demonstrate a sustained minimum income for the current financial year (this is the year in which the AoS application was made) and either the previous financial year or the financial year before that.

Example: An AoS application is made in 2019-20. The minimum income threshold is determined based on JSP and FTB rates as at 1 July 2019. If, for example, the relevant threshold for 2019-20 is $40,000, the assurer/s must have assessable income of at least $40,000 not only for the current financial year (2019-20) but also for 2018-19 or 2017-18.

'Assessable income' of a person for a financial year includes any one or a combination of the following:

  • taxable income
  • target foreign income
  • tax-free benefit or pension
  • adjusted fringe benefits total
  • tax-free salary received during overseas deployment as a member of the Australian Defence Force or Australian Federal Police.

Note: A tax-free pension or benefit for the purposes of the AoS income requirements is as described in FAAct Schedule 3 clause 7. A non-taxable PhD living allowance is not covered by this clause and therefore cannot be assessed as income for a prospective assurer.

Evidence of income

The prospective assurer/s must provide evidence about their assessable income for each of the relevant years. Where a person cannot provide evidence of their assessable income, their income will be taken to be nil.

For the current financial year, the assurer/s must provide evidence about their assessable income for the part of the financial year up to the date on which the assurance is given, which may include the following:

  • a document showing their gross income and period of service or employment, such as a payslip, group certificate, letter from their employer, or contract for service or employment, and/or
  • a financial statement or other business record showing their gross and net business income for a specified period.

If applicable, documents showing payments of the kind mentioned above in the definition of assessable income should also be provided.

For either of the previous financial years, the assurer/s must provide the following evidence:

  • a notice of assessment issued by the ATO in relation to the assurer/s and the year
  • if the notice of assessment issued by the ATO does not disclose sufficient income to satisfy the minimum income requirement, then documents showing payments of the other income forming 'assessable income' mentioned above that have been paid to the assurer/s in that financial year.

If an assurer has not lodged a tax return for the previous year, a letter from their employer giving details about their employment, such as date of commencement of employment, amount of taxable income and contract of employment, is required. A self-employed person is required to provide a letter from their accountant. The person will have to provide a notice of assessment issued by the ATO for the financial year before the previous financial year.

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.4.3.20 Examples – income requirements for individuals

Limit on assurees for an individual

Individuals can only be an assurer (alone or jointly) for a maximum of 2 adult assurees at any one time (there is no limit on the number of child assurees). An individual may not give an AoS for an adult if:

  • they have previously given an assurance for 2 adults (whether in a single assurance or 2 separate assurances), and
  • each assurance either remains in force or the assessment of the application for the assurance is still pending acceptance or rejection.

Note: Different limits apply to individuals providing an assurance for a CSP entrant – see 9.4.3.50.

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