Income Management—for youth recipients and long-term payment recipients
Why your payments are being income managed
Your payments are income managed because you live in the Northern Territory and belong to one of the following groups:
- you are aged 15 to 24 and have been on one or more of the following payments for three of the last six months:
- Youth Allowance
- Newstart Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Parenting Payment Single or Parenting Payment Partnered, or
- you are aged 25 or more (but less than pension age) and have been on one or more of the following payments for more than 12 of the last 24 months:
- Youth Allowance
- Newstart Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Parenting Payment Single or Parenting Payment Partnered.
How this affects your payments
50 per cent of your regular payments and 100 per cent of any advance or lump-sum payments you receive will be income managed. The rest of your regular payments will be paid to you in the usual way. Your income managed money can be used to pay for essentials such as rent, bills, and food that you and/or your family need.
If you do not want to be income managed
If you do not want to be income managed you may be able to get an exemption.
An exemption is where your circumstances mean you don’t need Income Management.
You can apply for an exemption if you:
- are a full-time student on Youth Allowance
- are a student apprentice on Youth Allowance
- are receiving Special Benefit and meet certain conditions
- are in regular paid employment (requirements detailed below)
- have dependent children who are participating in approved activities.
You can request an exemption by talking to a Customer Service Officer. Your next steps then depend on whether you have dependent children.
If you do not have dependent children you may be able to get an exemption if you:
- are a full-time student or Australian Apprentice in approved full-time study courses, and on Youth Allowance
- have worked a minimum of 15 hours or more per week for at least six of the last 12 months and been paid at least the minimum wage, or
- receive Special Benefit and:
- do not have participation requirements, and
- are 16 years and older.
When you speak with a Customer Service Officer they will tell you whether you need to provide any evidence, such as pay slips. After all evidence has been provided, we will contact you once a decision has been made.
If you have dependent children the Customer Service Officer will get you to talk to the Income Management Exemption and Assessment Team over the phone. They will ask you questions about your financial situation. From this conversation they will decide if you are financially secure.
If you are assessed as financially secure you will have to provide some information about your children. The Income Management Exemption and Assessment Team will tell you what evidence you need to provide. You have 28 days to provide evidence. Depending on the age of your child, the evidence can be different and may include:
- immunisation records showing your child’s age-related immunisations
- a report from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner
- a report from an allied health professional such as speech therapist or occupational or physical therapist
- a letter from your child’s pre-school, childcare (long day care, family day care, in home care or occasional care), multi-purpose Aboriginal children’s services or kindergarten, confirming his or her attendance
- a school report or letter from your child’s school showing the number of days the child has been away from school. Further evidence may be required if your child has not attended school regularly.
After you have provided all evidence, we will assess your application for an exemption and contact you once a decision has been made.
You can only request an exemption for yourself. If your partner wants an exemption they will need to contact a Customer Service Officer.
If you are granted an exemption your payments will generally stop being income managed for 12 months. At the end of this time you can apply to extend your exemption.
An exemption may be ended earlier if you have a major change in your situation. For example you are no longer the primary carer of children or you withdraw from a full time course.
An example of how you can apply for an exemption
- Max is working part time and has been receiving Youth Allowance for three months.
- Max receives a letter from the department telling him that his payments will be income managed because he is under 25 and has been receiving Youth Allowance for three months.
- Max contacts the department and is given information about Income Management and how it would work for him.
- Max decides that he can manage his expenses without his payment being income managed.
- Max brings his payslips to a Service Centre to show he has been working a minimum of 15 hours per week for at least 26 of the last 52 weeks at the minimum wage.
- As Max is able to demonstrate that he is participating in work activities, he is granted an exemption from Income Management for 12 months.
- Beth is 31 years old and has been receiving Parenting Payment for over a year. Beth has two children aged two and 12.
- Beth receives a letter from the department telling her that her payment will be income managed because she is over 25 and has been receiving Parenting Payment for more than 12 months.
- Beth contacts the department and is given information about Income Management and how it will benefit her and her family.
- Beth decides that she can manage her expenses without her payment being income managed and requests to be exempt from Income Management.
- The department assesses Beth’s circumstances and decides that she is not financially vulnerable and is capable of managing her finances.
- Beth provides immunisation records for her two-year-old child showing her child has had all her age-related immunisations, and a copy of her 12-year-old child’s school report showing she has not had more than five absences in the last two terms.
- As Beth is able to demonstrate that her children are both participating in health and education activities, she is granted an exemption from Income Management for 12 months.