Asset Hardship provisions

If you are suffering hardship and your assets restrict your entitlement to a payment, you can apply to be paid under Asset Hardship provisions.

You can apply for assistance if you are experiencing severe financial hardship and have little or no entitlement to a payment.
You may be considered in severe financial hardship if:

  • your total income including, any payment paid under the assets test is less than the maximum rate of that payment
  • your readily available funds are less than the allowable limit, and
  • there is no other course of action which you could be expected to take to improve your financial position

If you are eligible to receive a pension, we will consider you for severe financial hardship if:

  • your pension is reduced or not payable because of the assets test
  • you own an asset which you cannot sell or be reasonably expected to sell
  • you cannot borrow against the asset or be reasonably expected to borrow against the asset
  • you would otherwise qualify for a payment under the income test, and
  • the gifting rules do not apply or can be disregarded

If you are eligible to receive an allowance or benefit we will consider you for severe financial hardship if:

  • your allowance or benefit is not payable because of the assets test
  • you own an asset which you cannot sell
  • you cannot borrow against the asset
  • the asset is on the market to be sold at a realistic price
  • you are unable to qualify for any other Australian Government assistance
  • you would otherwise qualify for payment under the income test, and
  • the gifting rules do not apply or can be disregarded

Allowable limits of readily available funds

These amounts are indexed in March and September each year.

Payment type Allowable annual limit of readily available funds
ABSTUDY
Age Pension
Austudy
Bereavement Allowance
Carer Payment
Disability Support Pension
Special Benefit
Widow B Pension
Wife Pension
Youth Allowance for students
  • Single  $22,721.40
  • Couples combined $34,252.40
Newstart Allowance
Parenting Payment partnered
Partner Allowance
Sickness Allowance
Widow Allowance
Youth Allowance for jobseekers
  • Single with no children $13,946.00
  • Single with children $15,087.80
  • Single aged 60 plus and on income support for a minimum of 9 months $15,087.80
  • Couples combined $25,183.60
Parenting Payment for single parents
  • $19,476.60

Claiming

You need to complete a Claim for consideration under hardship provisions form. Ask a Financial Information Service officer for a copy of this form by calling 132 300.

Where both members of a couple are applying for payment under the hardship provisions, each person must claim separately. This can be done by completing separate forms or completing one claim form with both partners' details provided.

Other assistance available:

Page last updated: 24 March 2016