Income test for Newstart Allowance, Partner Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Widow Allowance

Your income can reduce how much we pay you.

Who the income test is for

Most allowances and pensions have income and assets tests. This income test applies if you get or are applying for:

Which test we use

First we assess your assets. If these are more than your asset limit, we usually can’t pay you an allowance. If they are less than your limit, we assess your income from all sources and apply the income test.

There are different tests depending on if you’re:

  • single or have a partner, and
  • a principal carer

How your income changes your payment

We use your and your partner’s fortnightly income to work out your payment.

If you’re single and not a principal carer

Your income per fortnight Reduces your payment by
up to $104 $0
$104 to $254 50 cents for each dollar over $104
over $254 $75 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $254

If you have a partner who gets a pension payment from us

Half of your combined income per fortnight Reduces your payment by
up to $104 $0
$104 to $254 50 cents for each dollar over $104
over $254 $75 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $254

If you have a partner who doesn't get a payment from us

Your income per fortnight Reduces your payment by
up to $104 $0
$104 to $254 50 cents for each dollar over $104
over $254 $75 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $254

Your payment will reduce by 60 cents for every dollar you partner earns over $937 per fortnight. This amount may change if they get Pharmaceutical Allowance or Rent Assistance.

If you’re single and a principal carer

These are the income rules if you’re single and a principal carer of at least 1 dependent child.

The rules are the same if you’re a single principal carer and don’t have to meet the mutual obligation requirements because you’re:

  • foster caring
  • home schooling
  • caring for a large family
  • providing distance education
Your income per fortnight Reduces your payment by
up to $104 $0
over $104 40 cents for each dollar over $104

Cut off points

If your income in a fortnight goes over the below cut off points, we don’t pay you for that fortnight.

Your cut off point may be higher if you get the Pharmaceutical Allowance or Rent Assistance.

Cut off points per fortnight

If we can't pay you when your income reaches
you're single, no children $1,036.34
you're single, 60 or older, on a payment from us for at least 9 months continuously $1,120.67
you're single, principal carer of a dependent child $1,576.00
you're single, principal carer of a dependent child, no mutual obligation requirements $2,004.25
you're single, 60 or older, principal carer of a dependent child, on a payment from us for at least 9 months continuously $1,591.50
you're single, with a dependent child but not the principal carer $1,110.34
you have a partner who gets a pension $1,896.34 - combined income
you have a partner who doesn't get a pension $948.17

If your partner doesn’t get a pension, your payment will reduce by 60 cents for every dollar they earn over $949 per fortnight. This amount may change if they get Pharmaceutical Allowance or Rent Assistance.

Page last updated: 6 June 2017

This information was printed Wednesday 28 June 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/income-test-newstart-allowance-partner-allowance-sickness-allowance-and-widow It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.