Sickness Allowance

Asset Hardship provisions

You can apply if you're suffering severe financial hardship and your assets stop you from getting a payment, or your payment is reduced.

We may consider you to be in severe financial hardship if:

  • your total income, including any payment paid under the assets test, is less than the full rate of that payment
  • the funds you can access are less than the allowable limit, and
  • there’s nothing else you can reasonably do to improve your financial position

Who can apply

If you’re eligible for a pension, we’ll consider you for severe financial hardship if:

  • because of the assets test you’re on a reduced pension or it’s not payable
  • you own an asset which you can’t sell or be reasonably expected to sell
  • you can’t borrow against the asset or be reasonably expected to borrow against it
  • you’d otherwise qualify for a payment under the income test, and
  • the gifting rules don’t apply or we can disregard them

If you’re eligible for an allowance or benefit, we’ll consider you for severe financial hardship if:

  • your allowance or benefit isn’t payable because of the assets test
  • you own an asset which you can’t sell
  • you can’t borrow against the asset
  • the asset is for sale on the market at a realistic price, or the asset is jointly owned
  • you’re unable to qualify for any other Australian Government help
  • you’d otherwise qualify for payment under the income test, and
  • the gifting rules don’t apply or we can disregard them

What the allowable limit is for funds you can access

These amounts are indexed in March and September each year.

Payment type Allowable limit of funds you can access

ABSTUDY
Age Pension
Austudy
Bereavement Allowance
Carer Payment
Disability Support Pension
Special Benefit
Widow B Pension
Wife Pension
Youth Allowance for students

  • Single  $23,823.80
  • Couples combined $35,916.40

Newstart Allowance
Parenting Payment partnered
Partner Allowance
Sickness Allowance
Widow Allowance
Youth Allowance for job seekers

  • Single with no children $14,534.00
  • Single with children $15,719.60
  • Single aged 60 or older and on income support for at least 9 months $15,719.60
  • Couples combined $26,239.20

Parenting Payment for single parents

  • $20,293.00

How to claim

To apply, you need to complete a Claim for consideration under hardship provisions form. If both you and your partner are applying for help under the provision, you both need to fill in and sign a claim form. You can either complete:

  • 2 separate claim forms - 1 each, or
  • 1 claim form with both you and your partners' details on it

Call the Financial Information Service line and ask us to send the form to you. Don’t forget to ask for 2 forms if you and your partner are going to fill in separate forms.

What other help there is

You may also want to consider other help such as:

Page last updated: 16 October 2018