Income test

Your income can reduce how much we pay you. We use the pension income test to assess Disability Support Pension (DSP).

What an income test is

We assess your and your partner’s income from all sources. This includes financial assets such as superannuation if you are over Age Pension age. To work out how much income your financial assets produce, we use deeming. If you’re paid employment income, read about working while you’re getting Disability Support Pension.

Pensions have income and asset limits. If you’re over these limits, you get a lower pension.

If you’re permanently blind and get DSP, we don’t use the income test unless you get Rent Assistance.

What the standard rules are

These are the income rules for most pensioners. Read about the Work Bonus and how it can help you earn more income from working without reducing your pension when you are over Age Pension age.

Single person

Income per fortnightAmount your pension will reduce by
Up to $204$0
Over $20450 cents for each dollar over $204

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

Combined income per fortnightAmount your combined pension will reduce by
Up to $360$0
Over $36050 cents for each dollar over $360

What the transitional rules are

These are the income rules for transitional rate pensioners and DSP customers who meet the following:

  • are younger than 21 years
  • have no dependent children that had affecting income as at 19 September 2009.

Single person

Income per fortnight isAmount your pension will reduce by
Up to $204$0
Over $20440 cents for each dollar over $204

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

Combined income per fortnightAmount your combined pension will reduce by
Up to $360$0
Over $36040 cents for each dollar over $360

Transitional rate with dependent children

You can earn up to an extra $24.60 per fortnight for each dependent child without reducing your pension. Couples living together and both getting a pension can each earn an extra $12.30 per fortnight for each dependent child.

What the cut off points are

If your income in a fortnight goes over the cut off point, we’ll pay you $0 for that fortnight.

Your cut off point may be higher if you get Rent Assistance or Work Bonus.

Your cut off point may be lower if you don’t live in Australia.

Your situationIncome cut off point
21 or older, single$2,397.40
21 or older, couple living together$3,666.80 combined
21 or older, couple living apart due to ill health$4,746.80 combined
18 to 20, single, no children, at home$1,448.20
16 to 17, single, no children, at home$1,327.00
16 to 20, single, no children, independent$1,820.80
16 to 20, couple, no children$3,580.00 combined
Page last updated: 1 January 2024.
QC 65074