Upcoming changes to income and means tests

24 August 2020

If you get an income support payment from us, we’ll assess your income and assets differently after 25 September 2020.

Income free area changes

The income free area will increase for both:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance for job seekers.

When it does, you can earn more but still get the maximum payment rates. This doesn’t apply if you get JobSeeker Payment as a principal carer.

The income free area will increase from:

  • $106 per fortnight to $300 per fortnight for JobSeeker Payment
  • $143 per fortnight to $300 per fortnight for Youth Allowance.

If you earn above $300 per fortnight, your payment will reduce by 60 cents for each dollar over $300.

We don’t count the Coronavirus Supplement as income.

Means tests

From 25 September 2020, we’ll reintroduce means testing. This includes asset testing for all payments.

We’ll also reintroduce the liquid assets waiting period for new claims.

Partner income testing

There are changes to the JobSeeker Payment partner income test.

Your payment will reduce by 27 cents for every dollar your partner earns over $1165 per fortnight. This has changed from 25 cents.

If you earn under $300 per fortnight, your partner can earn up to $3086.11 per fortnight. Once they earn this amount your payment will reduce to zero.

Expanded eligibility criteria continues for income support payments

If coronavirus has affected your income you may stay eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance for job seekers. This includes if you meet any of the following, you’re:

  • a permanent employee who was stood down or lost their employment
  • a sole trader, the self-employed, casual worker or contract worker who meet the income tests
  • an eligible individuals caring for someone affected by Coronavirus.

Page last updated: 24 August 2020