Personal income test

We use income tests to see if you’re eligible for a payment and work out how much you’ll get.

About the income test

We use an income test to help us work out your payment. Your income can affect your payment.

Child support payments don’t count as income.

We may also use a partner income test and a parental means test. We’ll base your rate on the test that results in the lowest payment rate.

Earning income while getting a payment

Students and Australian Apprentices

You can earn money while you get Austudy or Youth Allowance. But how much you earn will affect your payment.

We’ll start to reduce your payment if your income is over $437 a fortnight.

The Income Bank can help you keep more of your payment. You can get credits if your income is less than $437 a fortnight. Then you can use the credits when you earn more than $437 in a different fortnight.

If your payment reduces to $0 for 12 weeks in a row due to your income, it will be cancelled. If your income reduces so you’re eligible for a payment again, you’ll have to reapply.

These tables show how your income affects your payments. The amounts are before tax.

Your situation Amount your payment reduces by if you earn between $437-$524 per fortnight Amount your payment reduces by if you earn more than $524 per fortnight Maximum income before your payment reduces to $0
Single, under 18, living at home 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $880.00
Single, over 18, living at home 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $966.84
Single or in a couple, no children, living away from home 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,234.00
In a couple with children 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,310.84
Single with children 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,476.84

Job seekers getting Youth Allowance

If you get Youth Allowance as a job seeker you can earn money and still get your payment. We’ll start to reduce your payment if you earn more than $143 a fortnight. The amount we reduce your payment by will depend on how much you earn in a fortnight.

Your situation Amount your payment reduces by if you earn between $143-$250 per fortnight Amount your payment reduces by if you earn more than $250 per fortnight Maximum income before your payment reduces to $0
Single, under 18, living at home 50 cents for each dollar over $143 $53.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $250 $589.34
Single, over 18, living at home 50 cents for each dollar over $143 $53.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $250 $676.17
Single or in a couple, no children, living away from home 50 cents for each dollar over $143 $53.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $250 $943.34
In a couple with children 50 cents for each dollar over $143 $53.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $250 $1020.17
Single with children 50 cents for each dollar over $143 $53.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $250 $1186.17
Single, the main carer of dependent children, with an exemption for foster caring, home schooling, distance education or large family 50 cents for each dollar of income above $143 $53.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar above $250 $1,508.00

Long term income support

We might reduce your income support payment if your income is more than $437 a fortnight. This is if you’ve been getting income support over a long term.

The amount we reduce your payment by will depend on how much more income you have in a fortnight.

We’ll reduce your payment if all of the following apply:

  • you’ve been getting an income support payment that isn’t a student payment for at least 26 of the last 39 weeks
  • you’re older than 22
  • you don’t have a dependent child.
Your situation Amount your payment reduces by if you earn between $437-$524 per fortnight Amount your payment reduces by if you earn more than $524 per fortnight Maximum income before your payment reduces to $0
Single, living at home 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,083.84
Single, living away from home 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,402.34
In a couple, no children 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,310.84

Your partner’s income

If you have a partner, their income may affect how much you get.

If you’re dependent and get Youth Allowance we won’t assess your partner’s income. Once you’ve lived with your partner for 12 months we’ll consider you independent. Their income may then affect your payment. If you’re already independent, we’ll consider your partner’s income from when you start living together.

There’s a maximum amount your partner can earn before we start to reduce your payment. We reduce your payment by 60 cents for every dollar your partner earns over this amount.

Page last updated: 21 May 2020