Personal income test

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

We’re extending some temporary changes to our payments we made because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Read some important information about our payments and services..

What the income test is

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

If you get Child support payments, we won’t count this 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.

What happens if you're 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, no children, younger than 18, and live at your parent’s home. 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $880.00
Single, no children, 18 or older and live at your parent’s 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, and need to live away from your parent’s home. 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,234.00
Member of 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 $300 a fortnight 60 cents for each dollar earned. The amount we reduce your payment by will depend on how much you earn in a fortnight.

Your situation Maximum income before your payment reduces to $0
Single, no children, younger than 18, and live at your parent’s home. $728.50
Single, no children, 18 or older and live at your parent’s home. $815.34
Single or in a couple, no children, and need to live away from your parent’s home. $1,082.50
Member of a couple, with children. $1,159.34
Single with children. $1,325.34
Single, the main carer of dependent children younger than 16, with an exemption for 1 of these:
  • foster caring
  • home schooling
  • distance education
  • large family.
$1,652.17

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, no children, younger than 18, and live at your parent’s home. 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,083.84
Single, no children and need to live away from your parent’s home. 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,402.34
Member of a couple, with no children. 50 cents for each dollar over $437 $43.50 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $524 $1,310.84

How we assess 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: 5 January 2021