Asset hardship provisions

We may stop, reject or reduce your payment because of the assets test. If this is the case, you may be able to apply under the asset hardship provisions.

When you apply under the asset hardship provisions, we use a different method to calculate your payment eligibility and rate. This means if you’re eligible, you may get a different rate of payment.

You can only apply if you're in severe financial hardship and your assets either:

  • reduce your payment
  • stop you getting a payment.

What severe financial hardship is

We consider you to be in severe financial hardship if all of the following apply to you:

  • your readily available funds such as bank accounts, shares and managed investments are less than the readily available funds limit
  • your other income is less than the applicable rate of pension or allowance
  • there’s nothing else you can reasonably do to improve your situation.

Who can apply under the asset hardship provisions

If you’re applying for a pension

We may consider you eligible for payment under the asset hardship provisions if all of the following apply:

  • you’re in severe financial hardship
  • you’re on a reduced pension, or it’s not payable because of the assets test
  • you own an asset which you can’t sell or we wouldn’t reasonably expect you to sell
  • you can’t borrow against the asset or we wouldn’t reasonably expect you to borrow against it
  • your pension would otherwise be payable under the income test
  • the gifting rules don’t apply or we can disregard them
  • you’re unable to qualify for any other Australian Government help.

If you’re applying for an allowance or benefit

We may consider you eligible for payment under the asset hardship provisions if all of the following apply:

  • you’re in severe financial hardship
  • the asset is for sale on the market at a realistic price or you can’t sell it
  • your allowance or benefit isn’t payable because of the assets test
  • you can’t borrow against the asset
  • your allowance or benefit would otherwise be payable under the income test
  • the gifting rules don’t apply or we can disregard them
  • you’re unable to qualify for any other Australian Government help.

What the readily available funds limit is

These amounts are indexed in March and September each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Payment type Readily available funds limits
ABSTUDY
Age Pension
Austudy
Bereavement Allowance
Carer Payment
Disability Support Pension
Special Benefit
Youth Allowance for students

Single $24,551.80

Couples combined $37,013.60

JobSeeker Payment
Parenting Payment partnered
Partner Allowance
Widow Allowance
Youth Allowance for job seekers

Single with no children $14,937.00

Single with children $16,159.00

Single, 60 or older and on income support for at least 9 months $16,159.00

Couples combined $26,972.40

Parenting Payment for single parents

$20,854.60

How to apply under asset hardship provisions

To find out more about applying for a payment under the asset hardship provisions, you need to call us. Please phone us on the line for the payment you want to claim.

What other help is available

Read more about other help available such as:

Page last updated: 20 October 2020