Maintenance income test

Maintenance income your parents or guardians get may affect your payment.

Maintenance income your parents or guardians get may affect your payment.

Your parents or guardians may get maintenance income to support you or your siblings. If they do, this income may affect your payment. Maintenance income includes child support or voluntary maintenance your parents or guardians get. It can also include any of these:

  • electricity, gas or water charges
  • school fees
  • other payments made for you or your siblings, or for your or your siblings’ benefit.

If your parents or guardians get child support, we already know their maintenance income. We’ll use what we know to adjust your payment. If they don’t get child support, they’ll need to tell us how much maintenance income they get.

You may be exempt from this test if one of your parents or guardians is permanently blind, and gets one of the following:

What the maintenance income free area is

Your parents or guardians can get a certain amount of maintenance for you before it affects your payment rate. We call this the maintenance income free area.

The number of siblings you have in your family pool and the payments they get can affect this amount.

What the maintenance income free area per year is

Who your parents or guardians get maintenance for The maintenance income free area amount
Just you. $1,697.25
You, if you’re 16 or older, and other siblings who get Youth Allowance, or ABSTUDY Living Allowance. $1,697.25 plus $565.75 for each sibling. Then divide the total by the number of siblings.
You and other siblings who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit. $565.75

How to work out the maintenance income free area

Tariq is 1 of 3 dependent children in his family who all get Youth Allowance. His parents get maintenance income for all 3 children.

The maintenance income free area for the first child is $1,697.25. We add $565.75 for each of the other 2 children, giving a total of $2,828.75. We divide the total by the number of children, being 3. So, Tariq’s maintenance income free area is $942.92.

When your parents’ or guardians’ maintenance income has changed

Your parents’ or guardians’ maintenance income may change during the year.

At the end of the financial year, we’ll assess the maintenance income they got for you. We’ll let you know if we’ve paid you too much or not enough.

Read more about the Annual Parental Income Reassessment.

Page last updated: 10 December 2021