What the partner income test is

If you’re independent and you have a partner, we assess their gross income too. This is the income they get before any deductions, like tax.

If you’re dependent, 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 for another reason, 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. This amount will depend on your partner’s circumstances. We reduce your payment by 60 cents for each dollar your partner earns over this amount. You can call us on the Youth and Students line to talk about your situation.

Page last updated: 10 December 2021