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ERA Means Test

MEANS TEST

1. Applicants receiving Centrelink or DVA income support payments

An applicant receiving a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs income support payment satisfies the Means Test.

This policy only applies if the income support payment is one of the eligible income support payments listed in the table below.

Eligible income support payments (including part payments)
Abstudy Partner Allowance
Age Pension (incl. DVA Age Pensions) Service Pension
Austudy Sickness Allowance
Carer Payment Special Benefit
Disability Support Pension Widow Allowance
DVA service pension and income support supplement Wife Pension
JobSeeker Allowance Youth Allowance
Parenting Payment Farm Household Allowance

All other applicants must satisfy the Income Test and Assets Test set out in paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 below.

2. All other applicants

2.1 A two part test

The Means Test consists of two parts:

  • Income Test
  • Assets Test

In order to satisfy the Means Test, an applicant must satisfy both the Income Test and the Assets Test.

2.2 Income Test

An applicant satisfies the Income Test if their gross income is less than the eligible income limit for their household type. The eligible income limits for each household type are set out in the table below.

Household typeEligible Income Limit (Gross)
WeeklyAnnual
Single person household $1,267
(Net
$955)
$66,086
(Net $51,740)
Couple only household $1,576
(Net $1,195)
$81,965
(Net
$62,140)
Single person with children $1,832
(Net
$1,395)
$98,420
(Net
$72,540)
Couple with children $2,220
(Net
$1,595)
$115,470
(Net
$82,940)

If the applicant’s household is a ‘couple only’ or ‘couple with children’ household, the Income Test is applied to the income of the couple.

Income includes all money received on a regular basis including:

  • salary and wages
  • business income
  • money received from investments
  • child support
  • Centrelink payments (except income support payments; see paragraph 1, above).

The only regular payments not counted when applying the Income Test are the excluded Centrelink allowances listed in the table below.

Excluded Centrelink allowances
Carer Allowance
Mobility Allowance
Double Orphan Pension
Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme payments

2.3 Assets Test

An applicant satisfies the Assets Test if their cash assets are less than $10,000. Cash assets include all assets listed in the table below.

Cash Assets
Bank, building society and credit union accounts
Cash
Term deposits
Managed funds

The only cash assets not counted when applying the Assets Test are assets which are the subject of the dispute for which ERA is sought.

If the applicant’s household is a ‘couple only’ or ‘couple with children’ household, the Assets Test is applied to the assets of the couple.

2.4 Evidence of means

All applicants must provide evidence of their means as disclosed in their application. If an applicant does not provide evidence of their means at the time of applying for ERA, the application will be refused.

If an applicant is a Pensioner Concession Card holder, they may provide evidence of their means by presenting their Pensioner Concession Card.

If an applicant is in receipt of an eligible income support payment but does not hold a Pensioner Concession Card, they must provide a Centrelink Income Statement or consent to us checking with Centrelink.

Other applicants must provide:

  1. a recent payslip or letter from each employer confirming current salary or wage including overtime, and
  2. statements showing three months transactions on all accounts with financial institutions.

If the applicant’s household is a ‘couple only’ or ‘couple with children’ household, the applicant must provide evidence of the means of the couple.

2.5 Household types

An applicant’s ‘household’ includes all people living together with the applicant as a family.

A person lives with the applicant if that person spends at least five nights a fortnight with the applicant.

A ‘couple household’ is a household which includes two adults who are married or in a de facto relationship.