This topic shows the maximum rates for the following benefits:
This table shows the basic rates in dollars per fortnight as at 20 September 2013*.
|Single||no children||22 or over, OR 21 and over for grandfathered NSA recipients||501.00|
|Single||no children||60 or over after 9 months||542.10|
Single principal carer with activity test exemption EITHER:
|Other single||with children||-||542.10|
*These rates may be higher if the person is eligible for supplementary payments (see below).
# This amount is equal to the maximum rate of PPS, including pension supplement, and is payable to NSA recipients who have an activity test exemption under subsections 602C(3) and 602C(3A). Recipients may be eligible for such an exemption if:
Act reference: SSAct section 602C(3) Relief from activity test-people with disabled children and other circumstances, section 602C(3A) The Secretary must make a determination under this section in relation to the person if..., section 1068 Rate of WA, NSA (18 or over), SA (18 or over), PA and MAA under Part 2.12B, section 1068-B5 Maximum basic rate for certain newstart allowance recipients
For the purpose of this section, a child must be under 16 years of age.
Benefits are paid at a higher rate for single recipients with at least one dependent child. Alternatively, single recipients can qualify in certain circumstances for the 'with child' rate of payment where they do not have a dependent child but do have at least 14% care of a child over a relevant assessment period. While this provides for the MBR of payment to a person as if they had a dependent child, in all other respects, the person should NOT be considered to have a dependent child.
This provision to access the 'with child' rate of payment in certain circumstances applies to the following benefits which are covered in this topic:
To determine if a person should qualify for the 'with child' rate of payment where they have at least 14% care of a child despite not having a dependent child see 1.1.D.70.
Act reference: SSAct section 1068-B1B Certain children treated as dependent children if ...
Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.D.70 Dependent child
These rates are indexed to changes in the CPI, other than as specified below in relation to the PPS maximum basic amount of NSA.
The effective dates of indexation are 20 March and 20 September each year. The March indexation is based on the CPI change from June to December preceding the indexation date. The September indexation is based on the CPI change from December to June preceding the indexation date. If CPI fell in the period special rules apply.
Act reference: SSAct Part 3.16 Indexation and adjustments of amounts
The MBR component of the pension PPS maximum basic amount of NSA is indexed to the higher amount resulting from changes to:
The pension supplement component is indexed to changes in the CPI. The effective dates of indexation are 20 March and 20 September each year.
Payments are made fortnightly in arrears.
Benefit recipients may be eligible for the CEA - a tax exempt, lump sum payment for qualified recipients of income support payments.
SSAct section 24 enables a partnered recipient to be deemed NOT to be a member of a couple (1.1.M.120) for all purposes of the Act. The application of this provision is at the discretion of a delegate, and is explained in the referenced topic.
Act reference: SSAct section 24 Person may be treated as not being a member of a couple
Policy reference: SS Guide 22.214.171.124 Discretion to Treat a Person as Not Being a Member of a Couple for a Special Reason
If a benefit recipient is living in a member of a couple relationship with a person of the same sex or opposite sex and one or both partners are under the age of consent in the state in which they live, they are not classified as partnered. However, the rate payable is not to exceed the rate payable if they were partnered. This means the rate is the partnered rate. The income and assets tests apply to all benefit recipients in this situation as though they were a couple.
A PP recipient in this situation is paid PPS but the rate is not to exceed what would be payable under PPP. The person would be eligible for supplementary payments and concession cards available to recipients of PPS.
Act reference: SSAct section 4(1)-'member of a couple', section 1068(2) If a person has a relationship…, section 1068A(3) If a person has a relationship with another person, whether of the same sex or a different sex…
A benefit recipient, including a partnered PP recipient, who is a member of an illness separated couple (1.1.I.04) or has a partner in gaol (1.1.P.70), is normally paid at the higher single with dependent child maximum basic benefit rate but the income and assets tests apply as they normally would to a couple.
A benefit recipient who is a member of a respite care couple (1.1.R.240) is to be treated in the same way as a member of an illness separated couple.
The following provision also applies:
Where both partners reside in supported accommodation such as a shared unit in a hostel (1.1.H.90), illness separated provisions apply.
Explanation: Hostel fees are calculated as a percentage of the single pension rate.
Illness separated rate cannot be paid to a couple who are co-habiting under familial care arrangements. However, where one partner is in familial care and the other resides elsewhere, illness separated provisions apply subject to satisfactory evidence being provided that care is required.
Act reference: SSAct section 1068B-C2 Maximum basic rate - benefit PP (partnered), section 1068 Rate of WA, NSA (18 or over), SA (18 or over), PA and MAA under Part 2.12B
Policy reference: SS Guide 126.96.36.199 Determining an Illness Separated Couple
Last reviewed: 20 September 2013