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Exempt Income from Other Government Sources

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Last amended 13 December 2013

Different types of exempt income from other government sources

The following are types of exempt income received from other government sources:

  • payments received for children,
  • payments to assist in purchasing or building a home,
  • ABSTUDY Scheme payments,
  • personal care support scheme payments,
  • NEIS payments,
  • NDIS amount
  • Disability Services Act payments,
  • carer allowance (formerly known as domiciliary nursing care benefit),
  • bereavement payment,
  • Handicapped Persons Assistance Act - payments received,
  • health benefits,
  • homeless persons assistance payments,
  • rental subsidies,
  • reserve force payments,
  • exempt payments from Centrelink,
  • the Western Australian Cost of Living Rebate Scheme and Country Age Pension Fuel Card,
  • payments under the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) administered by the Department of Health and Ageing,
  • clean energy supplement payments made under the Social Security Act 1991, and
  • parental leave payments and dad and partner pay.
 
Payments received for children    

A payment made to a person by a third party, for a dependent child, is exempt income. The payment may affect the amount of additional income free area for a dependent child when paid to:

A foster care allowance paid by a State or Territory welfare authority is exempt income for pension purposes, but will affect the additional income free area for a dependent child.    

Note: Grandparents may also care for dependent children (grandchildren).

 
Payments to assist in purchasing or building a home

If a pensioner receives a payment under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law for the purpose of assisting people to purchase or build their own home, then the amount received is not treated as income for DVA purposes.

ABSTUDY scheme payments

A payment made under the ABSTUDY Scheme is exempt income for DVA purposes.

Personal care support scheme payments

Payment made by some organisations and agencies to a person with a disability is exempt if it is paid to:

  • meet the cost of a carer or attendant to provide personal care, and
  • reimburse the carer for expenses incurred in providing meals, accommodation, laundry and outings to the person with a disability.

Payments are either made to the person with a disability to pay the person providing the care, or providing the personal care for the person with a disability.

A payment made towards the cost of personal care support services is exempt income for DVA purposes if made under an approved personal care support scheme.

Attendant allowance payments

Payment of attendant allowance under the VEA is excluded income for income support purposes.

Payment for attendant care under the MRCA is excluded income for income support purposes, where the payment is to the veteran for the reimbursement of costs associated with the provision of goods or services.

Payment for attendant care under SRCA is assessable income, where the payments are made to a person other than the veteran (e.g. carer).  As SRCA is not an approved scheme for the purposes of section 35A of the Social Security Act 1991 the payments are not exempt income under the VEA.

SRCA attendant care payments may be made to the veteran receiving care, where there is evidence of required expenditure.  In these circumstances the payment represents the reimbursement of incurred expenses, and is not regarded as assessable income.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) payments

NEIS payments are exempt income for DVA purposes. However if the partner of a pensioner receives NEIS payments, their payments should be reduced in accordance with Part IIIB, Division 9 of the VEA.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) amount

An NDIS amount received by an NDIS participant as part of the participant’s NDIS plan, is not income for DVA purposes.  The exemption of NDIS amounts under the income test only applies in the hands of the NDIS participant.  NDIS amounts held by, or on behalf of, an NDIS participant to pay for future disability expenses under their NDIS plan are exempt from the deeming provisions of the income test.  Any actual returns that are earned, derived or received on NDIS amounts are also exempt income and if they are held as a financial asset these amounts are also exempt from the deeming rules.

Disability Services Act payments  

Disability Services Act 1986 payments are exempt income if:

  • they are a payment under Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986, or
  • they represent the value of any rehabilitation program, including any follow up program, provided under Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986.
Carer Allowance (formerally known as Domiciliary nursing care benefit)

Any payment of domiciliary nursing care benefit is exempt income.

Bereavement payment

If a pensioner receives a bereavement payment under section 98A of the VEA, the amount of the bereavement payment is exempt income for DVA purposes.

MRCA →

Continuing permanent impairment and incapacity payments under the MRCA (bereavement payments for wholly dependant partners and eligible young persons) are not treated as income for DVA purposes.

Handicapped Persons Assistance Act

A Handicapped Persons Assistance Act 1974 payment is exempt income.

Health benefits

Australian Government benefits for pharmaceutical, sickness, hospital benefits, medical or dental services are exempt income. This includes payments made by registered organisations, such as health funds, for expenses incurred by a person for hospital, medical or dental services.

If a person receives the benefit or payment for a dependent child, the amount it also exempt as it is an amount received for a child.

Rental subsidies

A rent subsidy is exempt income when made to, or for, a person by:

  • the Australian Government,
  • a State,
  • a Territory, or
  • one of their authorities.

A rent subsidy may, however, preclude payment of rent assistance.    

 
Reserve force payments

Payments and allowances paid to a person who is a member of one of the following forces are exempt income:

  • Australian Naval Reserve,
  • Naval Emergency Reserve Forces,
  • Australian Army Reserve,
  • Australian Air Force Reserve,
  • Air Force Emergency Force, and
  • Regular Army Emergency Reserve, other than pay and allowances for continuous full time service.

The gratuity paid to a member of one of the Emergency Reserve Forces who may be recalled to duty is also exempt.

Exempt payments from Centrelink

Many payments made by Centrelink are exempt as income for the purpose of assessing service pension or income support supplement and allowances. The exempt payments include:

  • a payment under the Social Security Act 1991,
  • the value of any treatment, training or goods provided under that Act,
  • a payment for, or in respect of a child provided under that Act, or
  • certain payments to trainees under the Labour Force Programs.

Dual payment to a pensioner of a DVA income support pension and a Social Security age or disability support pension is prohibited under both the VEA and Social Security Act 1991.    

 

Education scholarships

The following scholarships are exempt from the income test:

  • non-discretionary fee pay or fee waiver scholarships
  • Commonwealth Learning Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Trade Learning Scholarships

 

Tools for Your Trade

The value of the benefit provided under the Australian Government's initiative, Tools for Your Trade, is exempt as income. This initiative assists employers to purchase tool kits for use by New Apprentices in identified trades. The ownership of the tool kit passes to the apprentice after 6 months.

The Western Australian Cost of Living Rebate Scheme and Country Age Pension Fuel Card

The following Western Australian state government payments and benefits are exempt income:

  • amounts received under the Western Australian Cost of Living Rebate Scheme, and
  • the value of the benefit obtained by using the Western Australian Country Age Pension Fuel Card.
Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)

The annual payments made under the Department of Health and Ageing's CAPS Scheme (paid through Medicare) are excluded income.

Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay

Centrelink provides finanacial assistance to eligible parents caring for a newborn or recently adopted child, through Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay.  These payments are exempt income under the VEA.  However, payments of Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay paid on or after 1 October 2016 in respect of a child who is born or comes into the person's care on or after that date are not exempt income.

Means a payment under the scheme known as the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.

Has the same meaning as in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, and means an amount paid under the NDIS in respect of reasonable and necessary supports funded under a NDIS participant’s plan.

Centrelink is a Government service delivery agency responsible for delivering a range of Commonwealth Government services (including social security pensions and allowances) to the Australian community through a network of more than 400 Centrelink offices.

The energy supplement is an ongoing, regular payment designed to help recipients meet the cost of living impact of the carbon price.

 

 

Section 5F(1) of the VEA defines dependent child as having the same meaning as in the Social Security Act 1991.  For income support purposes, dependent child is defined as:

Child under 16 years

  •       the pensioner has legal responsibility either alone or jointly with another person for the day to day care, welfare and development of the young person AND the young person is in the pensioner's care, or
  •       the young person is not a dependent child of someone else AND the young person is wholly or substantially in the pensioner's care.

A child under 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:

  •       they are not a full-time student, and
  •       their weekly income from any source is more than the amount specified in section 5(3)(c) of the Social Security Act.    

Child 16 years or older

A young person who has turned 16 years but is under 22 years can still be a dependent child of the pensioner if:

  •       they are wholly or substantially dependent on the pensioner, and
  •       their income in the financial year will not exceed the personal income limit, and
  •       they are receiving full-time education at a school, college or university.

A child over 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:

  •       they receive a social security pension or benefit such as youth allowance, or
  •       their personal income is more than the amount specified in section 5(4)(b) of the Social Security Act.    

Income includes earning from casual, part-time or full-time earnings.

Note: the meaning of a dependent child for DVA income support pension purposes is not the same as the meaning for Family Tax Benefit purposes.

 

 

A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.

 

 

A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.

The following personal care support schemes are approved under the Social Security Act 1991:

  • 'ACT Lifetime Care and Support Scheme' operated by the Lifetime Care and Support Commissioner of the Australian Capital Territory
  • 'Attendant Care Scheme' operated by the Multiple Sclerosis Society,
  • 'Attendant Care Service, and Post Acute Service' Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC)
  • 'Scheme for Payment of Medical and Like Benefits to Persons Injured as a result of a Transport Accident and Scheme for Individualised Funding' Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC)
  • Australian Capital Territory Government Disability ACT self-directed funding pilot "My Choice"
  • Australian Capital Territory Government Enhanced Service Offer
  • 'Austrian Long-term Care Allowance (Pflegegeld)' Austrian Government
  • 'Cash Allowance Attendant Scheme' operated by the Spastic Society of Victoria,
  • 'Direct Payment Pilot Project' NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care's Attendant Care Program
  • 'Direct Payments Project' operated by the Victorian Department of Human Services Personal Care Support Program,
  • 'Disability Services Queensland personal care support' Qld Government Disability Services Qld
  • 'Family Options Program' operated by the Victorian Government,
  • 'Future Care Payments' Tasmanian Motor Accident Insurance Board (MAIB)
  • 'Indennita di Accompagnamento' (Italian Carers Payment) operated by the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs,
  • 'Individual, Family and Carer Support Grants Scheme' operated by the Western Australia Disabilities Services Commission,
  • 'Interchange Program' operated by Loddon-Mallee Region Incorporated,
  • "Individualised Funding" Scheme administered by the South Australian Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
  • 'Local Area Coordination Scheme' NT Government
  • 'NSW Attendant Care Program Direct Funding Model' administered by the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care
  • 'NSW Government's Individual Budgets: Direct Payments Scheme'
  • 'NSW Lifetime Care and Support Scheme - Self-purchasing of treatment, rehabilitation and care services'
  • 'Phase One: Self-managed Funding Initiative' administered by the SA Department of Families and Communities
  • 'Queensland Your Life Your Choice Self-Directed Support: Host Providers and Direct Payment', administered by the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.
  • 'National injury Insurance Scheme Queensland'
  • 'Self-Directed Funding Tasmania Program' administered by the Tasmanian Government Department of Health and Community Services.
  • Tasmanian Self Directed Funding Pilot Scheme
  • 'United Kingdom (UK) Attendance Allowance' operated by the UK Government,
  • 'United Kingdom Disability Living Allowance' operated by UK Government, and
  • United Kingdom Government's 'Personal Independence Payment Scheme'.

The purpose of attendant allowance is to assist an eligible Veterans, Members of the Forces, or a Member of a Peacekeeping Force with the cost of an attendant to help with such things as feeding, bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living. The allowance is paid to the veteran and not the attendant.

To be eligible for attendant allowance the person must be in receipt of a Disability Pension for Incapacity for a war-caused or defence-caused injury or Disease that severely affects a persons' ability to care for themselves. Attendant allowance is payable at a higher or a lower rate depending on the type of Injury or disease accepted under the Veterans' Entitlements Act.

Means a payment under the scheme known as the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.

A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.

Has the same meaning as in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, and means an amount paid under the NDIS in respect of reasonable and necessary supports funded under a NDIS participant’s plan.

Has the same meaning as in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, and means a person with disability who meets the access requirements to become a participant in the NDIS.

Has the same meaning as in the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and is the plan agreed between an NDIS participant and a Disability Care Australia planner setting out the reasonable and necessary supports the participant requires to achieve their goals and aspirations and describing how these supports will be provided.

Centrelink is a Government service delivery agency responsible for delivering a range of Commonwealth Government services (including social security pensions and allowances) to the Australian community through a network of more than 400 Centrelink offices.

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.