You are here

Income Received as Special Financial Assistance

Document

Last amended: 28 June 2011

Natural disaster trust funds

    

Payments from trust funds that pay out assistance to people suffering losses from natural disasters are one-time relief payments, and are not regarded as income.

Emergency relief or like assistance

The value of emergency relief or like assistance is exempt as income under the VEA 5H(8)(j).  However, depending on how the money is used, it may be treated as an asset under the assets test and, if invested, may be deemed to earn income under the income test.

Payments from Medically Acquired HIV Trusts

    

Payments from The Mark Fitzpatrick Trust and the NSW Medically Acquired HIV Trust are a combination of lump sums and periodic payments and are not treated as income for DVA income test provisions. If the money received from these grants is invested, then the income received from the investment is assessable for DVA purposes and subject to deeming provisions if invested in financial investments.    

Payments from Thalidomide Australia Fixed Trust

    

Payments from [glossary:the Thalidomide:] Australia [glossary:Fixed Trust:] are not treated as income for DVA income test provisions. If the money received from these grants is invested, then the income received from the investment is assessable for DVA purposes and subject to deeming provisions if invested in financial investments.    

Labour Force Training Program (LFTP)

    

Under this scheme assistance is currently directed to those people unable to find, or be placed in, employment with their existing skills, and who wish to be retrained for occupations compatible with current labour market demand.

The Department of Education and Training administers this program and assesses eligibility for payment.

The role of Centrelink is that of paying agent, applying the income test where necessary.

Exempt payments for LFTP participants

The following table shows payments that are not defined as income in the VEA for full-time and part-time LFTP trainees.

If a person is participating in a LFTP and is in...

then a payment is not defined as income if it is...

full-time training    

  • any amount of LFTP allowance which is equivalent to the rate of unemployment benefit, job search allowance or newstart allowance under the Social Security Act 1991,
  • a living away from home allowance
  •       a training allowance.

part-time training    

  •       a service pension,
  •       an age pension,
  •       income support supplement,
  •       a disability support pension,
  •       a wife pension,
  •       a carer pension,    
    More ?

    History Library – Policy History

    P5/C1

    More ? (go back)
  •       a sole parent pension,
  •       a rehabilitation allowance,
  • a widowed person allowance, or
  •       a widow B pension.


The Mark Fitzpatrick Trust was established by the Commonwealth Government to provide special financial assistance to people with medically acquired HIV infection and AIDS, their dependents and carers. The Trust acts as a payment agency on behalf of the NSW Medically Acquired HIV Trust.

 

 

The New South Wales Government has established the NSW Medically Acquired HIV Trust to provide financial assistance packages for people with medically acquired HIV or AIDS in NSW. The Mark Fitzpatrick Trust acts as a payment agency on behalf of this Trust.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

In 1990 the government introduced legislative changes called “deeming” to simplify the assessment of cash deposits and income from certain investments. These changes were made:

  • in response to pensioner concerns about complex income and assets test rules;
  • to encourage pensioners to maximise their private income.

Deemed income is the minimum rate that the government expects income support pensioners to earn from investments.

Banks created “pensioner accounts” which paid interest at the deeming rate set by the government.

On 1 July 1996 further changes meant the deeming rate was applied to all financial assets as defined in section 5J(1) of the VEA.

 

 

According to section 5J of the VEA, a financial investment means:

     but does not include an investment in an FHSA (within the meaning of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008) or a designated NDIS amount.

 

Australia is defined in the Acts Interpretations Act 1901 and includes the following territories and Islands:

  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Subsection 5Q(1) of the VEA provides specifically that the definition of Australia includes the external territories for many VEA purposes including Part III, IIIAB, some parts of Part IIIB, Parts IIID, VIIA, VIIC and sections 52ZO, 58A, and 132.  Norfolk Island] is currently the only external territory of Australia. For the above VEA sections, which cover service pension, [glossary:income support supplement:118], pension bonus, pension loans scheme, Veterans supplement, pension supplement and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card purposes it is considered to be part of Australia. The test of residing in Australia does not by itself satisfy the full definition of Australian Resident, as residency also requires Australian citizenship or the holding of a specified visa.

Papua New Guinea and Nauru have both previously been external territories of Australia.  Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island, formerly regarded as separate islands, are now part of mainland NSW and Tasmania respectively.

 

 

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

In 1990 the government introduced legislative changes called “deeming” to simplify the assessment of cash deposits and income from certain investments. These changes were made:

  • in response to pensioner concerns about complex income and assets test rules;
  • to encourage pensioners to maximise their private income.

Deemed income is the minimum rate that the government expects income support pensioners to earn from investments.

Banks created “pensioner accounts” which paid interest at the deeming rate set by the government.

On 1 July 1996 further changes meant the deeming rate was applied to all financial assets as defined in section 5J(1) of the VEA.

 

 

According to section 5J of the VEA, a financial investment means:

     but does not include an investment in an FHSA (within the meaning of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008) or a designated NDIS amount.

 

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.

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.