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Assets Value of Personal Effects, Household Contents, Vehicles and Cash
Last amended: 8 February 2013
Personal effects and household contents
The net market value of the personal effects and household contents of a person or a couple is assessed as being $10,000 unless the person satisfies the Commission that the value of the assets is less than $10,000.
A person is always required to declare if the net market value of personal effects and household contents exceeds $10,000.
Value of vehicles
A person's estimate of the market value of their vehicle is accepted unless the valuation:
- is significantly over or understated, and
- would affect their payability or rate.
Vehicles include a motor vehicle, motor cycle, trailer, caravan (other than the principal home), or boat (other than the principal home). Australian Government vehicles provided under the Vehicle Assistance Scheme however, are disregarded assets.
Deposits on vehicles and other personal assets
A deposit placed by a pensioner on a vehicle or on other personal assets, in order to acquire the asset, represents the pensioner's interest in that asset, and should be recorded as a non-financial asset. The deposit money is no longer accessible to the pensioner as available money, or as an accessible financial institution balance, and should no longer be deemed. If the asset purchase does not proceed and the deposit money is refunded to the pensioner, the deposit amount is then restored as a financial asset at that time.
Value of Cash on hand
The person's estimate of the value of cash on hand other than that held to meet day-to-day expenses is accepted.
The market value of an asset is the point at which a willing purchaser and a willing, but not anxious vendor, would reach agreement.
The market value of an asset is only decreased by the value of an encumbrance secured against it. The market value of an asset is not reduced by any costs which may be incurred if the asset was to be sold.
The principal home has the meaning given by subsection 5LA(1) of the VEA and subsection 5LA(2) of the VEA. The principal home of a person is generally the place in which they reside. In certain circumstances, however, the principal home of a person can be the place in which they formerly resided. The following property is regarded as part of the principal home.
- the residence itself (e.g. house, flat, caravan),
- permanent fixtures (e.g. stoves, built-in heaters, dish-washers, light fittings and affixed carpets),
- [glossary:curtilage:DEF/Curtilage] (i.e. two hectares or less of private land around the home where the private land use test has been satisfied, or all land held on the same title as the person's principal home where the extended land use test has been satisfied), or
- any garage, shed, tennis court or swimming pool used primarily for private purposes provided it is on the same title as the principal home.
A disregarded asset is one that is not included when calculating the value of a person's assets under the assets test, irrespective of it's value.
For a full legislative definition see Section 52 of the VEA.