You are here

Effect of Relationship Status on Rate Payable

Document

Last amended: 1 July 2009

Relationship status and rate payable

The following table outlines the rate payable according to the relationship status situation of the claimant.

If the relationship status is...

Then pension is assessed at the...

not a member of a couple:

single rate or not a member of a couple rate

member of a couple:

partnered rate or member of a couple rate

member of a couple regarded as being not a member of a couple under Section 5R(3) VEA, for example:

  • partner not a resident
  • person overseas and no means of support

single rate or not a member of a couple rate for the qualified partner and the ineligible partner is not qualified to receive any payment

illness separated couple where one member or both are:

  • in an approved hostel and they are unable to cook their own meals and meals are provided
  • in an approved nursing home
  • in hospital > 35 days and assessed by ACAT as being a nursing home type patient
  • resident in a mental health facility
  • in a retirement village and medical evidence supports that they are unable to live together for medical reasons, cost of living is higher as a result
  • other situation and medical evidence supports that they are unable to live together for medical reasons, cost of living is higher as a result

Illness separated rate, that is, payment at single rate or not a member of a couple rate each, but using the partnered assets test and income test[glossary:.:] R — [glossary:ent assistance:] may be paid if eligible; an aged care resident is not eligible for rent assistance.

respite care couple where one member or both receiving

  • at least 14 consecutive days approved respite care
  • private respite care

Respite care rate, that is, payment at single rate or not a member of a couple rate each but using the partnered assets test and income test and rent assistance is payable

partnered rate or [glossary:me:] — [glossary:mber of a couple rate:] and rent assistance is payable


The term not a member of a couple covers all persons who are not covered by the definitions of member of a couple.

 

 

A person is considered to be in a de facto relationship if the person is:

  • living with another person (their partner) whether of the same sex or a different sex;

  • not legally married to the partner; and

  • certain features of that relationship are typical for members of a couple, and

  • the person and the partner are not within a prohibited relationship

Refer to section 11A of the VEA for the full definition.

 

Note: A relationship needs to be established for a period of twelve months to be considered a 'de facto relationship' for VCES purposes.

 

 

Most income support pensions and many of the associated allowances are paid at different rates depending on whether the recipient is a member of a couple or not a member of a couple. Typically, the 'not a member of a couple' rate is higher than the 'member of a couple' rate since people living on their own do not benefit from the economies of pooling their resources and sharing their expenditures with another person.

According to Section 5E(2) of the VEA a person is a member of a couple, if they are:

  • legally married to another person and is not living separately and apart from the other person on a permanent basis; or
  • living in a prescribed registered relationship with the other person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) and is not living separately and apart from that other person on a permanent basis; or
  • all of the following conditions are met:
  • living with another person, whether of the same sex or a different sex;
  • not legally married to that person;
  • in a de facto relationship with that person; and
  • not in a prohibited relationship

The term “partnered” is also commonly used.

A person is considered to be in a de facto relationship if the person is:

  • living with another person (their partner) whether of the same sex or a different sex;

  • not legally married to the partner; and

  • certain features of that relationship are typical for members of a couple, and

  • the person and the partner are not within a prohibited relationship

Refer to section 11A of the VEA for the full definition.

 

Note: A relationship needs to be established for a period of twelve months to be considered a 'de facto relationship' for VCES purposes.

 

 

Most income support pensions and many of the associated allowances are paid at different rates depending on whether the recipient is a member of a couple or not a member of a couple. Typically, the 'not a member of a couple' rate is higher than the 'member of a couple' rate since people living on their own do not benefit from the economies of pooling their resources and sharing their expenditures with another person.

According to Section 5E(2) of the VEA a person is a member of a couple, if they are:

  • legally married to another person and is not living separately and apart from the other person on a permanent basis; or
  • living in a prescribed registered relationship with the other person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) and is not living separately and apart from that other person on a permanent basis; or
  • all of the following conditions are met:
  • living with another person, whether of the same sex or a different sex;
  • not legally married to that person;
  • in a de facto relationship with that person; and
  • not in a prohibited relationship

The term “partnered” is also commonly used.

The term not a member of a couple covers all persons who are not covered by the definitions of member of a couple.

 

 

Most income support pensions and many of the associated allowances are paid at different rates depending on whether the recipient is a member of a couple or not a member of a couple. Typically, the 'not a member of a couple' rate is higher than the 'member of a couple' rate since people living on their own do not benefit from the economies of pooling their resources and sharing their expenditures with another person.

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

An illness separated couple is a couple who cannot share a home because of the illness or infirmity of one or both partners. Illness separated couples may be paid the higher single rate of pension. Refer to subsection 5R(5) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

Most income support pensions and many of the associated allowances are paid at different rates depending on whether the recipient is a member of a couple or not a member of a couple. Typically, the 'not a member of a couple' rate is higher than the 'member of a couple' rate since people living on their own do not benefit from the economies of pooling their resources and sharing their expenditures with another person.

One element of the means test for income support pensions whereby the rate of pension payable to a pensioner reduces progressively as their assets increase above a certain threshold known as the assets value limit (AVL).

One element of the means test for income support pensions whereby the rate of pension payable to a pensioner reduces progressively as their income increases above a certain threshold known as the income free area (IFA).

 

 

A respite care couple is a couple who Commission has determined are separated because one person has entered respite care in a nursing home or hostel to give the other member of the couple a temporary break from caring for that person.

Members of a respite care couple are entitled to be paid the single rate of pension.

Refer to subsection 5R(6) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

Respite care is care provided for one member of a couple in a nursing home or hostel on a temporary basis so that their partner can have a break from providing care.  For care to be recognised as respite care under the VEA, it must be Government subsidised care provided under the Aged Care Act 1997.

A pensioner receiving such care, and their partner (a respite care couple), are entitled to be paid the single rate of pension.

For the full definition of respite care, refer to subsection 5NC(8) of the VEA.

 

 

Most income support pensions and many of the associated allowances are paid at different rates depending on whether the recipient is a member of a couple or not a member of a couple. Typically, the 'not a member of a couple' rate is higher than the 'member of a couple' rate since people living on their own do not benefit from the economies of pooling their resources and sharing their expenditures with another person.

Rent Assistance is an allowance, which may be paid to a service pensioner or income support supplement (ISS) recipient to assist in meeting the cost of rental accommodation.

To receive rent assistance, a pensioner must be paying rent (other than Government rent) for accommodation in Australia, and the amount paid must exceed a certain threshold.

Rent Assistance is an allowance, which may be paid to a service pensioner or income support supplement (ISS) recipient to assist in meeting the cost of rental accommodation.

To receive rent assistance, a pensioner must be paying rent (other than Government rent) for accommodation in Australia, and the amount paid must exceed a certain threshold.