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Rent assistance free area/RA free area (ceased 2022)
The rent assistance free area ceased 1 January 2022 due to the removal of the disability income rent test. It was the amount of disability income an income support pensioner received without suffering any reduction in rent assistance under the disability income rent test. The rent assistance free area applicable to a person was identical to the income free area the person received as an income support pensioner and was determined by their family situation.
The term 'disability income' was removed from the VEA 1 January 2022. The following is for historical reference only.
For service pension or veteran payment recipients, disability income, when calculating the rent assistance reduction amount (as was set out in the table in SCH6-C13 of the VEA), referred to:
- disability compensation payment (as defined by section 5Q(1) of the VEA) including disability pension paid by foreign governments; and
- weekly permanent impairment compensation payments made under section 68, 71 or 75 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004; and
- weekly amounts a person would have been paid if the person had not instead received permanent impairment compensation under section 68, 71 or 75 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 as a lump sum.
For ISS recipients, disability income when calculating the rent assistance reduction amount (as was set out in the table in SCH6-C14B of the VEA) had the same meaning as adjusted disability pension.
The disability income rent test ceased on 1 January 2022. It was the method of calculating the amount by which a pensioner's rent assistance was reduced because of the disability income paid to them or their partner. The amount calculated was the RA reduction amount.
RA reduction amount = (disability income – rent assistance free area) x taper rate
Note: The rent assistance free area and taper rate were identical to those that normally applied to the person's income support payment and family situation.
The income free area is the amount of income that an income support pensioner may receive without suffering any reduction in pension under the income test.
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