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SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991 - SECT 14A

Social security benefit liquid assets test definitions

             (1)  For the purposes of Parts 2.11, 2.11A, 2.12, 2.14 and 2.23A and Division 3A of Part 3 of the Administration Act:

"liquid assets" , in relation to a person, means the person's cash and readily realisable assets, and includes:

                     (a)  the person's shares and debentures in a public company within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 ; and

                     (b)  amounts deposited with, or lent to, a bank or other financial institution by the person (whether or not the amount can be withdrawn or repaid immediately); and

                     (c)  amounts due, and able to be paid, to the person by, or on behalf of, a former employer of the person;

but does not include:

                     (d)  a roll-over superannuation benefit (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 ); or

                  (daa)  a superannuation lump sum (within the meaning of that Act) that is a contributions-splitting superannuation benefit (within the meaning of that Act); or

                 (dab)  a directed termination payment (within the meaning of section 82-10F of the Income Tax (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997 ); or

                  (dac)  the surrender value of a life policy (within the meaning of the Life Insurance Act 1995 ); or

                   (da)  an amount of an AGDRP that the person received, if the Secretary is satisfied that the length of time since receiving the payment is still reasonable in the circumstances; or

                   (db)  an amount of an AVTOP that the person received, if the Secretary is satisfied that the length of time since receiving the payment is still reasonable in the circumstances; or

                   (dc)  the sum of NDIS amounts paid to the person and any return on those amounts that the person earns, derives or receives, less the sum of amounts spent by the person in accordance with an NDIS plan under which the amounts were paid; or

                     (e)  in the case of a person who:

                              (i)  has claimed or is receiving a youth allowance or an austudy payment; and

                             (ii)  is undertaking a tertiary course of education in any year or part of a year;

                            an amount necessary to cover the reasonable expenses incurred, or likely to be incurred, by the person in that year or that part of a year and that are directly related to his or her undertaking the course, including:

                            (iii)  up front course fees; and

                            (iv)  HECS payments; and

                             (v)  union fees; and

                            (vi)  costs of text books; and

                           (vii)  costs of any tools or equipment required to undertake the course, including computer software; and

                          (viii)  expenses directly related to any field trips undertaken for the purposes of the course; and

                            (ix)  such other expenses as are approved by the Secretary.

"maximum reserve" , in relation to a person, means:

                     (a)  if the person is not a member of a couple and does not have a dependent child--$5,000; or

                     (b)  in any other case--$10,000.

             (2)  For the purposes of Parts 2.11, 2.11A, 2.12, 2.14 and 2.23A and Division 3A of Part 3 of the Administration Act, a person's liquid assets are to be taken to include:

                     (a)  the liquid assets of the person's partner; and

                     (b)  the liquid assets of the person and the person's partner.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  during the 4 weeks immediately before a person claims youth allowance, austudy payment, newstart allowance or sickness allowance, the person or the person's partner transfers liquid assets to a person of any age who is the natural child, adopted child or relationship child of the person or the partner; and

                     (b)  either:

                              (i)  the person transferring receives no consideration or inadequate consideration, in money or money's worth for the transfer; or

                             (ii)  the Secretary is satisfied that the purpose, or the dominant purpose, of the transfer was to enable the claimant to obtain youth allowance, austudy payment, newstart allowance or sickness allowance;

then the transfer is to be taken, for the purposes of this section, not to have occurred.

             (4)  If:

                     (a)  a person sells the person's principal home; and

                     (b)  the person is likely, within 12 months, to apply the whole or part of the proceeds of the sale in acquiring another residence that is to be the person's principal home;

so much of the proceeds of the sale as the person is likely to apply in acquiring the other residence is to be disregarded during that period for the purposes of determining the amount of the person's liquid assets.

             (5)  If:

                     (a)  a person has or had a debt not related to the person's principal home or to any other residential property in which the person holds or held, solely or jointly, any right or interest; and

                     (b)  since becoming unemployed or incapacitated for work or study (as the case requires), the person has, in order to discharge the debt in whole or in part, made a payment that the person was not obliged to make; and

                     (c)  since becoming unemployed or incapacitated for work or study (as the case requires), the person had not already made such a payment in order to discharge that debt in part;

the amount of the payment referred to in paragraph (b) is to be disregarded for the purposes of determining the amount of the person's liquid assets.

          (5A)  If:

                     (a)  a person has or had a debt not related to the person's principal home or to any other residential property in which the person holds or held, solely or jointly, any right or interest; and

                     (b)  since becoming qualified for youth allowance or austudy payment (as the case requires), the person has, in order to discharge the debt in whole or in part, made a payment that the person was not obliged to make; and

                     (c)  since becoming qualified for youth allowance or austudy payments (as the case requires), the person had not already made such a payment in order to discharge that debt in part;

the amount of the payment referred to in paragraph (b) is to be disregarded for the purposes of determining the amount of the person's liquid assets.

             (6)  For the purpose of determining whether a liquid assets test waiting period applies in relation to a claim for a social security benefit, subsection (5) can apply to a payment made after the claim if the payment is made before such a liquid assets test waiting period would end under section 549A, 575A, 598 or 676 (whichever is applicable).

             (7)  For the purposes of Division 3A of Part 3 of the Administration Act, a person is in severe financial hardship if the value of the person's liquid assets does not exceed:

                     (a)  if the person is not a member of a couple and does not have a dependent child--$2,500; or

                     (b)  in any other case--$5,000.



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