Despite most of Melbourne still being very much in lockdown, the assets test waiver for Centrelink payments is still set to end on September 24, which will likely impact thousands of people who are depending on those payments.
As you’ll probably remember, the government temporarily removed asset testing on a number of payments earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The JobSeeker, parenting, Austudy, Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY payments have all benefited from the new scheme for most of this year, but will have their assets tests reinstated later this month. However, JobKeeper payments will not be impacted by asset testing.
Basically, this means that if you’re out of work, or depending on these payments right now, but have assets above the allowed limit, you’re at risk of having your payments cut.
As it currently stands, the asset limit for singles is $482,500 for non-homeowners, or $268,000 if you own a home. Although these sound like huge figures that many of us will struggle to reach, it’s really not *that* much money.
Considering many people who were otherwise established in life (e.g. owned a home or have a considerable amount of assets) have now found themselves out of work as a result of the pandemic, this change will likely impact a lot of Australians.
Additionally, the partner income test will also resume, which means that “your payment will reduce by 27 cents for every dollar your partner earns over $1165 per fortnight.”
If you’re on one of these payments, you’ve likely already received a text about it, but if not, you’ve got until 24 September to update your details or you could be required to back-pay any funds you weren’t entitled to.
Although a little extra cash would be appreciated right now, the absolute last thing you want to do right now is owe the government money. So this is your reminder: you’ve only got about a week before asset testing resumes, so make sure you’ve got your assets in order.