J. Removal of Anomaly between Abstudy and the social security income test
1 January 2000
This measure will achieve equity in the treatment of Abstudy recipients with that of other income support recipients by excluding Abstudy payments from the social security income test.
Under this measure, up to 600 Abstudy recipients can be assured they are being treated consistently with other income support recipients.
Since The Social Security Act 1991 does not specifically exclude Abstudy payments from the income test, a small number of recipients are potentially disadvantaged. This occurs for couples where both individuals receive income support payments, one of whom receives Abstudy payments. In this scenario the partner of the Abstudy recipient can be disadvantaged as some Abstudy payments are taken to be income and may reduce the partner's entitlement.
Abstudy Health Care Card (HCC) recipients are also disadvantaged compared with other HCC income support recipients, since Abstudy supplementary payments are treated as income under the low income HCC provisions. Although few Abstudy HCC recipients fall into this category, this measure will also serve to address this inconsistency.