Centrelink liquid asset waiting period

This week's Nest Egg financial column with Shane Gourley.
This week's Nest Egg financial column with Shane Gourley. Contributed

PEOPLE applying for certain income support payments will not be eligible to receive payments for a number of weeks, based on a liquid assets waiting period.

If applied, it is a waiting period of one to 13 weeks.

The Liquid Asset Waiting Period (LAWP) may apply for those who are applying for Newstart Allowance, Youth, Austudy or Sickness Allowances.

A liquid asset waiting period applies if liquid assets are more than:

  • $5,500 for a single person with no dependents or
  • $11,000 for a couple or single with dependents.

During this period, no income support payments are payable.

Liquid assets are any readily available funds, including those of the recipient's partner, which can be readily accessed (generally within 28 days of the date that employment ceased).

  • Cash on hand, bank accounts, term deposits, but not balances of mortgage redraw accounts
  • Shares and debentures
  • Some payments made or due to be made (within 28 days) by the last employer
  • Insurance bonds
  • Amounts borrowed from the bank for a specific purpose such as overseas travel that may not have been used for that purpose
  • Loans to other people, including assets given to a son or daughter in some circumstances
  • Unencumbered proceeds from sale of business
  • Any money in trust funds
  • Redundancies or eligible termination payments received, and
  • Compensation payments.

It is important to note that any additional payments made to a home loan will still count as liquid assets, even if you do not have a redraw facility.

Before making any loan repayments or spending money you should ensure that you are able to meet living expenses during the LAWP.

The waiting period is not waived just because you have spent the money.  

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