What is the Newstart Allowance?

Newstart Allowance1 (NSA) serves to support those who are actively seeking employment or participating in approved activities intended to increase your chances of finding paid employment.

Newstart Allowance is a Commonwealth Government benefit administered by the Department of Human Services, through its Centrelink agency.

Eligibility criteria for the Newstart Allowance

Certain criteria must be met before the applicant becomes eligible and these include:

Newstart Allowance Income Test

An eligible Newstart Allowance recipient can earn up to $102 per fortnight before your allowance starts to reduce, in the following manner:

  • Fortnightly income between $102 and $252 reduces your allowance by 50 cents in the dollar.
  • Fortnightly income above $250 per fortnight reduces your allowance by 60 cents in the dollar.
  • Partner income which exceeds $860.00 reduces your allowance by 60 cents in the dollar.
  • Note: as a single principal carer with a dependant child, the reduction in dot point one above, reduces to 40 cents in the dollar.

Newstart Allowance Assets Test limit 

Family situation For homeowners
assets must be less than
For non-homeowners
assets must be less than
Single $202,000 $348,500
Couple combined $286,500 $433,000
One partner eligible, combined assets $286,500 $433,000

To determine your entitlement to NSA, go to the Centrelink website, or call their office.

Working Credit can apply to eligible Newstart Allowance beneficiaries

Working Credit is a way you can keep more of your Newstart Allowance payment if you do part time or casual work. It also makes it easier for you to get Newstart Allowance back if you have a short term, full time job.

[For more information regarding this feature, please follow the link at the beginning of this paragraph.]

Continuum Financial Planners’ team may be able to assist

Eligible recipients of the Newstart Allowance may not perceive an obvious need for affordable financial planning advice, but our experienced financial advisers are available to guide interested enquirers as to the appropriate way forward – and to establish a relationship whereby: ‘we listen, we understand; and we have solutions…‘ to your financial planning needs. You may have superannuation, life insurance and estate planning needs – all of which can be serviced affordably, in your best interest; and to set you up for a more satisfying level of financial security for your future and that of your family.

To arrange a discussion with one of our experienced financial planners, phone 07-34213456; or use our website Contact Us form, to provide us with an outline of your circumstances and a way to contact you so that we can assess how best we can service your needs.

1The above information has been reviewed and updated; it is current as at April 2016.

This article was originally posted in January 2010; it is periodically updated, the most recent being in April 2016.