Centrelink Eligability: Liquid Assets test

The liquid-assets Waiting test is a test Centrelink applies on new applicants to determine if they have too much money that is easily accessible. Essentially if the applicant has too much money they will need to wait a Liquid Assets Waiting period of up-to 13 weeks

Liquid Assets Test:

On the day you stop work or lodge a claim if you are single and have more than $3,000 or partnered and have more than $6,000 you will need to wait a period of time up-to 13 weeks.

Might be 1 week or it may be 13 weeks depends on how much you have. It works on a sliding scale, the more money you have the longer you must wait.

What is a Liquid Asset?

This includes things like cash or other things that can be converted to cash very easily this includes things like cash, shares, term deposits. Centrelink has provided a complete list of what is considered a Liquid Asset here.

Exemptions from waiting the Liquid Asset’s Test

You wont need to wait the Liquid assets waiting test if you or your partner:

  • Have already waited a liquid assets waiting test in the last 12 months
  • In some circumstances if you transferred from one payment to another
  • Claim a payment after ceasing employment if enough time has past where the waiting period would have completed.
  • you are undertaking:
    • a rehabilitation program
    • formal vocational training in a labour market program that has been approved by Centrewlink
  • you become qualified for Newstart Allowance after a continuous period in receipt of another payment (in some circumstances).

Avoid waiting the 13 Weeks

Once your claim is lodge your claim with Centrelink and if they determine that you have too much liquid assets then  you will need to either wait the required period. However as publicized on the Centrelink website if you have legitimate expenses that you can prove are “unavoidable” or “reasonable” then the period you need to wait may be reduced.

Can you deliberately avoid the liquid assets test by spending the money? Unfortunately forking out for a big holiday, paying down loans or spending the money is not an option publicized on their website. If Centrelink are able to determine that you have done this before lodging the claim then you will still need to wait before receiving your first payment.

My Comments

When you first become a Student life is tough, while adjusting to the lifestyle many students end up working harder then they have ever worked and doing it all while bringing in less money at the end of the week. The money Centrelink provides and the amount they allow you to work add’s up to very little and most people need to make significant changes to their lifestyle to afford this. Things like moving into a cheaper residence or purchasing kitchen appliances to cook at home more regularly cost money and having to wait 13 weeks before entitlements creates uncertainty.

Perhaps more importantly is that these liquid assets waiting period makes you spend money that is for many students used as a backup plan. Emergency funds for things such as car accident’s or medical emergency’s for many people is vitally important and depleting these funds at a time when your financial situation is changing so drastically creates a great deal of uncertainty. Having no money in the bank as a student, who has no time to get another job or work more hours is potentially a very scary situation in an emergency.


All of the information provides on this page was sourced from the Centrelink waiting period’s page.  It is only intended to be factual information and not financial advice. You need to assess your own financial decision and rely on your own judgement before making financial decisions. If you need tailored advice to your particular financial situation then you need to call Centrelink or drop into a branch and speak to a representative. 

You May Also Like

About the Author: Andrew