Left Job, Partner Earns $1k Fortnightly, $2k in Savings (Can We Ask for Rental Assistance?)

We live in a rental house. My job is gone, I resigned (long story).

I also needed a break from it to focus on my health and wellbeing and spend time with my 1 year old bub and start new after at least 3 months. I know, we do not have huge savings and my partner only earns 1k fortnightly.

Can we ask for rental assistance? It's $1420/month. Are there any programs which support low income earners?


  • +4

    If you intend to go on newstart to access rent assitance you're looking at an 8 week waiting period for being 'voluntarily unemployed', then the liquid asset waiting period on top of that. Doubt you'll start to see payments within 3 months.

    LAWP table - https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/topics/liqu...

    • There are situations where the unemployment non payment period and the LAWP can possibly be exempted/ waived. It really depends on the individual circumstances of the OP and what the legislation says.

    • what happens when u sign up with zero bank and assets to liquidate and and still need money to pay rent?

      • +2

        I’m confused what your question is, if you have liquid assets less than the threshold a LAWP isn’t applied.

        If you have no money, are up the creek and need to pay rent it won’t help you avoid waiting periods they’ll just refer you on to a charity service. That was when I worked there more than half a decade ago though so things might have changed.

        To avoid voluntary unemployment waiting period you need to prove it wasn’t truly voluntary or that you couldn’t continue working there, I don’t think citing a stressful working environment will cut it unless it’s to the point where you’d be taking your case to fair work instead.

        • liquid asset threshold is about a 1000 right?

          need to pay rent it won’t help you avoid waiting periods they’ll just refer you on to a charity service.

          Oh I see, so sleep in a tent on charity grounds.

          • @Zachary: Its 5.6k for singles, 11k with partner/dependents.

            • @Cheaplikethebird: So if you have a 6000$ car and put that on as an asset, you will be put on the waiting list to force you to sell that car(since you got nothing else to liquidate and you need that money to pay rent and other bills) to live on that until they help out because you're instantly already over the threshold?

              • @Zachary: Liquid assets

                • @Cheaplikethebird: OK, maybe I'm confused a little….define liquid assets and how it differentiates from an asset.

                  • @Zachary: Liquid assets are assets that can easily be transferred into cash at short notice

                    Centrelink defines it as…

                    • cash on hand from any source (including borrowings)
                    • shares and debentures, term deposits
                    • other money available at short notice
                    • some payments made or due to be made by a person's last employer
                    • 10 year insurance bonds
                    • amounts deposited or lent to banks or other financial institutions whether or not the amount can be withdrawn or repaid immediately (excluding bonds or bank guarantees for the purposes of an AoS)
                    • assets given to a son or daughter in some circumstances
                    • loans to other people
                    • unencumbered proceeds from sale of business
                    • monies in trust funds, bank accounts including mortgage offset accounts, BUT NOT balances of mortgage redraw accounts, and
                    • compensation payments.


                    • @Cheaplikethebird: Well a car can be easily transferred into cash on short notice…just need to sell and have a buyer rock up and pay you cash on the day you sell it….

                      loans to other people

                      Imagine claiming back all those loans you gave out to your friends, randoms and family and now wanting it all back…..

                      assets given to a son or daughter in some circumstances

                      "Son, remember that car I gave you for your birthday? Can you give that back? Also tell your sister that I also want that bouncy castle back."

                      other money available at short notice

                      What would be included in this category?

                      amounts deposited or lent to banks or other financial institutions whether or not the amount can be withdrawn or repaid immediately (excluding bonds or bank guarantees for the purposes of an AoS)

                      So empty out your bank account and if that's not enough, use a credit card and use the bank's money?

                      • @Zachary: I don’t know why you’re trying to argue with me on this, I’m just relaying info here and I don’t really have time to go through your post and answer everything. I didn’t make the rules nor do I necessarily support them.

                        A car can’t easily be transferred to cash - you need to find a buyer.

                        • @Cheaplikethebird: Oh I think I get it….. liquid = turn it into cash within seconds or at least a within a few minutes and if you can't turn it into cash within seconds or a few minutes, it is not liquid? So if have nothing in the above liquid asset section but have a $6000 car, you won't be on the waiting list and can get the handout asap?

                          • @Zachary: Pretty much. The definition is open to interpretation which is why I posted the definition provided by Centrelink.

                            A lot of it is to try and prevent people temporarily parking their money somewhere before the means test. For example someone might transfer all the cash in their bank account to a trusted friend a week before they intend to claim, that way they're handing over a bank statement showing an amount below the liquid asset threshold, then once their claim has been processed they get the friend to transfer it back.

                            • @Cheaplikethebird: Why do that when you can just simply cash out your money and hold onto the bills of notes in your own hands? Centrelink ain't gonna find your cash in hand without them physically having a visit to your house or wherever ever you stored your cash….

                              • @Zachary: Not everything can be paid in cash. Not a lot of real estates take cash these days. But yeah people take it out as cash, the first point on Centrelink definition is cash on hand.

                              • @Zachary: They also don’t have access to your bank accounts, that’s why they get you to print out a statement. They only have access to your tax file and info from any other gov services.

                                • @Cheaplikethebird: I thought having access to your tax file and info from other gov services = they also have access to your account so they know exactly how much you have in it and only wanting you to print off a statement to test if you would alter your balance figure to 0 when they know it's obviously not 0? After all, they are the government and can access anything at will without requiring permission from the account holder of any kind….

                                  • @Zachary: I worked there when they bought all the services together and got access to your ATO file, they don’t have access to your bank account. If they did they wouldn’t have had to use income averaging for robodebt.

                                    • @Cheaplikethebird: Huh that's interesting, and here I thought they did all along…and were just testing us to see if were giving them truthful information….so what can they do with your tax file number and other gov services if access to your bank account is out of their reach….?

                                    • -1
      • You can apply as a hardship customer - can get fast tracked

        Not sure on the relationship between voluntary unemployment and financial hardship though…

        • I had to direct single mothers to charity groups when I was working at Centrelink, good luck to this guy.

  • +30

    Taxpayers should not need to assist people who voluntarily quit their jobs and then stick their hand out.

    IF the OP quit, he would have done the financial due diligence and deemed he can survive financially and should not require taxpayers hand outs.

    If the OP cannot afford the rent, move in with someone else, move to a caravan park, move further away from the City, move in with family there are so many other desirable options than hand outs.

    • +2

      Taxpayers should not need to assist people who voluntarily quit their jobs and then stick their hand out.

      Wait 'till you hear about intergenerational welfare dependence!

      • Wait till you hear about misused apostrophes.

    • +1

      The pc brigade disagree with you! Op has every right to mooch off everyone else, hell they can even use the Aussie battler hashtag now!

  • +5

    oh wow gutsy, I recently resigned too and taking a couple of months off (I have a decent buffer though)

    I've been selling stuff on Facebook marketplace, its amazing people pick up stuff within 30mins. Probably should about $1000 (in a week) of stuff I never ever use. (ie. less than 1 use per year)

    Not sure if that's a great long term solution for you since you'll run out of stuff to sell.

    I'm mostly doing it for fun, and satisfaction getting rid of stuff.

    • I got some stuff but no one wants to buy off me….

  • +6

    You quit your job, Centrelink will impose a 13 week penalty on you (from the day you resigned) after the 13 weeks is over you'll qualify for both Job Seeker and Rent Assistance. Rent Assistance isn't much, but it's more than nothing.

    • There may not necessarily be a waiting period.


      "However, the preclusion period does not apply if the voluntary act was reasonable or if the work was unsuitable for the person."

      The link talks about what is reasonable or not. That would be up to Centrelink to determine (if he meets the other eligibility criteria). It also depends on what payment he applies for.

      • +2

        That’s interpreted very narrowly inside Centrelink.

        It would need to be a very serious workplace safety or compliance issue. Not just a run of the mill toxic workplace.

        The workload was stressful is unlikely to cut the mustard.

    • isnt rent ass is like $100 a week?

  • +2

    I resigned (long story).

    Lucky for you (and us) you're now unemployed so have at least 3 months to tell us about it.

    But seriously, you'll need to get onto a centrelink payment before you can claim rent assistance. I did this in 2014, had to go in and fill out some forms and it was processed in a week or so. Try to get in sooner rather than later because a 1 year old and low income aren't a good combination.

  • +22

    I am so sick of reading people making poor financial decisions on here. It’s really upsetting. Do people lack total common sense?!

    If you hate your job, take annual leave, sick leave or stress leave and find another one ASAP. Also most people work jobs they hate but they do it to support their families. It’s bizarre how many people seem to think they are entitled to be happy in their job?!

    • +2

      It’s quite selfish behaviour. Should be single

      • yes everyone should be single so we dont get every assholes being born every minute inheriting the parent's dumbness…

    • +1

      Look around, there are a lot of people that are very bad with money, I see all day every day, Most have no money in their bank account.

  • +3

    That's a pretty tough situation to be in OP.

    Reduce expenses, don't rely on savings if you can.

    Still actively look for a job, as getting welfare assistance can be an ordeal in itself.

    This is based on close friends who have taken a break from work, to end up being unemployed a year onwards.

    The job market is terrible atm.

  • +7

    At the risk of being a jerk shouldnt yiu have asked this questions before resigning?

  • +4

    Wouldn't OP be eligible for the Parenting Payment?
    I don't think there is any problem with recently quitting your job with this one.

    • His partner is earning money so probably not eligible
      Edit - actually I looked up the eligibility and you can get it if your partner is earning under $1165/fn. Looks like a good option!

    • ^^^^ this is the correct answer.

      Patenting Payment Partnered is the best option.

  • There are estimators on Centrelink’s webpage. Go on there and see what you are entitled to and how much.

  • +10

    As you've left the job of your own accord (not fired or lost job due to COVID etc) I didn't believe that you were entitled to anything OR there would be waiting times before you're eligible for any assistance.
    I really hope you sort your sh!t out quickly for future decisions like this given you've got a child to look after, it seems grossly irresponsible on your part based on what little you posted.

      • +12

        The world is quite insensitive, toughen up. This isn't trolling, maybe its a troll post from OP, maybe not.

        I was stating what seems to be fact (from other comments with links) that centerlink will have a waiting period as he has chosen to abandon his paying job, meaning he will be 8-13 weeks without any income from the government to assist him, something he should have KNOWN prior to a) posting and b) quitting his job.

        This is making him aware how foolish his decision is and that future decisions that impact his family (which should be his #1 priority) in a major way should be much more carefully thought out. Sometimes you must suffer for the good of other (your family).

        OP has made what appears (with so little backstory) a foolish decision, yes ones mental health is a concern and should be taken note of and addressed but the larger concern should be for his own family and providing for them. Plenty of people hate their jobs but show up everyday, clock in, do the job, clock out and get paid to keep the lights on and food on the table.

        Unsure what state OP is in but I know countless people out of work due to COVID, no one else I know would be quitting a job right now due to task of trying to get reemployed and the high level of cautiousness that many businesses are operating with about new hires.

        I don't know OP, neither do you i'd assume.
        OP may have never bailed on a job before in his life (I have no idea), or he could have done this half a dozen other times as there is always some problem where they work, they never work out THEY are the problem. I know people now in their 40's who have done this most of their life, lost friends and broken up their own family and have nothing very late in the game due to these sorts of decisions that are not thought out. I hope this isn't what OP is like and I hope it doesn't end up that way.

        It should serve as a warning to him and others that these things should not be done with zero research (like OP has done) and then to post here (if this isn't a troll thread) asking for advice.

        The world doesn't stop because you're a bit sad mate, you've got to get on with it as no one else will do it for you.

    • +1

      Some payments do not have waiting period after voluntarily leaving a job. For example parenting payment partnered and family tax benefit. Job seeker payment may have a waiting period but there are circumstances when the waiting period does not apply. It really depends on the individual circumstances of the OP.

  • +4

    While I think it's great that you want to take some time out to focus on your health and your child, the circumstances you are in means that you have to keep grinding.

    My advice is to get a job immediately and one that you think you might be happier in. I suggest this over income support as it won't usually amount to much beyond basics and if you think it's stressful now, wait until you feel the stress of not having enough to feed your family/pay rent, and having to explain to your partner when she is tired of supporting you both.

    You could explore working part time or as a casual in the short term to support your desire to take a break, or if you are good at/know how to do odd jobs then advertise it on gumtree/ Fiverr or sign up to uber (all of them provide you with flexibility)

    Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that having enough dispensable income means that you can make better choices for your health and your child.

  • OP I hope you feel better soon so you can join the workforce. Centrelink is your best chance of income support. Good luck.

  • +21

    I don't know why people have babies with no financial stability.

    2k savings with $500 a week income basically means you're broke.

    Asking for handouts when you had a job is ridiculous.

    I bet it wasn't stressful when you were making the baby…

    • I bet it wasn't stressful when you were making the baby…

      how to make baby?

      2k savings with $500 a week income basically means you're broke.

      What does that make people who have zero savings and half that or less a week if that's broke…?

      • How do you earn less than $500/week?

        • Full time on minimum wage is $660 net income per week so it must be part time work.

        • Or casual work

        • what they said, or if you were being paid less than minimum wage.

          • @Zachary:

            less than minimum wage.

            • @deme: IT happens - I was paid a base rate of $50 a fortnight but had 98 hour weeks(yes 14 hr days, 7 days a week…) which would have equaled to about 26 cents an hour… If I managed to sell something, I would get 5% of the sell price on top of the $50…. I never sold a thing…..so was living on $50 a fortnight for a couple of months until I eventually folded and left.

              • @Zachary: Sounds like a scam

                • @deme: Well, I did get paid so not quite a scam…..but the amount I was getting for the amount of effort I had to put in running around the neighborhood wasnt worth it….. Sure if you want to get some your daily 14 hr exercise and have that slim athletically toned body figure afterwards….. You also had to be extrovert and have that bubbly smiley personality for it to work…..I'm like the opposite and I can't pretend to be one either….just too hard….

                  It was like doing those paper rounds on the suburb……20 cents per roll per household mailbox….or something like that and you had to work really fast if you wanted to make a decent coin from it….except this time, you also had to do some talking as well as hand out them flyers….

                  • @Zachary: Were you selling karate lessons?

                    • @Dogsrule: no……but I didn't know people walked around selling martial art lessons at random to random houses……

                      • @Zachary: Yep, I had a bloke rock up to my place doing exactly that. Got talking to him about his job and he literally jogged from house to house for 8 hours a day selling karate lessons, your experience sounded similar.

                        • @Dogsrule: Must be a personal trainer starting a sole trader business of personally teaching a student…..thought martial arts were taught in schools …..with like more than one people…..10 people at the minimum, maybe 30?

                          • @Zachary: Nope, he was employed by this mob:


                            Strange business model…

                            • @Dogsrule: Huh….interesting….well, I was employed trying to sell vacuum cleaners….really expensive luxurious ones…..supposedly better than Dyson's and other top branded vacuum cleaners I've not heard about.

      • More broke

    • It's not just that, it bakes in the oven for 9 months and yet so many people do not seem to do anything to prepare for it like build up savings etc. I know someone who frequently had to borrow money from family to buy baby food etc. 9 months of pregnancy and 12 months of trying to get pregnant in the first place and note one iota of preparation.

      Sadly a common scenario.

    • -1

      "I don't know why people have babies with no financial stability."

      Jost cos you needed money to get laid doesn't mean it works that way for everyone.

  • +7

    Hi OP. I used to work for Centrelink so I can provide some unofficial advice. Rent assistance is an add on payment, from your post it sounds like there could be an entitlement to Family Tax Benefit, Parenting Payment Partnered or Jobseeker Payment.

    It is not possible to say what you would qualify for as these payments have a large number of eligibility requirements. You would be best to give Centrelink a call, explain your circumstances and they can guide you to the most appropriate payment type.

    There is also a payment and service finder online that can help. https://www.centrelink.gov.au/custsite_pfe/pymtfinderest/pay...

    Let me know if you had any other questions.

    • Hey, I have a question for you since you worked at Centrelink. If I go inter-state for travel for a few weeks, do I notify Centrelink? And if so will my payment get suspended?


      • No, but mutual obligations don’t get paused if you are on a payment that requires them. You may need to tell your JSP for appointment purposes. Not meeting the mutual obligations you would be cut off as normal.

        Also ex-Centrelink.

        • Yeah thought so. I’ll get 28 days to re-engage and lose a demerit point

  • -3

    take in a renter for some assistance… having some-one else pay your bills is what your after isn't it? maybe they could cut your lunch too… if you prefer the crust cut off.

  • -3

    Have you thought about moving back to Pakistan?
    Better job prospects?

    • +16

      Because unlike you, we read the OP properly:


      • +1

        Great.. thxs for pointing it out!
        My bad..

        • X man reading wrong…hmmm…

  • +5

    I would love to hear the long story why you resigned instead of getting yourself fired and be eligible for some support if you don't have enough savings to live without external support.

  • +2

    Can we ask for rental assistance?

    Can you move back home with one of the parents?

    Can they help with rental assistance?

    Can you move to cheaper housing?

    • Or did into their 100k+ savings that they posted about in another thread.


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