Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013

  • repealed
  • Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013: repealed, on 26 November 2018, pursuant to section 455(1) of the Social Security Act 2018 (2018 No 32).

Jobseeker support (including deferral of work test obligations on ground of sickness, injury, or disability)

43 Sections 89 to 99AB and cross-heading above section 89 replaced

Replace sections 89 to 99AB and the cross-heading above section 89 with:

Jobseeker support

88B Jobseeker support: standard eligibility requirements

(1)

A person is entitled to jobseeker support if he or she satisfies the criteria in subsections (2), (3), and (4), and—

(a)

is not in full-time employment, but—

(i)

is seeking it; and

(ii)

is available for it; and

(iii)

is willing and able to undertake it; and

(iv)

has taken reasonable steps to find it; or

(b)

is not in full-time employment, but would comply with subparagraphs (i) to (iv) of paragraph (a) but for circumstances that would qualify the person for an exemption under section 105 from some or all work test obligations; or

(c)

is not in full-time employment and is willing to undertake it but, because of sickness, injury, or disability, is limited in his or her capacity to seek, undertake, or be available for it; or

(d)

is in employment, but is losing earnings because, through sickness or injury, he or she is not working at all, or is working only at a reduced level.

(2)

An applicant for jobseeker support—

(a)

must be aged at least 18 years, in the case of an applicant without a dependent child:

(b)

must be aged at least 19 years, in any other case.

(3)

An applicant for jobseeker support must meet the residential requirements in section 74AA.

(4)

An applicant for jobseeker support must have—

(a)

no income; or

(b)

an income of less than the amount that would fully abate that benefit.

(5)

Nothing in subsection (4) affects the entitlement of a person to receive jobseeker support if, during a temporary period, the person has income sufficient to fully abate that benefit but the person otherwise fulfils the conditions of entitlement to that benefit.

(6)

Nothing in subsection (1)(a) or (4) affects the entitlement of a person receiving jobseeker support at the rate in clause 1(ab) or (ba) of Schedule 9 to receive jobseeker support if, during a temporary period, the person engages in full-time employment, and the income from that employment and the person’s other income when calculated over a 52-week period under section 64(2A) is less than the amount that would fully abate the benefit.

(7)

A sick or injured person (A) may treat as a loss of A’s earnings for the purposes of subsection (1)(d) a payment A makes to any other person (B) who acts as A’s substitute during A’s sickness or injury.

88C Jobseeker support: grounds of hardship

(1)

The chief executive may grant jobseeker support under section 88B to a person who meets the criteria in section 88B(1) and (2) but who does not meet the other criteria in section 88B if—

(a)

the person is suffering hardship; and

(b)

the person is not qualified to receive any other benefit; and

(c)

the person is unable to earn sufficient income to support the person and his or her spouse or partner and any dependent children.

(2)

The chief executive may, under the exception in section 88D(a), during the period between the end of one academic year and the start of the next, grant jobseeker support under section 88B to a full-time student.

(3)

The chief executive may, under the exception in section 88D(a), during the period between the end of one academic year and the start of the next, grant jobseeker support under section 88B to a full-time student who is aged 16 years or 17 years if the chief executive is satisfied that—

(a)

any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 159(2) applies to the student; or

(b)

the student is married or in a civil union or in a de facto relationship.

88D Jobseeker support: ineligibility

No person is eligible to be granted jobseeker support if he or she—

(a)

is a full-time student (other than in the situation described in section 88C(2) or (3)); or

(b)

is unemployed because of a strike undertaken by himself or herself, or by fellow members of the same union at the same place of employment; or

(c)

became unemployed or took leave with or without pay from the person’s employment for the purpose, in the opinion of the chief executive, of undertaking employment-related training.

88E Jobseeker support: on ground of sickness, injury, or disability: medical examination

(1)

A person making an application for jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability (the applicant) must include in the application a certificate that complies with subsections (2) and (3).

(2)

A certificate complies with this subsection only if it is given—

(a)

by a medical practitioner in respect of any condition; or

(b)

by a dentist in respect of a condition that is within the ambit of his or her profession; or

(c)

by a midwife in respect of a pregnancy, childbirth, or any related condition that is within the ambit of his or her profession; or

(d)

by a health practitioner of a kind specified for the purposes of this paragraph in regulations made under section 132 and in respect of a condition within the ambit of his or her scope of practice.

(3)

A certificate complies with this subsection only if it—

(a)

certifies that the applicant’s capacity for work is affected by sickness, injury, or disability; and

(b)

indicates the nature of the sickness, injury, or disability concerned, the extent to which the applicant’s capacity for work is affected by it, and the length of time that effect is likely to last; and

(c)

contains any other particulars the chief executive may under this paragraph require.

(4)

The chief executive may at any time require the applicant or a jobseeker support beneficiary to submit himself or herself for examination by a medical practitioner or psychologist. The medical practitioner or psychologist must be agreed for the purpose between the applicant or beneficiary and the chief executive or, failing agreement, must be nominated by the chief executive.

(5)

The medical practitioner or psychologist must prepare, and must send the chief executive a copy of, a report that indicates—

(a)

whether the applicant’s or beneficiary’s capacity for work is affected by sickness, injury, or disability; and

(b)

the extent to which the applicant’s or beneficiary’s capacity for work is affected by the sickness, injury, or disability concerned; and

(c)

whether, and if so, for how long, that capacity is likely to continue to be affected by the sickness, injury, or disability concerned.

88F Jobseeker support: obligations on beneficiaries

(1)

A person granted jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability) must (subject to sections 88J and 105) comply with the work test from the time that payment of jobseeker support commences.

(2)

The chief executive must after granting a person jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability, and may at any later time, determine whether the person has, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work (as defined in section 3(1)).

(3)

A determination under subsection (2) must be made after having had regard to—

(a)

the relevant certificate, and any relevant report obtained, under section 88E; and

(b)

any relevant work ability assessment under sections 100B and 100C.

(4)

A determination under subsection (2) that the person granted jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability has, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work has the consequence that the person is required to comply with the work test on and after a date specified in a written notice (of the determination’s making and effects) that the chief executive must give the person.

(5)

The date specified in a written notice under subsection (4),—

(a)

in the case of a new grant of jobseeker support, may be the date on which that benefit is first paid; but

(b)

in any case, must not be a date before the date on which the chief executive reasonably considers the person will receive the notice.

(6)

The chief executive may at any time, whether on the application of the person or otherwise, review a determination under subsection (2), and may confirm, amend, revoke, or revoke and replace it and any related written notice under subsection (4).

(7)

A determination under subsection (2) that the person granted jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability has not, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work has the consequence that the person is entitled to (even if he or she has not sought one) a deferral under section 88I(6) of all of the person’s work test obligations.

(8)

A person must comply with the person’s social obligations under section 60RA(3) if the person—

(a)

is a person with 1 or more dependent children; and

(b)

is the person granted a benefit that is jobseeker support; and

(c)

is not a young person on whom obligations are placed under section 171(1) or (2).

88G Jobseeker support: obligations of spouse or partner of person granted it

From the time that payment of the jobseeker support commences, the spouse or partner of a person granted jobseeker support,—

(a)

if the benefit is granted at a work-test couple rate, must comply with a requirement under section 60Q; and

(b)

if he or she is a person to whom section 60RA applies, must comply with his or her social obligations under section 60RA(3); and

(c)

if he or she is a work-tested spouse or partner, must comply with the work test.

88H Jobseeker support: application for deferral of work test obligations

(1)

A person granted jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability) may apply to the chief executive for a deferral of all of the person’s work test obligations on the grounds that he or she—

(a)

is a sole parent with a dependent child under the age of 1 year; and

(b)

is a recipient of jobseeker support instead of sole parent support under section 20D solely because that child is an additional dependent child (within the meaning of section 60GAE(1)).

(2)

A person granted jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability) may apply to the chief executive for a deferral of all of the person’s work test obligations on the grounds that he or she has, because of his or her sickness, injury, or disability (being a sickness, injury, or disability that arose or became apparent only after he or she was granted jobseeker support), either—

(a)

no capacity for work; or

(b)

capacity only for work that is less than part-time work (as defined in section 3(1)).

(3)

The chief executive may require an applicant to verify any particulars relevant to an application under this section in such manner as the chief executive specifies either generally or specifically.

88I Jobseeker support: chief executive’s powers and duties to defer work test obligations

(1)

The chief executive may defer all of the beneficiary’s work test obligations if satisfied, on an application under section 88H(1) or in accordance with subsection (4) of this section, that the beneficiary complies with both of paragraphs (a) and (b) of section 88H(1).

(2)

The chief executive may defer all of the beneficiary’s work obligations if satisfied, on an application by the beneficiary under section 88H(2) or in accordance with subsection (4) of this section, that the beneficiary has, because of his or her sickness, injury, or disability, either—

(a)

no capacity for work; or

(b)

capacity only for work that is less than part-time work (as defined in section 3(1)).

(3)

A deferral under this section must be in writing and may be granted—

(a)

for a time set by the chief executive; or

(b)

on conditions set by the chief executive; or

(c)

for both a time and on conditions set by the chief executive.

(4)

The chief executive may grant to a beneficiary granted jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability) a deferral under this section on the ground set out in (as the case may be) section 88H(1) or (2) whether or not a formal application is made by or on behalf of the beneficiary to whom it relates.

(5)

A determination under subsection (1) or (2) must be made after having had regard to—

(a)

the relevant certificate, and any relevant report obtained, under section 88E; and

(b)

any relevant work ability assessment under sections 100B and 100C.

(6)

The chief executive must grant a deferral under this section to a person who is the subject of a determination of the kind referred to in section 88F(7) (even if the person has not applied for, or otherwise sought, the deferral).

(7)

The chief executive may from time to time review a deferral granted under this section, and may extend, vary, or revoke it.

88J Jobseeker support: effect of deferral

While a deferral under section 88I is in force,—

(a)

the work test obligations of the beneficiary concerned are deferred for the time specified in the deferral; and

(b)

sections 60P, 60Q, and 60R apply to the beneficiary concerned as if he or she were not a work-tested beneficiary.

88K Jobseeker support: deferred or exempted people must notify change of circumstances

(1)

This section applies to a person who is, or is deemed to have been, granted a deferral under section 88I.

(2)

A person to whom this section applies must notify the chief executive as soon as practicable of any change in the person’s circumstances that may affect his or her entitlement to the deferral.

(3)

This section does not limit or affect the obligation under section 105(5A) of a person who is, or is deemed to have been, granted an exemption under section 105 (for example, an exemption under section 105 from work test obligations) to notify the chief executive as soon as practicable of any change in the person’s circumstances that may affect his or her entitlement to the exemption.

88L Jobseeker support: payment

(1)

Payment of jobseeker support commences in accordance with section 80.

(2)

Jobseeker support must be paid in weekly instalments in accordance with section 82.

(3)

Payment of jobseeker support may be suspended or cancelled in accordance with sections 80 to 82.

(4)

Subsection (3) does not limit any other provision in this Act.

88M Jobseeker support: rates

(1)

Jobseeker support must be paid to a person granted that benefit at the appropriate rate in Schedule 9.

(2)

If no payment is made under this section in respect of the spouse or partner of a person granted jobseeker support, the chief executive may increase the rate of jobseeker support payable to a beneficiary by an amount not exceeding the amount specified in clause 2 of Schedule 9 in respect of any person who for the time being has the care of the home of that beneficiary.

(3)

Subsection (4) applies to an applicant for jobseeker support who has a spouse or partner who is ineligible for a benefit for a period because of—

(a)

the application of section 60H (which relates to voluntary unemployment or loss of employment through misconduct, etc); or

(b)

the application of section 117 (which relates to sanctions that may be imposed for failures to comply with work test or other obligations and work preparation interviews and exercises); or

(c)

a strike, either by himself or herself, or by fellow members of the same union at the same place of employment.

(4)

The rate of jobseeker support that an applicant to whom this subsection applies under subsection (3) is entitled to receive during the period of non-entitlement of his or her spouse or partner is the appropriate rate in clause 5 of Schedule 9.