2.8.4.20 ACCS (transition to work) - Income Support Payments & Income Requirements

Summary

This topic describes the eligibility requirements relating to income support payments (1.1.I.50) and income (1.1.I.20) requirements for ACCS (transition to work). This topic covers:

  • eligible income support payments,
  • suspended income support payments,
  • cancelled income support payments,
  • mutual obligation or participation requirements exemptions while in receipt of ACCS (transition to work),
  • income requirements.

Eligible income support payments

To be eligible for ACCS (transition to work) an individual (1.1.I.90) must be in receipt of an eligible income support payment. The eligible income support payments are:

  • parenting payment,
  • newstart allowance,
  • disability support pension,
  • youth allowance,
  • carer payment,
  • SpB (paid to people who did not qualify for PP because they did not satisfy the PP residence requirement in the SSAct section 500(1)),
  • austudy payment,
  • a means tested payment under ABSTUDY,
  • farm household allowance.

Act reference: FAAct section 85CK Eligibility for ACCS (transition to work)

CCSMinRules section 13(17) Additional requirement for recipients of special benefit, section 15 Transition to work payments

Suspended income support payments

If an individual's income support payment is suspended, they may continue to receive ACCS (transition to work) if the reason for suspension does not make them ineligible for ACCS (transition to work). In particular, an individual must still be participating in their ACCS (transition to work) activity during their income support suspension period and their Job Plan (1.1.J.20) must remain active. If an individual's income support payment is suspended due to inactivity relating to their ACCS (transition to work) activity, their ACCS (transition to work) will be cancelled.

Example: Sam's income support payment is suspended due to a non-attendance failure. He makes another appointment with his employment services provider. He attends the appointment, and his income support payment is reinstated and backdated to the date of suspension. In these circumstances, if Sam is continuing to participate in his ACCS (transition to work) activity Sam would continue to receive ACCS (transition to work) during his suspension period.

Cancelled income support payments

If an individual's income support payment is cancelled, then their ACCS (transition to work) payments will also be cancelled. When an individual's income support payment is cancelled during a CCS fortnight (1.1.C.10), to take effect immediately, they will no longer be eligible for ACCS (transition to work) from the first Monday of the next CCS fortnight. If an income support payment is cancelled retrospectively to take effect from a previous CCS fortnight where payments have already been made, it may mean that an individual was paid ACCS (transition to work) when they were not eligible for it, and may incur a debt.

Mutual obligation or participation requirements exemptions while in receipt of ACCS (transition to work)

Eligibility for ACCS (transition to work) is dependent on meeting the ACCS (transition to work) activity requirements, not mutual obligation requirements.

If an individual is granted an exemption from their mutual obligation requirements, but continues to meet the ACCS (transition to work) activity requirements they will continue to be eligible for ACCS (transition to work).

If an individual is no longer meeting the ACCS (transition to work) activity requirements they would no longer be eligible for ACCS (transition to work); this would be a change of circumstances.

There may be circumstances where an individual granted an exemption from mutual obligation requirements may be eligible for ACCS (temporary financial hardship) (such as in the case of a domestic violence situation or major disaster). In such circumstances it may be beneficial to the individual to apply for ACCS (temporary financial hardship). ACCS (temporary financial hardship) is higher on the ACCS hierarchy and if the individual is eligible they will receive this subsidy instead of ACCS (transition to work).

Income requirements

To meet the income requirements an individual's income estimate has to be lower than the CCS lower income threshold (1.1.I.70).

ACCS (transition to work) is not subject to the end of year reconciliation (1.1.R.10), and therefore, actual income determined at reconciliation does not affect past ACCS (transition to work) eligibility. If an individual's income is above the low income threshold at reconciliation ACCS (transition to work) eligibility will not be re-assessed retrospectively. If the income estimate for the subsequent year is above the lower income threshold, this would be dealt with as a change of circumstances for ACCS (transition to work), and the individual would be ineligible for ACCS (transition to work) in future.

If the estimate for the subsequent year is below the actual income from the previous year, Centrelink can request additional information to support the lower income estimate.

Also, if during the end of year reconciliation process Centrelink has reason to suspect the estimate was not a reasonable estimate, or the individual should have notified of a change of circumstance during the year, a review may be undertaken. A review may be undertaken at anytime and Centrelink may ask for additional information at any time.

Act reference: FAAct section 85CK(1) Eligibility of individual receiving transition to work payment

CCSMinRules section 13(3) Income requirements

Last reviewed: 2 July 2018