188.8.131.52 CCS - Other Recognised Activities
If an individual (1.1.I.90) undertakes a type of activity that is not one of the prescribed activities that are recognised for the CCS activity test, the delegate can determine the activity to be recognised for the purposes of the CCS activity test, if the activity maintains or improves the individual's work skills or employment prospects (or both).
This topic includes:
- consideration of other recognised activity,
- change of circumstances,
Consideration of other recognised activity
A Centrelink delegate may determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether another activity that is not one of the recognised activities may also be recognised for the purposes of the CCS activity test.
When making a claim (1.1.C.27) for CCS, or when updating circumstances, the individual can provide details of the particular activity and request it be recognised for the CCS activity test. The individual must provide a statement of how the activity will maintain or improve work skills or employment prospects (or both), the activity start date, activity end date (if applicable), and number of hours per fortnight.
The delegate will consider the information provided by the individual, including whether the activity could reasonably be expected to maintain or improve the individual's work skills, employment prospects (or both). If the delegate believes the activity likely meets the requirements to be recognised, the delegate will also:
- contact the individual and request documentary evidence (see evidence below) to confirm the activity should be recognised,
- determine whether to limit the number of hours per fortnight the activity will be recognised, based on the nature of the activity,
- determine whether to limit the number of fortnights the activity will be recognised, taking into account whether the individual has included an end date to the activity in their application or the delegate can reasonably assume an activity is to cease, based on the nature and circumstances of the activity.
While the individual will not be asked to provide evidence of their participation in the other activity at the time of submitting a claim for CCS or when updating their circumstances, if the delegate believes the activity likely meets the requirements to be recognised, they will contact the individual and request that this documentary evidence be provided. This can include documentation from a third party that shows the individual's participation in the activity and the dates the activity occurred. Acceptable evidence may include:
- documents relating to the organisers of the activity including official letterheads of organisations,
- other documentation that demonstrates a link between the activity and the individual participating in the activity,
- a statutory declaration may also be accepted if no other form of documentation can be provided or if a third party is not involved.
Change of circumstances
If an individual's circumstances change, for example, they are no longer participating in the other recognised activity, they are obliged to notify Centrelink of the change. Once the individual has updated their circumstances, their activity test result may change and their CCS entitlement (1.1.E.30) will be adjusted accordingly (previous entitlement decisions will be reviewed if the individual does not notify of the change in activity in a timely way).
Activities that would NOT be recognised for the CCS activity test (in addition to the prescribed recognised activities) include but are not limited to:
- activities for an unlawful purpose:
- any activity that is for an unlawful purpose or for an employer, business or another person or organisation that has an unlawful purpose.
- activities that are personal or family responsibilities:
- providing food for one's own, the family's or friends' benefit, including grocery shopping, vegetable gardening, fruit or vegetable picking or food preparation,
- providing a residential dwelling for the family including house/flat hunting, or maintenance of an individual's property (including shared areas as part of a body corporate),
- unpaid work building/renovating a residential dwelling, including for the individual, the individual's family or for a friend or relative (this is distinguished from doing unpaid work in a family business owned by an immediate family member, which is recognised),
- providing recreational activities for an individual's children (including providing travel to/from the activity),
- unpaid activity relating to exercising, training or caring for family or friend's pets, including vet or grooming visits etc. (activity related to the care and exercise of animals may still meet the activity test through one of the other recognised activities. For instance, volunteering at an animal shelter that is a recognised charity may be considered unpaid voluntary work. If the individual has the intention of being a veterinarian or vet assistant, providing assistance with animals at a veterinary clinic could be considered unpaid work experience. Where the individual is engaged in unpaid work at a pet shop owned by their parents this could be recognised as unpaid work in a family business owned by an immediate family member. If the individual was self-employed in an industry related to the health and care of animals they should report their activity as hours of paid work),
- planning or attending occasions for family and friends including weddings, anniversaries etc.,
- helping a friend or family member or neighbour (this is distinguished from unpaid work in a family business where the individual is considered to benefit from the success of the family business while not being directly renumerated; or unpaid voluntary work that improves the individual's work skills and employment prospects (or both), for charities and community organisations or that directly supports the learning and development of children at schools, preschools and centre based day care services).
- sport and recreation:
- unpaid participation in sporting events for an individual's leisure, interest or personal wellbeing - as either player or spectator - including for a work team,
- personal pursuits:
- participation in hobbies, including related educational courses that may be undertaken,
- participating in social club activities,
- unpaid participation in the performing arts for interest or leisure,
- attendance at official events such as ANZAC Day, Australia Day etc. (unless as a volunteer at these events in which case the activity would be unpaid voluntary work),
- attending religious activities.