1.2.5.30 Sickness Allowance (SA) - Description

What is SA?

SA is an income support payment that provides financial assistance to people who are temporarily incapacitated for work or study and do not have adequate levels of income support.

These people are able to resume their employment or return to their studies once they have recovered from their incapacity.

Act reference: SSAct section 10A(2)-'employment'

How SA is paid

SA is usually paid fortnightly.

Supplementary assistance

There are 2 types of supplementary assistance that recipients of SA MAY receive. Payments that are included as part of the SA rate and payments that are in addition to the SA rate.

Recipients of SA MAY receive one or more of the following as part of their SA rate:

They may also be entitled to the following while in receipt of SA:

Bereavement payment provisions

The surviving member of a couple (1.1.M.120) may be eligible for bereavement payments following the death of a partner (1.1.P.85).

Background information

Prior to 20 March 1996, incapacitated recipients remained on job search allowance, NSA or YTA if the period of their incapacity was less than 13 weeks, but were transferred to SA if the period of their illness extended beyond 13 weeks. Recipients were then transferred back to job search allowance, NSA or YTA on recovery.

From 20 March 1996, these transfers ceased. Recipients temporarily incapacitated for work due to illness or injury maintained an ongoing eligibility for job search allowance, NSA or YTA.

New recipients who are unemployed but are temporarily incapacitated now claim NSA or YA with temporary incapacity. New claimants who have employment or study to return to when they recover from the illness or injury will continue to claim and receive SA.

Act reference: SSAct section 666(1) Qualification for SA

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.5.10 Qualification for SA, 5.1.5.30 SA - Current Rates

Last reviewed: 3 January 2017