3.1.2.70 Exemptions from Waiting Periods

Summary

There are a number of general provisions regarding exemptions from waiting or preclusion periods and these are described in the rest of this topic. Some payments or benefits also have specific provisions allowing exemptions, and these are detailed in the relevant topic in Part 3.

Exemption from the LAWP

A person may be exempted from the LAWP if he or she:

  • is transferring from one social security income support payment to another within a 14 day period, OR
  • has self-served the LAWP (see below), OR
  • has served a LAWP during the 12 months immediately prior to claiming, or becoming qualified for, payment, OR
  • is in severe financial hardship because they have incurred unavoidable or reasonable expenditure, OR
  • becomes qualified for NSA after a continuous period in receipt of income support payments, OR
  • is undertaking:
    • an activity as part of Stream C employment services, OR
    • a rehabilitation program (DES - DMS - see note below), OR
    • an activity as part of the CDP for a person who would otherwise have been referred to Stream C employment services, or DES - DMS, if not for the person being placed in CDP.

Note: Under the definitions in the SSAct and the Disability Services Act 1986, a 'rehabilitation program' means DES - DMS.

People undertaking an activity as part of CDP will be eligible for the exemption based on their ESAt (1.1.E.104). The ESAt is used to determine a job seeker's barriers to employment, work capacity, and referral to an appropriate employment services program or stream. CDP participants may be exempt from the LAWP if their ESAt indicates that they would have been referred to Stream C or DES - DMS.

A person may also be exempted from the LAWP if the person or their partner has been subject to a LAWP that started within the last 12 months (which includes where only part of a LAWP had been served). This provision does not apply to YA or Austudy recipients.

Example: If the person's partner is serving a LAWP at the time the person claims payment, the person is exempted from the LAWP.

Act reference: SSAct section 598(6) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who becomes qualified for NSA…, section 38B Notional continuous period of receipt of income support payments

Self-serving the LAWP

The LAWP is considered to have been self-served if the claim is made after the LAWP would have expired.

Exemption from the NARWP

People are exempt from the NARWP for certain payments and benefits that are subject to a waiting period if they:

  • are an Australian citizen at time of claim (all payments), OR
  • are a refugee or former refugee at time of claim (all payments), OR
  • are a family member of a refugee at time of claim (and was a family member when the person became a refugee) (all payments), OR
  • have a QRE for a payment or benefit specified under SSAct section 7(6AA) and hold a visa determined by the Minister (all payments), OR
  • hold or are a former holder of a temporary humanitarian visa subclass included in a determination made by the Minister under SSAct section 739A(6) (SpB, LIC, CSHC, FTB Part A, PLP and DAPP), OR
  • have suffered a substantial change in circumstances for reasons beyond their control after arrival in Australia (SpB (3.7.2.20) and LIC (3.9.1.20)), OR
  • hold a subclass 104 or 806 visa and are a special need relative or a carer as defined in the Migration Regulations (CP only), OR
  • hold a visa of a class included in a determination made by the Minister under SSAct subsection 201AA(5B) (subclass 116 or 836) (CP and CA), OR
  • have an FTB child (LIC only), OR
  • are holders, or former holders, of a SCV (FTB, PLP and DAPP only), OR
  • are receiving an income support payment, (CA, FTB, PLP and DAPP only), OR
  • have become a lone parent after becoming a permanent resident (PP, NSA and YA only), OR
  • hold an orphan relative (subclass 117 or 837) or a remaining relative (subclass 115 or 835) visa, (CA, FTB, PLP and DAPP only).

Note: Previously there was an exemption from the NARWP for SpB for family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident. From 1 January 2012, this exemption ceased to apply to holders of the temporary 309 and 820 Spouse/Partner visa or temporary 310 and 826 Interdependency visa. From 1 January 2017, the exemption ceased to apply to permanent 100, 110, 801, 814 Spouse/Partner visa holders. As such, this exemption no longer exists.

Note: Some of the above categories were introduced from 1 January 2019 as part of the extension of the NARWP to new payment types.

For further information on exemptions to the NARWP refer to 3.1.2.43.

Act reference: SSAct section 966(2) to section 966(5) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (CA), section 500X(2) to section 500X(4) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (PP), section 549D(2) to section 549D(7) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (YA), section 623A(2) to section 623A(8) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (NSA), section 739A(6) to section 739A(8) Neither subsection (1) nor (2) applies to a person… (SpB), section 1061ZQ (2) to section 1061ZQ(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (LIC), section 1061ZH(2) to section 1061ZH(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (CSHC), section 696B(2) to section 696B(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (SA), section 1039AA(2) to section 1039AA(5) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (MOB), section 322(2) to section 322(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (BVA), section 575D(2) to section 575D(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (Austudy), section 201AA(2) to section 201AA(5B) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (CP), section 1061PU(2) to section 1061PU(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (PES)

FAAct section 61AA(6) to section 61AA(8) Exemptions (FTB)

PPLAct section 31A(5) to section 31A(7A) Exemptions (PLP), section 115CBA(5) to section 115CBA(7) Exemptions (DAPP)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.7.1.20 Payability of SpB, 3.7.2.10 SpB for Newly Arrived Residents, 3.6.7.100 Payability of CA

FA Guide 2.2.1.10 NARWP for FTB Part A

PPL Guide 2.2.4.30 NARWP for PLP & DAPP

Exemption from the OWP

A person may be exempted from the OWP if:

  • they are reclaiming within 13 weeks of last receiving a social security benefit or allowance,
  • they are in severe financial hardship and are also experiencing a personal financial crisis (1.1.P.236) because at some time in the 4 weeks immediately before the person's start day:
    • they have been subjected to domestic violence,
    • they incurred unavoidable or reasonable expenditure,
    • the person was in gaol or psychiatric confinement,
    • the person first entered Australia and was the holder of a humanitarian visa on that entry to Australia, OR
    • the person's principal place of residence was lost or sustained major damage as a result of an extreme circumstance, OR
  • the person is undertaking:
    • an activity as part of Stream C employment services,
    • a rehabilitation program (DES - DMS - see note below), OR
    • an activity as part of the CDP for a person who would otherwise have been referred to Stream C employment services or DES - DMS, if not for the person being placed in CDP.

Note: Under the definitions in the SSAct and the Disability Services Act 1986, a 'rehabilitation program' means DES - DMS.

People undertaking an activity as part of CDP will be eligible for the exemption based on their ESAt. The ESAt is used to determine a job seeker's barriers to employment, work capacity, and referral to an appropriate employment services program or stream. CDP participants may be exempt from the OWP if their ESAt indicates that they would have been referred to Stream C or DES - DMS.

Act reference: SSAct section 19C Severe financial hardship definitions, section 19DA(4) Other circumstances

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.P.236 Personal financial crisis - OWP, 1.1.S.125 Severe financial hardship - OWP, SWPP, LAWP, IMP, 3.1.2.50 Ordinary Waiting Period

Last reviewed: 20 March 2019