1.1.V.70 Voluntary work (NSA, YA, MOB)

Definition: NSA & YA

For the purposes of NSA and YA, voluntary work is work that a recipient undertakes for an approved organisation:

  • willingly, AND
  • without payment other than for out-of-pocket expenses.

Different eligibility rules apply for recipients wishing to undertake voluntary work to satisfy or partially satisfy the activity test, depending on their age and duration receiving income support.

Act reference: SSAct section 603AA(1) Relief from activity test-people 55 and over who are engaged in work

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.1 NSA - Qualification & Payability, 3.2.3 YA - Qualification & Payability, Suitable Activity - Voluntary Work

Definition: MOB

For the purposes of MOB, voluntary work on a continuing basis (1.1.C.320) is work which must be:

  • likely to last for at least 3 months, AND
  • provided willingly by a recipient without obligation or payment, other than for out-of-pocket expenses, AND
  • performed for a charitable, welfare or community organisation run on a not-for-profit basis with the objective of providing services or assistance to the community (see example), AND
  • demonstrated by the organisation to have provided a service, product or benefit to the community, AND
  • approved by the Secretary of the Department or their delegate, after carefully considering the nature and objectives of the voluntary work.


  • Charitable or welfare organisations include the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, Society of St Vincent de Paul.
  • Community organisations include sporting associations, schools and service clubs such as Rotary, Apex and Lions.

Unpaid work performed under a CSO is NOT considered to be voluntary work.

Act reference: SSAct section 1035(1)(d) Qualification for MOB

Policy reference: SS Guide Assessment of voluntary work for standard rate MOB

Last reviewed: 7 November 2016