3.1.10.50 Arrears of Payment after SEAM Suspension is Lifted

Note: SEAM ceased effective 31 December 2017. The Australian and Northern Territory Governments remain committed to supporting families and communities to get their children to school every day and to improve school attendance in remote communities. Despite the cessation of SEAM, Northern Territory Government Truancy Officers will continue to monitor attendance in select communities and DHS social workers will continue to visit remote communities as part of their general work.

When payments become payable after suspension

When a parent has had their schooling requirement payment suspended for failing to comply with an enrolment notice, their schooling requirement payments will be reinstated when DHS determines that they have complied with the relevant notice.

Example: Catherine has had her schooling requirement payment suspended for failing to comply with an enrolment notice issued to her seeking enrolment details for her son, Quentin. After 7 weeks of suspension, Catherine provides DHS with enrolment details for Quentin, advising he is enrolled at her local primary school. As a result, Catherine is now meeting her requirements and a decision is made that Catherine's schooling requirement payment is payable to her again.

When a parent has had their schooling requirement payment suspended for failing to comply with a compliance notice issued in respect of attendance, their schooling requirement payments become payable to them again when DHS reconsiders the decision to suspend the payment and is satisfied that:

  • the person has attended a compulsory conference and has entered into an attendance plan, if this was required by the compliance notice, or
  • the person is complying with the a school attendance plan, if this was required by the compliance notice, or
  • special circumstances apply that justify the person not attending a compulsory conference, or not entering into a school attendance plan or complying with the plan as required by the compliance notice.

Example: Horatio has had his schooling requirement payment suspended for failing to comply with a compliance notice requiring him to enter into a school attendance plan. After 4 weeks of suspension, Horatio re-engages with the education authority and enters into a school attendance plan. As a result, Horatio is meeting his requirements and his schooling requirement payment becomes payable to him again.

Arrears payments

Where a parent's schooling requirement payment is restored after being suspended for less than 13 weeks in total arrears MUST be paid for the whole of the suspension period.

Where a parent's schooling requirement income support payment is re-granted after being suspended for more than 13 weeks and subsequently cancelled, arrears are NOT payable and payment commences from the date of the decision to re-grant payment.

Exception: Arrears MAY be paid for all or part of the suspension period where special circumstances apply, as determined by DHS.

The factors that must be taken into account in determining whether special circumstances apply in relation to the payment of arrears are set out in the Social Security (Administration) (Schooling Requirement) Determination 2009 (No. 1) section 8.

Method of paying arrears

Arrears are paid as a lump sum.

For people subject to income management (Part 11) arrears of a schooling requirement payment are also income managed. This means that when arrears are paid as a lump sum 100% of the sum is income managed.

Example: Yvonne is subject to income management. Her schooling requirement payment is suspended when she fails to respond to an enrolment notice in respect of her child. This means that both the income managed portion and the discretionary portion of the payment are suspended. After Yvonne complies with the enrolment notice her payment is restored and arrears are paid in a lump sum. This means that 100% of the arrears payment is subject to income management.

Last reviewed: 5 February 2018