3.1.7.80 Waiver of the SWPP

Summary

The SWPP can be waived, in part or in full, if the person is in:

  • severe financial hardship (1.1.S.125), AND
  • the hardship is the result of unavoidable or reasonable expenditure (1.1.U.20) incurred while they were subject to the preclusion period.

There are 5 steps involved in determining whether a person meets these criteria:

Step Question
1 Is the person in severe financial hardship?
2 Is there any unavoidable or reasonable expenditure?
3 What are the notional seasonal work earnings for the remainder of the SWPP?
4 Were there any unavoidable or reasonable expenses during the period of seasonal work, and the preclusion period?
5 Is the person in severe financial hardship because of these expenses? That is, notional seasonal work earnings minus the total unavoidable or reasonable expenses.

This topic explains these provisions.

Act reference: SSAct section 633(3) Person is in severe financial hardship…

Notional seasonal work earnings

Generally, when a person requests waiver of the SWPP, they would have been expected to have the equivalent of one week of AWOTE (or twice the AWOTE for a couple) left for each remaining week of the SWPP. If unavoidable or reasonable expenditure has reduced this notional amount to less than 2 weeks benefit, then the SWPP can be waived.

Example: A single person with a 13 week SWPP claims hardship at the beginning of the sixth week. With 8 weeks left, it is expected they would have the equivalent of 8 times the AWOTE left to live on during this period.

The following table explains how this assessment affects their request for waiver:

If the person does… And the reason is… Then the SWPP…
NOT have this amount available, unavoidable or reasonable expenditure, CAN be waived, providing they currently meet the criteria for severe financial hardship.
NOT have this amount available, NOT unavoidable or reasonable expenditure, CANNOT be waived, even though they meet the criteria for severe financial hardship.
have this amount available,   CANNOT be waived.

Unavoidable or reasonable expenditure

If the person is in severe financial hardship at the time they seek the waiver of the SWPP, the delegate must consider whether this position was caused by unavoidable or reasonable expenditure during the time they were subject to the SWPP.

Expenditure incurred at the following times is considered to have occurred during the time they were subject to the SWPP, and is therefore considered in the assessment:

  • while the person was engaged in seasonal work, and
  • while the person was actually serving an SWPP.

Explanation: The person's seasonal work earnings are expected to support them while they are working and for the period of the SWPP. Any unavoidable or reasonable expenditure incurred while they were still working MAY prevent them from being able to support themselves as intended during an SWPP.

Reasonable costs of living

For the SWPP, NO additional allowance is made for reasonable costs of living.

Explanation: The duration of the SWPP is based on the AWOTE amount. This means the person has been allowed an amount equal to the AWOTE as a reasonable cost of living in the period before the waiver was sought.

Act reference: SSAct section 19C(4) Meaning of unavoidable or reasonable expenditure…, see (k)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.7.90 Examples of Waiving the SWPP - Single People, 3.1.7.100 Example of Waiving the SWPP - Partnered Recipients

Last reviewed: 11 August 2014