3.2.1.20 Payability of NSA

Summary

Even though a person is qualified, NSA is NOT payable to the person in the circumstances listed in the following table. Where more detail about the circumstance is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Criterion More Detail
Specific provisions
The person is subject to RapidConnect provisions. 3.2.1.40 RapidConnect - impact on NSA payability
The person does not meet the requirements of the income and assets tests. Part 4 Income & Assets
The person is a full-time student, OR

Exception: where a person has transferred from DSP or PPS to NSA while receiving PES, they may continue to receive PES while continuing their same course of studies and be qualified for NSA.

This topic

3.2.2.50 Students

The person has incurred a participation failure. 3.1.13.10 Types of Failures & Penalties
Common provisions
Allowance is not payable before the start day. 8.3 Start Days
Other common payability provisions. 8.4 Payment Methods
Person's circumstances:
  • ordinary waiting period,
  • seasonal work preclusion period,
  • NARWP (1.1.N.70) unless the person has a QRE (1.1.Q.35) or NARWP exemption,
  • non-payment period,
  • in prison,
  • compensation preclusion period,
  • rate is nil due to earnings.

3.1.2 Waiting & Preclusion Periods

3.1.7 Seasonal Work Preclusion Period

3.1.4 Imprisonment, Psychiatric Confinement & Prison Release

3.1.9.10 Compensation & Payability

4.13.2.60 Lump Sum Preclusion Period - General

3.1.12 Employment Income Nil Rate Period

Act reference: SSAct section 611 Assets test-allowance not payable if assets value limit exceeded, section 612 Value of assets of members of couples

Full-time students

Except in the circumstances referred to in the table above, of transferees receiving PES (3.2.2.50), generally NSA is NOT payable to a person from the day the person commences a full-time course of education or vocational training UNLESS either:

  • the person has claimed ABSTUDY and NSA continues for 3 weeks after the course commences, OR
  • it is an approved activity and NSA continues.

Courses of education & training

In the context of assessing payability of NSA a course of education or training refers to:

  • an approved course under the Ministerial Determination for the Approval of Educational Institutions and courses under subsections 5D(1) and 3(1) of the Student Assistance Act 1973, OR
  • a course which is similar to a ministerially approved course undertaken at any institution, but is approved by the Secretary, OR
  • a course which leads to educational or vocational qualifications or increases job skills, even if the course is of short duration and not routinely approved by Centrelink under the activity test (1.1.M.160).

Except for the circumstances listed above, NSA is not normally payable during any annual vacation period that falls within the duration of the course. However, if a person is unsure of their further studies during a vacation period, they may be eligible for NSA, provided they are able to satisfy the qualification criteria.

Example: A 22 year old graduate who completed a course last semester and is awaiting confirmation of acceptance into a graduate course.

NSA may be available where the student withdraws from their course. NSA is payable from the date the educational institution is formally notified or on the day after the date of last attendance, if formal notification is not required.

Act reference: SSAct section 613 Full-time students

Student Assistance Act 1973 section 5D Minister may determine secondary and tertiary courses etc., section 3(1) Interpretation

Employment income nil rate period - an incentive to take up work

A NSA recipient who loses payment because of ordinary income (1.1.O.30), made up entirely or partly of employment income (1.1.E.102), may qualify for an employment income nil rate period (3.1.12).

During the employment income nil rate period a NSA recipient can:

  • be paid certain supplementary benefits, and
  • retain their HCC or PCC if assessed as having a partial capacity to work, and
  • have their payment resumed if they report a fall in income sufficient for NSA to be payable again.

Explanation: This policy provides incentives for NSA recipients to take up work, particularly casual or short-term work.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4)…, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A)…, section 1061ZEA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income, section 1061ZMA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment Income Nil Rate Period, 3.9.1.10 Qualification for HCC - Automatic Issue, 3.9.2.30 PCC due to Employment

Payment during temporary absences overseas

A person must be in Australia to qualify for NSA. Once qualified, they may continue to receive NSA during a temporary absence from Australia for 6 weeks or less in limited circumstances as outlined in the portability table.

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, 7.1.2.20 Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia

NARWP

From 1 January 2019 changes were made to the NARWP for NSA. A person who is granted a permanent visa on or after 1 January 2019 is subject to a 208 week NARWP for NSA. A person who was a holder of a permanent visa before 1 January 2019 is subject to a 104 week NARWP for NSA.

Note: Different payments have different waiting periods. The length of the NARWP depends on a person's situation and payment type. A person who has fully served a NARWP for one payment may still be serving a NARWP for other payments. Refer to specific payment guide topics for individual rules.

Exemptions for the NARWP

There are a number of exemptions from the NARWP for NSA, and situations where a NARWP does not apply (see 3.1.2.70 for details). These include:

  • Australian citizens
  • refugee, former refugee or family member of a refugees
  • people who became a lone parent after becoming an Australian resident.

Note: A person who has a QRE for NSA will receive an exemption to the NARWP for NSA.

There are also other exemptions specific to other payment types (see 3.1.2.70, FA Guide 2.2.1.10 and PPL Guide 2.2.4.30).

Act reference: SSAct section 623A(2) to section 623A(8) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person… (NSA), section 7(6AA)(f) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption…

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.N.70 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 3.1.2.43 Exemptions for the NARWP

FA Guide 2.2.1.10 NARWP for FTB Part A

PPL Guide 2.2.4.30 NARWP for PLP & DAPP

Last reviewed: 20 March 2019