In general, a NSA claimant who is studying full-time and is classified as a full-time student by the institution at which they are studying, does not qualify for payment under SSAct section 613(1) because they are not able to satisfy the activity test. To qualify, they should give up their studies or reduce their study-load to part-time, and should be willing to accept work if it is offered.
However, in certain circumstances a person studying full-time can qualify for NSA specifically:
- where they have transferred to the payment from DSP or PP as a single person and were receiving PES at the time, provided they are continuing in the same course for which they were receiving PES, OR
- where they are single principal carers receiving NSA and granted PES.
Act reference: SSAct section 613(1) Full-time students, section 1061PA Qualification for PES, section 1061PJ(2BA) Payments attracting PES, section 1061PJ(2BB) Payments attracting PES
Policy reference: SS Guide 126.96.36.199 Qualification for PES
Exception - principal carers transferring to NSA or YA from PP
If a principal carer (whether partnered or single) is undertaking approved study of at least 30 hours per fortnight, contact and non-contact hours, as a PP recipient and then shifts to NSA or YA (job seeker), then they can continue to complete their course of study even if the remainder of the course is longer than 13 months in duration. In addition, they will be taken as meeting all participation requirements while completing their course as long as they continue studying for at least 30 hours per fortnight.
Exception - principal carers receiving NSA who also have been granted PES
If a single principal carer receiving NSA is undertaking study of at least 30 hours per fortnight (contact and non-contact hours), for which they were granted PES, they will be taken as fully meeting the activity test while completing their PES-approved course as long as they continue studying for at least 30 hours per fortnight.
Exception - people granted DSP from 11 May 2005 to 30 June 2006 & transferred to NSA or YA as job seeker
Job seekers granted DSP between 11 May 2005 and 30 June 2006 who at review after 1 July 2006, are transferred to NSA or YA (job seeker), are able to continue their studies in the same course and be qualified for payment if, at the time of transfer, they were studying and receiving PES. They can continue to undertake the course as their approved activity until the course has been completed or they cease to be eligible for NSA or YA.
Example: Sam is granted DSP on 30 June 2005. He begins a Diploma in Computer studies at a TAFE college. This course meets the criteria as an approved course and Sam is granted PES. In June 2007, Sam's eligibility for DSP is reviewed. As he applied for DSP between 11 May 2005 and 30 June 2006, he is reassessed against the 15 hours eligibility criteria. Sam is assessed as having a work capacity of 15-29 hours per week and is transferred to NSA. Sam will continue to receive PES while he continues to undertake his course, providing he continues to receive NSA.