3.2.7.10 Satisfying the YA Activity Test

Satisfying the YA activity test

A young person who is not an early school leaver (1.1.E.05) may satisfy the YA activity test if they are:

  • studying an approved course (1.1.A.210) full-time, OR
  • participating in approved study or training full-time, OR
  • undertaking a combination of activities, including part-time work, which are assessed as equivalent to a full-time activity load, AND/OR
  • actively seeking suitable work (1.1.U.55) and willing to accept offers of employment, which may include full-time, part-time or casual work.

In order to satisfy the YA (other) activity test, a young person who is an early school leaver will need to meet specific YA activity test requirements. Specifically, they will need to participate in:

  • full-time education or training, or
  • a combination of part-time education or training and part-time work for at least the required number of hours (generally 25 hours per week, or 15 hours per week for those early school leavers who are also principal carer parents or have a partial capacity to work of 15 to 29 hours per week), or
  • other approved activities of at least the required number of hours a week for at least the required number of hours (generally 25 hours per week, or 15 hours per week for those early school leavers who are also principal carer parents or have a partial capacity to work of 15 to 29 hours per week), in addition to up to 20 compulsory job searches each month.

Once DHS verifies that an early school leaver has completed Year 12 or an equivalent (Certificate III or higher) qualification, the young person will no longer be an early school leaver and will become subject to the activity test requirements that apply to other YA recipients.

Note: Full-time Australian Apprentices may apply for YA (student). They do not have an activity test but are required to satisfy the definition of a full-time Australian Apprentice in order to maintain qualification for YA (student).

Act reference: SSAct section 544B YA Employment Pathway Plans-terms, section 544DA YA Employment Pathway Plans-early school leavers

Failure to satisfy the YA activity test

YA recipients who fail to notify that they have ceased full-time study within 14 days are in breach of their notification requirements. They may have their payments cancelled for their failure to notify and for failing to meet their requirements through studying. A debt should be raised for the YA received while they were not meeting their student requirements. A YA recipient cannot be considered as a YA (other) for a period that they received YA (student).

YA early school leavers who fail to satisfy the terms of their Job Plan are in breach of the SSAct and may have penalties imposed on their failure to notify and for failing to meet their requirements.

Example: Jill commenced studying a Bachelor of Social Science in early 2010 and finished studies in February 2013. Jill was receiving YA as a full-time student and continued to receive YA as a full-time student until April 2013. In April 2013 an enrolment check showed that Jill was not enrolled at the university and was contacted by DHS. Jill advised that she finished studies and had commenced looking for work in February 2013 and had maintained records of her job search. Jill was not qualified for YA from February 2013 to April 2013 because she did not advise of her cessation of studies to DHS. YA received during this period is an overpayment and should be raised as a debt.

Act reference: SSAct section 541(4) People who cease undertaking full-time study, section 541A Failure to satisfy the activity test

Australian Apprentices & the activity test

Category of Australian Apprentice Activity test status
Full-time Australian Apprentice Not eligible for YA (other). May qualify for YA (student); no activity test but must satisfy the definition of a full-time Australian Apprentice (1.1.A.324).
Attending school for part of the week. Considered as an Australian Apprentice if they satisfy the definition of a full-time Australian Apprentice.
Part-time Australian Apprentices undertaking a full-time training/study block. Considered full-time students.
Full-time Australian Apprentice undertaking a full-time training/study block. Considered as an Australian Apprentice rather than a full-time student.
Part-time Australian Apprentices who are studying or training part-time. May need their requirements adjusted to make up a full-time load without jeopardising their apprenticeship.
Part-time Australian Apprentices aged under 18, who are not attending school. May be exempt from the full-time education/training requirement, if that would cause them to give up their apprenticeship.

These recipients will need to undertake other approved activities in order to make up a full-time requirements load.

Flexibility of activity test

A wide range of activities may satisfy the YA activity test. If the young person has not completed a Year 12 or equivalent qualification (Certificate level III or above) then they will be subject to specific activity test requirements for early school leavers (refer also 3.2.8.10).

If the young person is not an early school leaver and is not undertaking full-time study or part-time approved study with part-time paid work for the required number of hours per week, they may satisfy their requirements by combining job search with other approved activities for the required number of hours per week.

Note: A person cannot satisfy the YA activity test if they have ceased full-time studies and failed to comply with notification provisions to advise DHS.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.8.50 What Can be Included in a Job Plan, 3.2.9 Mutual Obligation Requirements for NSA/YA Job Seekers - Suitable Activities, 3.1.13 Compliance Framework for Participation Payments

Last reviewed: 1 July 2016