Issues Affecting Qualification for PA


This topic discusses issues that may affect a recipient's qualification (1.1.Q.10) for PA, such as:

  • assurance of support (1.1.A.310),
  • partner loses qualification,
  • more than one partner,
  • partner serving a non-payment period,
  • payment during overseas travel, and
  • recipients over age pension age.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(5A) to (5D) Pension age

Assurance of support

A person is not SPECIFICALLY precluded from qualifying for PA if they have entered Australia under an AoS that is in force when they lodge a claim. However:

  • PA is NOT payable if the main allowance recipient is not receiving an allowance, and
  • the AoS agreement may specify that PA is a recoverable payment for AoS purposes.

Although PA cannot be rejected for a claimant for whom an AoS is in place, both the assurer (1.1.A.310) and the assuree must be clearly advised that PA, if granted, is a recoverable debt.

Policy reference: SS Guide Assurance of Support Debts, 9.4.7 AoS - Debt

Partner loses qualification

Once PA has been granted, a recipient REMAINS qualified for PA, even after their partner's eligibility for payment ceases. The PA recipient's partner's eligibility will generally cease because they returned to work and therefore, their income MAY preclude payment of PA.

More than one partner

The member of a couple relationship test is used when:

  • a pension or allowance recipient is in multiple relationships, AND
  • more than one person is claiming PA as the recipient's partner.

Explanation: A recipient who has married more than one woman in a country which allows polygamous marriages may immigrate to Australia.

If the test results in more than one partner qualifying for PA, then EACH partner is paid at the partnered rate. If the pension or allowance recipient has excess income it is taken into account for EACH partner.

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.M.120 Member of a couple

Partner serving a non-payment period

If a PA recipient's partner is serving a non-payment period as a result of an activity test failure, the PA recipient CAN still qualify and be paid PA from the date NSA would OTHERWISE be payable to their partner.

Explanation: The intention here is to avoid a situation where the dependent partner is left without income.

Policy reference: SS Guide Payability of PA

Payment during temporary absences overseas

A recipient must be in Australia to qualify for PA. Once qualified, they may continue to receive PA during a temporary absence from Australia for 6 weeks or less.

Recipients over age pension age

Recipients over age pension age can still claim and qualify for PA. If they are granted PA after they have turned age pension age, they will need to meet the 10-year residence requirement before they can transfer to Age.

Act reference: SSAct section 771HA Qualification for partner allowance

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia, Assurance of Support Debts, 9.4.7 AoS - Debt, 1.1.M.120 Member of a couple

Last reviewed: 21 March 2016