3.4.3.10 Qualification for WA

Qualification criteria

To qualify for WA, applicants must meet ALL of the criteria listed in the following table. They must also have claimed, or be deemed to have claimed, WA before 1 July 2018 and satisfied all of the criteria below on the date they claimed. If more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Criterion More Detail
Be a woman born on or before 1 July 1955, AND -
Not be a member of a couple (1.1.M.120), AND -
Be widowed, divorced or separated (including separated de facto) since turning 40, AND This topic
Have no recent workforce experience (1.1.R.80), AND -
Make a proper claim, AND This topic
If subject to an AoS, be unable to get support from her assurer (1.1.A.310), AND This topic
Meet one of the additional residence requirements in the residence table below. This topic

Proper claim

An applicant must lodge a proper claim before WA can be granted. This includes being an Australian resident and in Australia on the day the claim is lodged.

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.1.1.20 Claim Lodgement - General Provisions

Marital status

The requirement to be widowed, divorced or separated since turning 40 is still met if a woman separated before she was 40, but divorced after she turned 40.

Residence requirements

In addition to being an Australian resident, a woman must meet ONE of the following residence requirements in order to qualify for WA (if she meets more than one, the most beneficial must be applied).

If the woman… Then…
was widowed, divorced or separated from her partner while both she and her partner were Australian residents, no further residence requirements.
has a QRE for WA, no further residence requirements.
has 10 years qualifying Australian residence, no further residence requirements.
entered Australia before 1 April 1996 (regardless of date of claim), she must have been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks immediately before the day she lodged the claim.
entered Australia on or after 1 April 1996, and claimed before 4 March 1997, she must have been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks immediately before the day she lodged the claim.
entered Australia on or after

1 April 1996, and claimed on or after 4 March 1997,

she must have been an Australian resident for a period of, or periods totalling, 104 weeks (at any time).
entered Australia on or after

1 February 2000,

she must have been an Australian resident and in Australia for period of, or periods totalling, 104 weeks (at any time).

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6) A person has a qualifying residence exemption…, section 7(6AA) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption for…, section 408BA(2) Qualification for WA

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.1 Residence Requirements

10 years qualifying residence

Ten years qualifying residence is satisfied if the applicant has:

  • been an Australian resident continuously for at least 10 years at any point in the past, OR
  • been an Australian resident for 2 or more periods that in total exceed 10 years, AND
  • at least one of those periods is of 5 years duration or more.

Assurance of support

A woman is NOT qualified for WA if:

  • she is subject to an AoS, AND
  • the person who gave the AoS is likely to be willing and able to provide an adequate level of support, AND
  • it is reasonable for her to accept that support.

Act reference: SSAct section 408BB Assurance of support

Payment during overseas travel

WA may be paid for temporary overseas absence of up to 6 weeks.

Decisions on what is a temporary absence need to take into account the:

  • purpose of the absence,
  • intended duration of the absence, and
  • frequency of absences.

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

Comparable foreign payment (1.1.C.230)

If an applicant claims WA when they would be entitled to a CFP, their claim can be rejected if they fail to seek that payment.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 66 Notice to obtain foreign payment, section 40 Rejection of claim for failure to obtain foreign payment

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.3.1.20 Reasonable Action Requirements

Last reviewed: 2 July 2018