Notification & recipient obligations for SA

Note: SA closed to all new entrants on 20 March 2020 and ceases on 20 September 2020.

Those receiving SA before 20 March 2020 will continue to receive the payment for the length of their medical certificate, as long as they remain eligible. SA recipients who require income support after this time may transfer to JSP ( or another income support payment, if eligible.

Notifiable events for SA

In addition to the common notifiable events, SA recipients MUST notify Centrelink within the 14 day notification period, if any of the following events occur, or are likely to occur:

  • they return to work, OR
  • they start work for another employer, OR
  • their employment is terminated, OR
  • they receive any payments paid by their employer.

Common provisions

Some notification and recipient obligations are common to MOST payments, and are explained in 3.1.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.3 Notification & recipient obligations

Reporting methods

An SA recipient can be required to give information to Centrelink in 2 different ways. The first way is that all recipients are required to report if a specified event or circumstance change occurs or is likely to occur (1.1.N.126). The second way is that some recipients are also required to give a statement about a specified matter, and sometimes to give a separate statement for each of several specified periods (1.1.S.350).

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68 Person receiving social security payment …

Statement reporters - late reporting

SA will be cancelled if the recipient has not reported one fortnight, or 14 days after the due date. However, if special circumstances exist the payment MAY be restored. When a recipient is very late reporting, the following information should be considered to determine if special circumstances apply.

  • The reasons for the late reporting. The longer the delay, the greater the need to provide detailed reasons to account for the delay for the full period.
  • Whether Centrelink contributed in any way to the delay (see example 1).
  • Other mitigating or extenuating factors which may call for a more generous approach (see example 2).
  • The plausibility of the reasons for the delay.
  • Whether the recipient belongs to a disadvantaged group (see example 3).

Example 1: By not giving specific information when requested to do so or by giving incorrect information.

Example 2: The recipient has been incapacitated, or has a condition such as an intellectual disability, psychological condition, acquired brain injury, or cognitive impairment that impacts on their ability to report. Unexpected telecommunication problems, e.g. phone service is down due to storms etc.

Example 3: They are a migrant with low level of English comprehension or an Indigenous Australian.

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020