Participation of SA recipients in rehabilitation programs

Note: SA closed to all new entrants from 20 March 2020, it will cease entirely on 20 September 2020. This topic only relates to existing recipients.

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.


This topic describes:

  • qualification for SA during participation in a rehabilitation program, and
  • payability of SA during a
    • vocational rehabilitation program, and
    • non-vocational rehabilitation program.

Qualification during a rehabilitation program

A recipient qualifies for SA while undertaking a rehabilitation program if they:

  • were receiving SA when the rehabilitation program began, AND
  • are likely to participate in the rehabilitation program for at least 6 weeks, but not more than 208 weeks, AND
  • meet all other qualification criteria.

Payability of SA during a vocational rehabilitation program

When a recipient commences a vocational rehabilitation program, SA is payable for the duration of the program, up to a maximum period of 208 weeks from the date of grant of SA. During the program, the recipient does not have to provide medical certificates or satisfy the incapacity for work requirements, but must satisfy all other qualification criteria. When the vocational program ends, SA is not automatically restored.

Payability of SA during a non-vocational rehabilitation program

If a recipient commences a non-vocational rehabilitation program, SA can continue to be paid only if the recipient is temporarily incapacitated for work. Medical certificates must be provided and the usual reviews of incapacity for work are conducted.

Act reference: SSAct section 667(3) A person is qualified for SA in respect of a period …

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for SA, Payability of SA

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020