3.7.1.20 Payability of SpB

Summary

This topic explains the payability provisions that apply to SpB. The following table outlines the circumstances in which payability of SpB is affected. If more detail about the circumstance is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Circumstances Is SpB payable? More Detail
The person is receiving a payment under a specified educational scheme such as ABSTUDY. No 3.7.2.70 SpB for Young People Under 18 Years of Age
The person is subject to the SpB assets test but has assets exceeding the applicable limit. No 4.2.6 SpB Income Test & Limits
The person is serving a NARWP. No, unless they have been exempted from the NARWP. This topic
The person is a full-time student. Possibly 3.7.5.70 Study for SpB Recipients
Allowance is not payable before the commencement day. No 8.3 Start Days
All the general payability provisions have not been satisfied. No 3.1.6 General Payability Provisions

Income & assets testing

A person is excluded from the SpB asset test if they are under 18 and not independent.

Assets hardship provisions may be applied to a person if the claim is rejected due to assets.

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.6.7 Asset Hardship Rules

NARWP

From 1 January 2019 changes were made to the NARWP for SpB. A person who is granted a permanent visa or temporary partner visa (subclass 309 or 820) on or after 1 January 2019 is subject to a 208 week NARWP for SpB. A person who was a holder of a permanent visa or temporary partner visa (subclass 309 or 820) before 1 January 2019 is subject to a 104 week NARWP for SpB.

Note: Different payments have different NARWP periods. The length of the waiting period depends on a person's situation and payment type. A person who has fully served a NARWP for one payment may still be serving a NARWP for other payments. Refer to specific payment guide topics for individual rules.

Act reference: SSAct 739A Newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.40 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 3.1.2.70 Exemptions from Waiting Periods, 3.7.2.10 SpB for Newly Arrived Residents

Exemptions for the NARWP

There are a number of exemptions from the NARWP for SpB, and situations where a NARWP does not apply (see 3.1.2.70 for details). These include:

  • Australian citizens
  • temporary humanitarian visa holders
  • refugee, former refugee or a family member of a refugee
  • people who experience a substantial change in circumstance.

Note: A person who is exempt from the NARWP for SpB may also be exempt for other payments or benefits. See 3.1.2.43, FA Guide 2.2.1.10 and PPL Guide 2.2.4.30.

Australian citizen exemption

People who hold Australian citizenship when they claim payment are exempt from the NARWP for all payments and concession cards.

More information on this exemption is within 3.1.2.43.

Determination by the Minister - temporary humanitarian visa holders

A person is also exempt from the NARWP if she or he holds or is a former holder of a visa of a subclass included in a determination made by the Minister under SSAct subsection 739A(6). Holders or former holders of the following visa subclasses are exempted from the NARWP under determinations made under this subsection:

  • subclass 449 - Humanitarian Stay (Temporary),
  • subclass 785 - Temporary Protection,
  • subclass 786 - Temporary (Humanitarian Concern),
  • subclass 790 - Safe Haven Enterprise,
  • CJSV (9.2.14) - issued specifically for the purpose of assisting in the administration of criminal justice in relation to an offence of trafficking in persons, slavery or slavery-like practices,
  • subclass 060 - Bridging F, and
  • subclass 070 - Bridging (Removal Pending).

That is, holders or former holders of these visa subclasses are not required to serve the SpB NARWP.

Act reference: SSAct section 739A(6) …person holds, or was the former holder of, a visa…

Social Security (Class of Visas - Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period for Special Benefit) Determination 2015 (No.2)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.40 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 3.1.2.43 Exemptions for the NARWP

Refugee, former refugee or family members of refugees

A person is exempt from the NARWP if they are a refugee or former refugee at the time of claim. A refugee, for the purposes of social security entitlements, is a person who has been granted a visa (1.1.V.40) under the Department of Home Affairs' humanitarian program.

People who hold a QRE when they claim payment are exempt from the NARWP for all payments and concession cards.

A person has a QRE if they:

  • reside in Australia and are a refugee or a former refugee, or
  • are a family member of a refugee at time of claim and were a family member of the refugee at the time they became a refugee.

More information on this exemption is within 1.1.Q.35. The definition of 'family member' for the purposes of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period and Other Measures) Act 1997 (Amending Act) is restricted to the definition of family member in SSAct subsection 7(6D), i.e. it is restricted to the following categories of people:

  • a partner, or
  • a dependent child, or
  • another person who, in the opinion of the Secretary, should be treated for the purposes of this definition as a family member.

Note: If a claim for SpB is made on or after 1 January 2012 by the holder of a temporary visa subclass 309 or 820 (Partner) who is the partner or dependent child of an Australian citizen or permanent resident (with at least 2 years continuous residence), the 309 and 820 temporary visa holder will have to prove financial hardship AND a substantial change in circumstances beyond their control after arrival in Australia to be exempt from the NARWP and be eligible to be paid SpB.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6D) …family member, in relation to a person, means…, section 739A(8) Neither subsection (1) nor (2) applies…

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.43 Exemptions for the NARWP, 3.1.2.70 Exemptions from Waiting Periods

SpB - substantial change in circumstance exemption

SpB CAN be paid during the NARWP, IF the resident has suffered a substantial change in circumstances beyond their control (3.7.2.20).

Note: A person who is exempt from the NARWP for SpB may also be exempt for other payments or benefits. See 3.1.2.70, FA Guide 2.2.1.10 and PPL Guide 2.2.4.30.

Act reference: SSAct section 739A(7) …person, in the Secretary's opinion, has suffered a substantial change in circumstances…

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.40 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 3.7.2.20 Substantial Change in Circumstances for SpB, 3.1.2.43 Exemptions for the NARWP

Payment during temporary absence overseas

SpB is not normally paid to people outside Australia. Payment to a person during a temporary overseas absence can ONLY be considered in special or exceptional circumstances for a maximum of 6 weeks.

Example: If the person leaves Australia temporarily, either for medical treatment that is not available in Australia, to attend to an acute family crisis or for a humanitarian purpose.

If SpB is paid to a person overseas, it is important to establish that:

  • all other qualifications will be satisfied during the period of absence, AND
  • there will be NO other means of support while the person is overseas. Particular attention should be given to the source of funds used to pay for overseas travel and any free board and lodgings (1.1.B.70) that may be provided while overseas. If financial support is provided by a third party, it should be established whether that person can provide further support to the SpB recipient more generally for the period of time spent overseas.

The person should provide details of their accommodation while overseas. If free board and/or lodgings are provided for a period of more than 6 weeks, the rate of SpB should be reduced. If travel is for medical reasons, the person needs to provide a medical report stipulating why treatment is only available overseas. In this situation, the NSA rules regarding the necessity of overseas medical treatment should be applied.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(14) …each of the following is a family member in relation to a person (the relevant person)…

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.1.20 Payability of NSA, 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, 7.1.2.20 Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia

Last reviewed: 20 March 2019