3.7.4.20 Qualification for CrP - Extreme Circumstances (domestic & family violence)

Summary

This topic explains the issues relating to qualification for CrP under extreme circumstances involving domestic and/or family violence (1.1.D.235).

Qualification criteria

To qualify for CrP under extreme circumstances (domestic and family violence), a person must meet ALL of the criteria listed in the following table. If more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this. Examples of when a CrP is or is not payable are provided at 3.7.4.50.

Criterion More Detail
A social security pension or social security benefit is payable. 3.7.4.10 Qualification for CrP - General Provisions.
In severe financial hardship. 3.7.4.10 Qualification for CrP - General Provisions.
Claim in Australia. 3.7.4.10 Qualification for CrP - General Provisions.
If subject to an AoS, support is not available from the assurer, or it is unreasonable to accept the support. 3.7.4.10 Qualification for CrP - General Provisions.
Claim within 7 days after the extreme circumstance occurred. This topic.
Left the home and unreasonable to return to the home. This topic.
Has established or intends to establish a new home. This topic.
In Australia at the time the extreme circumstance occurred. This topic.
Number of payments allowed. This topic.
Extreme circumstance not brought about to obtain a CrP. This topic.

Claim within 7 days after the extreme circumstance occurred

For the purposes of CrP, the 'extreme circumstance' (domestic and family violence) is defined as the period of time in which the person is abused, flees the home and, in many cases, includes a period of trauma following the person fleeing the home. The claiming period begins at the point in time when the person, having left their home, decides that they cannot return to their home as a result of the 'extreme circumstance' having occurred. Claims for CrP must be made within 7 days after the claiming period begins. The 7 day claim period may be met by contacting DHS about a claim in that period and lodging a claim within 14 days after the contact day (see 8.1.1.60 for more details).

Examples: A woman suffers domestic violence and flees her home, experiencing trauma as a result. She takes up accommodation in a women's refuge for 10 days. On the tenth day at the refuge, the woman decides she cannot return home. This is the point at which the claiming period begins, and the woman has 7 days to claim CrP from this day.

A person flees their violent relationship and finds shelter with a friend. Due to this traumatic experience, they elect to stay at a friend's house. After 3 weeks they decide they cannot return home. This is the point at which the 7 day claiming period begins.

Explanation: The social worker will be required to use judgement in cases involving trauma to determine at what point the person made an informed decision that they could not return home. Each case must be considered on its own merits. Third party verification of the person's circumstances should be sought wherever possible.

Left home & unreasonable to return to the home

At the time CrP is claimed, the person must have left, or cannot return to, their home because of an extreme circumstance involving domestic and family violence, and the extreme circumstance must make it unreasonable to expect the person to remain in, or return to, their home.

Explanation: For the purposes of CrP, 'home' is taken to be the person's house or other shelter that is the fixed residence that the person would have lived in for the foreseeable future. Fixed residence includes a house, apartment, on-site caravan, long-term boarding house or moored boat. A home is not a refuge, overnight hostel, squat or other temporary accommodation. Situations where it would be considered unreasonable to expect the person to remain in, or return to, their home are when the person's safety or wellbeing is at risk and the person cannot reasonably be expected to face this prospect.

Example: Domestic and family violence includes:

  • child abuse,
  • maltreatment,
  • exploitation,
  • verbal abuse,
  • partner abuse,
  • elder abuse,
  • neglect,
  • sexual assault,
  • emotional abuse,
  • economic abuse,
  • assault,
  • financial coercion,
  • domestic violence,
  • psychological abuse, and/or
  • social abuse.

CrP may also be payable to an alleged or actual perpetrator of domestic violence who has been removed from the family home by police following an instance of alleged or actual domestic violence and who cannot remain in, or return to the home for legal reasons.

It must be verified that the perpetrator actually lived with the victim in the family home immediately before being removed from the family home by police.

Example: Police remove a person from their home following an instance of alleged or actual domestic violence, and an apprehended violence order (AVO) with an exclusion provision is issued preventing the person from living in the family home with the protected person.

The perpetrator must make a claim within 7 days after being legally prevented from returning home. For perpetrators imprisoned because of the domestic violence incident, a claim must be made within 7 days after imprisonment. For perpetrators not imprisoned, a claim must be made within 7 days after the issue of the legal order.

Protection orders issued for short time period

There may be instances where a legal order such as an AVO or restraining order is issued for a short time period of 24 to 72 hours. This should be used as an indicator that an extreme circumstance has occurred. Whilst there may no longer be a legal reason preventing the person from returning home, the person may decide to establish a new home which would be considered safer for the victim. CrP will be payable in this instance if all other criteria are met.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.7.4.30 Qualification for CrP - Extreme Circumstances (other)

Establishing a new home

The person must have established a new home or they must be intending to establish a new home, as a result of being forced from their home due to domestic and family violence.

Explanation: The social worker will determine whether the person has established or intends to establish a new home.

In Australia at the time of the event

The person must have been in Australia when the extreme circumstance occurred.

Number of payments allowed

A person cannot be paid more than 4 payments of CrP for extreme circumstances (domestic and family violence or other extreme circumstances) in any 12-month period. This does not stop a person from being paid additional prison release payments of CrP in the same 12-month period.

Intention to obtain CrP

CrP is not payable in respect of an extreme circumstance if the Secretary is satisfied that the extreme circumstance is brought about with a view to obtaining a CrP.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061JH(1) Qualification-extreme circumstances forcing departure from home

Early payment of first instalment

A person who has experienced an extreme circumstance (domestic and family violence) who meets the CrP qualification criteria will be eligible for an early payment of the first instalment of the social security pension or benefit that is payable to them at the MBR. This early payment will be recovered from the person's first instalment.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 51(1) Advance in case of severe financial hardship

Last reviewed: 20 March 2019