3.7.4.30 Qualification for CrP - Extreme Circumstances (other)

Summary

This topic explains the issues relating to qualification for CrP under extreme circumstances other than domestic and family violence.

Qualification criteria

To qualify for CrP under extreme circumstances (other), 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 CrP is or is not payable are provided at 3.7.4.60.

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 home and unreasonable to return. 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.
Has not received or qualified for an AGDRP, DRA or another disaster relief payment from local, state or Commonwealth government for the same extreme circumstance. 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' (other) is defined as the period of time in which the person leaves the home and, in many cases, includes a period of trauma following the person leaving the home. The claiming period begins at the point in time when the person 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.

Examples:

  • A person is out of town visiting relatives and is notified by the police that their home has burnt down. Based on what the police have told them, they decide they cannot return to their home. The person has 7 days after the day they make this decision to claim CrP.
  • A person is evacuated from their home due to flooding. When the floods subside, they return to find their home in a state of extreme disrepair. Experiencing trauma as a result of the flooding, the person makes the decision after 9 days that they can no longer reside there. At this point they have 7 days to claim CrP.
  • A person's home is repeatedly burgled. They are in fear of their safety and decide they cannot return home. The person has 7 days to claim CrP after they decide to leave their home permanently.
  • A person has an ongoing history of verbal abuse and violence from a neighbour. Windows have been broken and property has been damaged. The person flees their home as they fear for their safety should they remain in the home. They find shelter with a friend. They are severely traumatised and will not leave the safety of their friend's house. After 8 days they contemplate their situation and decide they cannot return home. Three days later the person claims and is paid CrP, as the claim is made within 7 days of the decision not to return home.

Explanation: In some cases, a social worker will assist a person who has suffered trauma as a result of the extreme circumstance/s. 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.

Confirmation of circumstances

The person must be able to verify reporting the incident to the police or another appropriate authority, such as a State Emergency Service or utility company.

Left home & unreasonable to return

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

Explanation: For the purposes of CrP, 'home' is taken to be the person's house or other shelter that is the fixed residence of a person 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.

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 the extreme circumstance. CrP is payable in cases where the applicant expresses an intent to return to the home after the home is again liveable, but they have established a new home in the interim.

Example: The person's house is affected by an earthquake and has fallen off its foundations, also destroying the plumbing. They advise that they hope to return home after the house has been repaired, but don't envisage this happening for several months. In the meantime they have established a new home elsewhere. Subject to all other requirements, CrP is payable.

Explanation: A person must show that they have established or intend to establish a new home. The following examples would be considered suitable verification that the person had established a new home:

  • taking out a residential lease,
  • change of address on motor vehicle registration and drivers licence,
  • change of contact details at child's school, or
  • mail re-direction.

A person may be required to establish a new home while their home undergoes substantial repairs to make it once again liveable. Providing there is verification that the home is unliveable without the repairs and that the person has established a new home in the interim, e.g. mail re-direction, then CrP is payable in these circumstances.

In Australia at the time of the event

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

Explanation: This criterion excludes refugees from entitlement to CrP as a result of an extreme circumstance occurring overseas.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061JH(1) A person is qualified for a CrP if…

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.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061JH(1) A person is qualified for a CrP if…

CrP not payable if AGDRP or DRA available

CrP is not payable to a person in respect of an extreme circumstance if they have received or are qualified for an AGDRP, DRA or another disaster relief payment from local, state or Commonwealth government for the same extreme circumstance.

Explanation: Under the Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements (NDRA), the states and territories have primary responsibility for the delivery of disaster relief measures.

Only cash payments should be considered a disaster relief payment for the purposes of deciding whether a person is qualified for CrP. In-kind assistance, such as replacement refrigerators, washing machines etc, should not be considered disaster relief for the purposes of disqualifying someone from CrP.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061JJ CrP not payable in addition to DRP

Intention to obtain CrP

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

Act reference: SSAct section 1061JH(2) A person is not qualified for a CrP in…

Early payment of first instalment

Extreme circumstance (other) recipients who meet the CrP qualification criteria will be eligible for a hardship advance, 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 is an advance and will be recovered from what would have been the person's first instalment.

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.4.2.20 Hardship Advance Payment

Last reviewed: 20 September 2017