3.7.6.10 Qualification for DRA

Summary

This topic explains the following issues relating to qualification:

  • requirement for a ministerial determination, and
  • qualification criteria for DRA.

Before any person can qualify for DRA

DRA can ONLY be paid if the Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management (the Minister) determines in writing that an event is a Part 2.23B major disaster (major disaster) (1.1.P.60) for the purposes of the payment. In NO circumstances can DRA be paid without this determination being in place. If there are any doubts, the Department of Home Affairs should be contacted for advice.

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.2.6.40 Disaster recovery allowance (DRA) - description

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria

To qualify for DRA, a claimant 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.

Criterion More detail
ALL of the following
The person's claim for DRA is lodged in accordance with the time limit set out in SS(Admin)Act section 27AA, AND This topic
The person is at least 16 years of age, AND -
The person is an Australian resident or the holder of a visa that is in a class of visas determined by the Minister for the purpose of SSAct section 729(2)(f)(v), i.e. SCV, AND 3.7.1 SpB - qualification & payability
The person has suffered a loss of income as a direct result of a disaster determined by the Minister under SSAct section 36A to be a major disaster, AND This topic
IF the Minister's SSAct section 36A determination specifies one or more industries in one or more areas affected by the major disaster, the person earns, derives or receives income from working in one of those industries in one of those areas, OR -
IF the Minister's SSAct section 36A determination specifies one or more areas affected by the major disaster, the person:
  • earns, derives or receives income from working in one of those areas, or
  • resides in one of those areas,

AND

-
The person is not receiving a social security entitlement (1.1.S.200) or a payment prescribed by the Minister in an instrument under SSAct section 1061KA(5), AND This topic
The person satisfies any requirements prescribed by the Minister in an instrument under SSAct section 1061KA(6), AND -
At the time the person's claim is determined, the person's rate of DRA, determined using the method specified by the Minister under SSAct section 1061KC, is greater than nil, AND 3.7.6.20 Determining the rate of DRA

IF the person is under 22 years of age, the person will not qualify if ALL of the following apply to the person:

  • on the day of the SSAct section 36A determination, the person is wholly or substantially dependent on another person (except the person's partner)
  • on that day, the person is not a parent
  • the person's income in the financial year in which that day occurs will not exceed $6,403,

AND

-
A person (the claimant) will not qualify for DRA if, at the time they would otherwise have qualified, ALL of the following apply:
  • an AoS is in force in respect of the claimant
  • the person who gave the AoS is willing and able to provide an adequate level of support to the claimant, and
  • it is reasonable for the claimant to accept that support.
9.4 Assurance of Support Scheme

Time limit on claims

Individuals have 6 months to lodge a DRA claim for an event, from the date the Minister determines the event to be a major disaster. An individual may lodge a DRA claim after this time where special circumstances applying to that person's claim justify late lodgement, and the claim is lodged within a reasonable period having regard to those circumstances. As noted in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Act, which inserted SS(Admin)Act section 27AA, disruption caused by the major disaster is unlikely of itself to justify late lodgement of a claim, as such disruption is likely to be experienced by all claimants.

Loss of income

'Income' has a defined meaning within the SSAct. Relevantly for DRA, income is defined to exclude 'insurance or compensation payments made by reason of the loss of, or damage to, buildings, plant or personal effects'.

Act reference: SSAct section 8(1)-'income', section 8(8)(k) insurance or compensation payments …

'as a direct result of a disaster'

SSAct Section 1061KA(1)(f) requires that the claimant has suffered a loss of income as a 'direct result' of the major disaster. This means that there must be a clear link between the disaster and the claimant's loss of income.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061KA(1)(f) the Secretary is satisfied that the person has …

Prescribed payments

A person will not qualify for DRA if they are receiving a social security entitlement or a payment prescribed by the Minister.

The following are social security entitlements:

  • an age pension
  • a disability support pension
  • a wife pension
  • a carer payment
  • a parenting payment
  • a widow B pension
  • a widow allowance
  • a youth allowance
  • an austudy payment
  • a job search allowance
  • a newstart allowance
  • a mature age allowance, and
  • a mature age partner allowance.

The Minister has prescribed the following payments in the Social Security (Disaster Recovery Allowance)(Prescribed payments) Determination 2015:

  • an instalment of
    • parental leave pay, and
    • dad and partner pay
  • a payment by way of
    • service pension
    • income support supplement
    • bereavement allowance
    • special benefit
    • ABSTUDY living allowance
    • partner allowance
    • sickness allowance, and
    • farm household allowance.

Receipt of any of the payments listed above will prevent a person from qualifying for DRA.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security entitlement'

Last reviewed: 1 July 2019