3.8.18 APWS - qualification & payability
A person is qualified for the APWS in respect of an instalment period if they:
- are receiving an eligible income support payment, AND
- participate in an approved program of work during at least 1 day in the instalment period.
The eligible income support payments for the APWS are:
- jobseeker payment
- youth allowance
- parenting payment
- disability support pension, and
- SpB (nominated visa holders only).
Programs of work that are declared by the Secretary under SSAct section 28 to be approved programs of work are:
- Work for the Dole
- National Work Experience Programme.
Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'approved program of work supplement, section 23(1)-'nominated visa holder', section 28 Approved programs of work for income support payments
The APWS is payable to recipients as a fortnightly supplement to their eligible income support payment for each fortnight in which they meet the qualification requirements. The supplement is taxable.
The supplement is not paid on a pro-rata basis. The full payment is made for the fortnights in which the activity begins and ends, regardless of the actual number of participation hours completed in those fortnights. If a job seeker leaves an activity without good reason, the supplement will cease to be paid from the first payday after the job seeker ends participation on the activity (see below).
APWS is not payable unless the participant has participated in an approved program of work during at least one day in the instalment period. An instance where a person is considered to be participating, but did not attend the program, is where the provider closes down for a short period, e.g. Christmas period.
A person does not need to make a specific claim in order to qualify for the APWS. The APWS will be automatically added to the rate of the person's eligible income support payment if the person meets the qualification criteria.
The program provider is required to provide advice to DHS regarding the commencement, suspension or exit of a participant in an approved program of work.
The participant does not need to demonstrate that they have additional costs in undertaking an approved program of work.
Policy reference: SS Guide 2.2.13 Supplementary benefits verification
Activity test compliance & APWS
APWS is not payable to a person receiving JSP, YA or SpB in respect of a fortnight if, during that fortnight, the person subsequently ceases to participate in their activity in circumstances that constitute:
- a failure of the activity test to which the person is subject, or
- a failure to comply with a requirement in a Job Plan that is in force in relation to the person.
If a job seeker leaves an activity without good reason, the supplement will cease to be paid from the first payday after the job seeker ends participation on the activity.
Policy reference: SS Guide 3.11.14 Consequences for not meeting mutual obligation requirements - CDP job seeker compliance framework
APWS during an employment income nil rate period
A recipient who is in an employment income nil rate period may qualify for the APWS during that period. This is because they are taken to be receiving (1.1.R.55) their social security pension or benefit for the purposes of APWS during the employment income nil rate period.
Example: Jackson is receiving JSP and is undertaking a WFD activity as part of his annual activity requirement. During his placement, Jackson takes up a temporary job offer of 4 weeks work, working 4 days each week. Jackson's employment income from his temporary job is sufficient to reduce his JSP to nil and he starts an employment income nil rate period for 4 weeks. Jackson elects to continue his WFD activity as a volunteer on the days he is not working because he enjoys the work and informal training involved. Jackson can continue to receive the APWS during his employment income nil rate period as he is still participating in the WFD activity for at least one day per payment fortnight.
Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4), if …, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A) …
Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period
The following table lists the references for qualification and payability for APWS.
|Payment type||SSAct reference|
|Jobseeker payment||section 644AAA Approved program of work supplement, section 644AAB Approved program of work supplement not payable in certain circumstances|
|Youth allowance||section 556A Approved program of work supplement, section 644AAB Approved program of work supplement not payable in certain circumstances|
|Parenting payment||section 503A Approved program of work supplement, section 503AA Approved program of work supplement not payable in certain circumstances|
|Disability support pension||section 118 Approved program of work supplement, section 119 Approved program of work supplement not payable in certain circumstances, section 120 Effect of participation in an approved program of work for income support payment|
|Special benefit||section 747 Approved program of work supplement for persons who are nominated visa holders|