3.8.18 APWS - Qualification & Payability

Qualification

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 programme of work during at least one day in the instalment period.

The eligible income support payments for the APWS are:

  • newstart allowance,
  • youth allowance,
  • parenting payment,
  • disability support pension, and
  • SpB (nominated visa holders only).

Programmes of work that are declared by the Secretary under SSAct section 28 to be approved programmes of work are:

  • Work for the Dole.
  • National Work Experience Programme.
  • Green Army Programme, if the participant has part-time mutual obligation requirements due to being a PCP or PCW and has opted to remain on income support rather than receive the Green Army allowance.

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.2.7.180 Approved Program of Work Supplement (APWS) - Description, 3.2.9.60 Suitable activity - Work for the Dole, 3.2.9.250 Suitable Activity - National Work Experience Programme, 3.2.9.85 Suitable activity - Green Army Programme

Payability

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 programme 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 programme, is where the provider closes down for a short period, e.g. Christmas period.

APWS is not payable in respect of a fortnight during which the person receives PES or ABSTUDY PES (for DSP and PP recipients).

Policy reference: SS Guide 5.1.7.120 APWS - Current Rates, 5.3.1.10 Taxation of Payments & PAYG Payment Summary - Individual Non-Business

Claims

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 programme provider is required to provide advice to DHS regarding the commencement, suspension or exit of a participant in an approved programme of work.

The participant does not need to demonstrate that they have additional costs in undertaking an approved programme of work.

Policy reference: SS Guide 2.2.13 Supplementary Benefits Verification

Activity test compliance & APWS

APWS is not payable to a person receiving NSA, 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 an 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 3.1.13 Compliance Framework for Participation Payments

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 NSA 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 NSA 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

Legislation

The following table lists the references for qualification and payability for APWS.

Payment Type SSAct reference
Newstart allowance 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
Last reviewed: 7 November 2016