3.8.6.10 Qualification for EdEP - NSA, PA, WP, WA & PPP

Summary

This topic explains qualification criteria for EdEP for an NSA, PA, WP, WA or PPP recipient, as well as the following related issues:

  • course qualification,
  • qualification rules for NSA recipients,
  • full-time and part-time study,
  • separate claim form is not required,
  • early claim,
  • late claim,
  • incorrect EdEP payment, and
  • legislative references.

EdEP qualification for WidB PPS, DSP, CP and SpB recipients is discussed in 3.8.6.20.

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria

To qualify for EdEP, an NSA, PA, WP, WA or PPP recipient must meet 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

Have enrolled or intend to enrol in an approved education course.

Explanation: This means ANY approved course in the Ministerial Determination of Education Institutions and Courses as well as any additional courses approved under ABSTUDY,

AND

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Be receiving ONE of the following payments and were receiving the same payment immediately before commencing the course of education:

  • newstart allowance (refer note), OR
  • partner allowance, OR
  • wife pension, OR
  • widow allowance, OR
  • parenting payment (partnered), AND

SS Guide 3.2.1 NSA - Qualification & Payability

3.3.1 PA - Qualification & Payability

3.4.2 WP - Qualification & Payability

3.4.3 WA - Qualification & Payability

3.5.1 PP - Qualification & Payability

Note: Recipients who were undertaking a course while receiving PP and who subsequently transfer to NSA may be eligible to receive EdEP despite having commenced their course prior to being granted NSA - see below in Qualification rules for principal carers receiving NSA.

If an NSA recipient must:

  • no longer qualify for NSA because of starting the course, OR
  • be ineligible for a student payment because of undertaking the course to satisfy the activity test under section 601 or to comply with a requirement in an EPP, AND
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If NSA, PA, WA or PPP, must have been continuously receiving income support payments for at least 12 months, AND

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If NSA, PA, WA, or PPP, have NOT received an EdEP in the previous 12 months.

Explanation: There must be a minimum of 12 months between EdEP payments for these payment types,

OR

if a WP recipient, must NOT have received an EdEP in the same calendar year as the claim was made.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 665U Payment to recipient (NSA), section 665ZC Payment to a WA recipient, section 665ZL Payment to a wife pensioner, section 665ZQ Payment to a PA recipient, section 665ZU Payment to recipient of PPP

Policy reference: SS Guide 5.1.7.50 EdEP - Current Rate

Course qualification

An NSA, PA, WP, WA or PPP recipient CANNOT qualify for EdEP unless a delegate verifies that the COURSE is an approved or qualifying course for EdEP.

Example: In regard to a recipient of NSA, the legislation specifies that the course should be an approved course under the ABSTUDY scheme or an approved course of education or study for the purposes of the Student Assistance Act 1973.

Explanation: The reference to an ABSTUDY approved course in the legislation is a technical requirement. A recipient does NOT need to qualify for ABSTUDY to qualify for EdEP. However, ABSTUDY approved courses include all courses determined under Student Assistance Act 1973 section 5D, (known as the Ministerial Determination of Education Institutions and Courses) as well as some additional ABSTUDY approved courses.

There is no minimum length of course for EdEP purposes. The specific length of the course is not relevant as long as the course is an approved course.

Note: For recipients of certain payments, such as NSA or PA, study must be undertaken on a full-time basis to qualify for EdEP.

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.A.210 Approved course of education or study (YA (full-time student), Austudy, PES, 2.2.13.10 Supplementary Benefits - Verification Required

Qualification rules for NSA recipients

An NSA recipient qualifies for EdEP if, subject to meeting all other relevant eligibility criteria, they:

  • cease to be eligible for NSA because they are undertaking the course, OR
  • undertake the course to satisfy the activity test or a requirement in an NSA EPP and they would otherwise have qualified for a student payment (that is, YA (student), Austudy or ABSTUDY) if the course were undertaken for other reasons. This provision applies even if a recipient subsequently qualifies for ABSTUDY, Austudy or YA (student).

Explanation: This provision ensures that recipients who would otherwise qualify for an EdEP when transferring to a student payment, (because they have lost qualification for NSA), are not disadvantaged by remaining on NSA while taking up full-time study.

Generally, an NSA recipient will not be able to qualify for EdEP until they commence their approved course. This is because they are not considered to be undertaking the course to satisfy the activity test or a requirement in an NSA EPP until the course commences.

An NSA recipient who has commenced a full-time approved course and has that course included in their EPP as a compulsory activity is considered to be undertaking the course to satisfy a requirement in an NSA EPP and will therefore qualify for EdEP, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements.

An NSA recipient who has an approved course included in their EPP as a voluntary activity may qualify for EdEP if they are undertaking the course to satisfy the activity test. A person may be taken to be undertaking a course to satisfy the activity test if they have commenced the course, the course is included in their EPP, the recipient is complying with the terms of their EPP and either:

  • the recipient is included in a class of persons specified by the Secretary in an instrument made under SSAct section 601(4A), currently the Social Security (Satisfaction of the Activity Test - Classes of Persons)(DEEWR) Specification 2009 (No.1), OR
  • the Secretary (or delegate) determines that the recipient should be taken to be satisfying the activity test.

The approved course of education must be included in the recipient's EPP (either as a voluntary or compulsory activity) for the recipient to be considered to be undertaking the course to satisfy the activity test.

If an NSA recipient has an exemption from the activity test, they will only qualify for EdEP if they cease to be eligible for NSA due to participation in the course. This is because activity test exempt recipients are not required to satisfy the activity test or have compulsory activities in their EPP.

Act reference: SSAct section 601 Activity test, section 665U Payment to recipient

Qualification rules for principal carers receiving NSA

Generally, principal carers receiving NSA are subject to the same EdEP eligibility criteria as other recipients of NSA and must satisfy all eligibility criteria in the table above to be eligible to receive EdEP. This includes, having the study included as a requirement in their EPP, receiving NSA immediately before commencing the course, having been in receipt of income support for at least 12 months and not having received EdEP in the previous 12 months.

Since 1 January 2014, single principal carers receiving NSA have been able to qualify for PES) and have their PES approved study included in their EPP to count towards satisfaction of their mutual obligation requirements. While receipt of PES can be taken to be verification that the recipient is undertaking an approved course for EdEP, single principal carers receiving NSA and PES must satisfy all eligibility criteria in the table above to be eligible to receive EdEP.

Note: PP recipients who commence a course while on PP and then transfer to NSA due to the age of their youngest child (including under the 1 January 2013 changes) will qualify for EdEP as long as they are continuing in the same approved course and are in receipt of NSA prior to the start of their next term/semester. This rule will continue to apply until the recipient has completed their same approved course. If a former PP recipient commences a course after they have transferred to NSA, they will be eligible to claim EdEP as per the eligibility criteria in the table above.

Example 1: Marika has been receiving PPS since before 2006. In February 2012, she commences a Bachelor of Arts and has this study included in her EPP and begins receiving PES and also receives an EdEP. Marika transfers to NSA from 1 January 2013 as her youngest child is aged over 8 years. She commences the first semester of her second year in February 2013. Marika will continue to be eligible for PES while she is on NSA until the end of her Bachelor of Arts. As Marika was receiving NSA prior to the start of her next semester, has been in receipt of income support for longer than 12 months and it has been 12 months since she received an EdEP, Marika will also qualify for EdEP in February 2013. She may continue to qualify for EdEP once every 12 months while she is studying the same approved course.

Example 2: Patrick has been in receipt of NSA since September 2014 and was not previously receiving another income support payment. Patrick is the principal carer for his 9 year old son, Robin, and has part-time mutual obligation requirements of 30 hours per fortnight. In February 2015 Patrick commences a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and is granted PES. Patrick has this study included in his EPP but he is not eligible for EdEP as he has not been in receipt of income support for 12 months.

Act reference: SSAct section 665U Payment to recipient

Full-time & part-time study

The following table explains when an NSA, PA, WP, WA or PPP recipient is qualified for EdEP based on full-time or part-time study requirements.

Explanation: To qualify for EdEP some recipients MUST be enrolled or intending to enrol in a FULL-TIME course.

If a recipient receives… Then to qualify for EdEP they must start or intend to start…

NSA or PA,

a full-time course.

WP, WA, or PPP a full-time or part-time course.

Note: A full-time course is a course of an average of 20 hours per week, including non-contact hours, or a course that is classified as a full-time course by the institution or organisation providing the course.

For job seekers who are principal carers or who have a partial capacity to work, a full-time course is a course of at least 15 hours per week, including non-contact hours, or a course that is classified as a full-time course by the institution or organisation providing the course.

Separate claim form is not required

While the SSAct requires a proper claim for an EdEP, under current administrative arrangements a separate claim form is not required. For NSA, PA, WP, WA or PPP, a claim for an EdEP is regarded as written notification of the commencement of, or enrolment in, an approved course. Although WA and some WP (partner DSP) can also get PES, the EdEP legislation for these payments does not require receipt of PES before an EdEP can be paid.

Early claim

If an early claim for an EdEP is lodged, the claim must be lodged no earlier than 13 weeks prior to date of qualification or the Secretary is deemed to have refused the claim. Note that a person may be qualified for EdEP if the delegate is satisfied that the person intends to enrol, as well as by being enrolled; however, the date of qualification may not be until the person actually commences the course (see Qualification rules for principal carers receiving NSA above).

Late claim

A recipient can claim EdEP after they have started their approved course, provided they are still qualified for the payment at the time of claim and have not received an EdEP in the previous 12 months (or in the same calendar year if receiving WP).

If a recipient has not made a claim for EdEP (that is, has not submitted proof of commencement or enrolment in an approved course) prior to finishing the course, they will not be qualified for EdEP in respect of that course.

Explanation: To be eligible for EdEP, a recipient must have enrolled, or be intending to enrol, in an approved course at the time of claim.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 39 Deemed refusal of claim, Schedule 2 clause 4 Start day-early claim

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.1.1 Claim Lodgement Provisions

Incorrect EdEP payment

If an NSA, PA, WP, WA or PPP recipient receives an EdEP payment when they are NOT qualified, the payment is considered a recoverable debt. The payment also becomes a debt if the person is required to pay enrolment fees for the course in relation to which the EdEP payment was made and the person does not pay those fees in the calendar year in respect of which the payment was made.

Example 1: A recipient receives EdEP BUT the course is NOT an approved course.

Example 2: A recipient receives EdEP for an approved course BUT does NOT pay a course fee. The educational institution cancels the recipient's enrolment. The recipient is NOT qualified for EdEP because they are NOT enrolled in an approved course.

Recovery of EdEP supplement

Note: The EdEP supplement has ceased as at 30 June 2010.

The EdEP supplement is only recoverable where:

  • the EdEP supplement related to 3 February 2009, and
  • was determined not payable due to the recipient making a false or statement or knowingly providing false information.

Act reference: SSAct section 1223 Debts arising from lack of qualification, overpayment etc, section 1224B Education entry payment debt, section 1223ABAAB Debts arising in respect of training and learning bonuses etc

Policy reference: SS Guide 6.3.8.30 Employment entry payment (EEP), EdEP & TAL overpayments

Legislation

The following table lists the references for qualification and need for a claim for EdEP.

Payment Type SSAct reference

Newstart allowance

section 665U Payment to recipient, section 665W Need for claim

Partner allowance

section 665ZQ Payment to a PA recipient, section 665ZS Need for claim

Wife pension

section 665ZL Payment to a wife pensioner, section 665ZN Need for claim

Widow allowance

section 665ZC Payment to a WA recipient, section 665ZE Need for claim

Pension payment (partnered)

section 665ZU Payment to recipient of PP (partnered), section 665ZW Need for claim

Last reviewed: 1 July 2015