5.4.6.40 Formula for Calculating Special Employment Advance Payments

Minimum & maximum SEA payable

The minimum amount payable as a SEA is $50.00. The maximum amount payable is $500.00.

Income earned but not received - calculating the SEA

The total amount of the SEA payable to the recipient is the smallest of the following amounts:

  • the amount requested, or
  • the reduction in basic entitlement caused by the unreceived income in the relevant fortnight after taking into account any working credits or income bank which can offset the unreceived income, or
  • $500.00, or
  • if the recipient already has a SEA, the difference between the outstanding SEA amount and $500.00.

Example: A single recipient entitled to $325.70 basic NSA has earned $500.00 but has not received it. The recipient already has an outstanding SEA of $150.00. The recipient has applied for a SEA of $400.00. The recipient is entitled to the smallest of the following amounts:

  • amount requested = $400.00, or
  • reduction in basic entitlement = $292.00 (Under the benefit income test (4.2.2)), or
  • $500.00, or
  • $500.00 less the current outstanding SEA amount of $150.00 = $350.00.

In this example the recipient would be paid a SEA of $292.00.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.11.30 Working credit depletion

Recipients who do not receive their income over more than one fortnight

Recipients may receive more than one instalment of a SEA over sequential fortnights, if there is a period of time over which they earn but do not receive income. The amount of SEA may never exceed $500.00 (see 5.4.6.50 for information on repayment of the SEA).

Example:

  • Fortnight 1: A single recipient entitled to $325.70 basic NSA has earned $350.00 but has not received it. The recipient applies for and receives a SEA of $180.00.
  • Fortnight 2: The recipient earns $600.00 but does not receive it. The recipient applies for and receives a SEA of $320.00. Total balance of SEA is $500.00.
  • Fortnight 3: The recipient cannot apply for any additional SEA as the balance is $500.00.

Definite offer of employment - calculating the SEA

The total amount of the SEA payable to the recipient is the smallest of the following amounts:

  • amount requested, or
  • the amount of financial assistance actually required by the recipient to take up the employment, or
  • $500.00, or
  • if the recipient already has a SEA, the difference between the outstanding SEA amount and $500.00.

Definite offer of employment - effect of liquid assets

A recipient who is not a member of a couple will have their SEA reduced if their liquid assets exceed their fortnightly maximum payment rate (1.1.M.54). The SEA payable will be reduced by the amount of the excess liquid assets.

A recipient who is a member of a couple will have their SEA reduced if their combined liquid assets exceed twice the recipient's fortnightly maximum payment rate. The SEA payable will be reduced by the amount of the excess liquid assets.

Example: A single recipient in receipt of NSA applies for a SEA of $500.00 to take up employment. The recipient's maximum payment rate (basic rate of NSA plus RA) is $350.00. The recipient has $500.00 liquid assets. The liquid assets exceed the recipient's maximum payment rate by $150.00. The recipient would therefore only qualify for $350.00 SEA. (Amount requested = $500.00, less liquid assets excess of $150.00).

Act reference: SSAct section 14A Social security benefit liquid assets test definitions

Definite offer of employment - SEA & recipient's available funds do not cover the actual expense

Where a recipient has a definite offer of employment and the amount of SEA does not cover the expenses of taking up the employment, the recipient must demonstrate that the SEA combined with their own financial resources would enable them to take up the employment. In effect a SEA cannot be paid if the recipient cannot demonstrate that it will enable them to take up the job.

Example: recipient with outstanding SEA amount of $350.00 has a definite offer of work. To commence work, the recipient must purchase work tools costing $250.00. These are essential to taking up the work. The recipient is only qualified for a SEA of $150.00. The recipient will only be paid the SEA if it can be demonstrated that they can access the additional $100.00, and the required purchase can be made.

Last reviewed: 1 July 2015