8.1.6 Residence requirements

Summary

This topic explains the general rule for residence requirements and the specific requirements for:

  • special benefit
  • double orphan pension
  • parenting payment, and
  • sickness allowance.

General rule

The general rule is that to make a claim a recipient must be:

  • an Australian resident, and
  • in Australia (1.1.A.320) on the day they are lodging their claim.

Explanation: The meaning of the term 'resides in Australia' has been considered by the courts. It does not require unbroken presence in Australia but rather a substantial and continuing residential connection.

The general rule does not apply to an ACO.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 29 Residence requirements for claimants

SSAct section 7(2) An Australian resident is a person who:

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.1 Residence Requirements

Residence requirements - SpB

A claim for SpB may be made by a person who:

  • meets the general rule, or
  • has a QRE for SpB, or
  • holds a visa approved by the Minister.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 30 Residence requirements for claimants for SpB

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.7.1.10 Qualification for SpB, 3.1.1 Residence Requirements

Residence requirements - family payments

A claim for DOP may be made by an Australian resident who is not in Australia.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 31(3) Exclusion of certain claims from requirements of section 29

Residence requirements - PP

A claim may be made for PP by an Australian resident who is not in Australia if the claim is made within 13 weeks of the cancellation of an income support payment received by the recipient while outside Australia.

Example: A WP recipient who has been temporarily absent from Australia for 26 weeks or less, separates from her partner and claims PP while still absent from Australia.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 31(2) Exclusion of certain claims from requirements of section 29

SSAct section 23(1)-'income support payment'

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1.70 Residence qualification for PP - overview

Residence requirements - SA

Note: SA closed to all new recipients on 20 March 2020 and ceases on 20 September 2020. From 20 March 2020, SA recipients who require income support after their current medical certificate expires must transfer to JSP or another income support payment. Recipients claiming JSP or another payment must meet the general rule for residence requirements or relevant payment-specific rule.

Previously, a claim for SA could be made by an Australian resident who was not in Australia if the person was temporarily absent from Australia to seek medical treatment of a kind not available in Australia and the absence did not exceed the allowed portability period for SA.

Medical treatment

Medical treatment means treatment by a person who would normally qualify as a medical practitioner in Australia. Suitable medical treatment does not include:

  • iridology
  • herbalist cures
  • chiropractic treatment
  • faith healing
  • thermal springs
  • travel overseas for post-operative recuperation, or
  • outdated treatment that is no longer offered in Australia.

The recipient's treating doctor can confirm whether the medical treatment is not available in Australia.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 32 Claims for SA

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020