The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to social security payments. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.D.60 Departure interview


A departure interview is an interview in which a person advises of an intention to go overseas, either temporarily or permanently. The departure interview does not have to be a formal face-to-face interview. It can be conducted by telephone, if that is considered appropriate.

The aims of the departure interview are to:

  • determine whether the person's payment will be payable during any or all of the absence
  • determine the period for which the payment is payable and the method of payment
  • determine the appropriate rate, including: whether add-ons such as PhA, RA or pension supplement are to be paid during the absence, and whether the rate should be proportionalised after 26 weeks of absence
  • review the person's current financial circumstances under the income and assets tests
  • review the person's family situation when partners and/or children are involved
  • advise DSP recipients of future entitlement status on medical grounds
  • conduct an early post-grant interview, if the person is a sole parent who was granted PPS within 3 months of the expected date of departure from Australia (1.1.A.320)
  • answer the person's questions and to let them know their entitlements, rights and obligations
  • give the person written advice if
    • the social security payment is not payable during their absence
    • payment is to be made for a limited period only
    • the pension will be paid after 26 weeks' absence but at a reduced rate, OR
    • for those with no AWLR (1.1.A.340), the pension rate will be NIL after 26 weeks' continuous absence.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security payment'

Last reviewed: