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 relevant legislation/policy. 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. Approved program of work supplement (APWS) - description

Objective of APWS

The APWS is a supplementary fortnightly payment of $20.80 available to assist people on eligible income support payments with the costs of participating in an approved program of work.


A person is qualified for the APWS in respect of an instalment period if they are receiving an eligible income support payment and they participate in an approved program of work during at least one day in the instalment period.

The eligible income support payments for the APWS are:

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

Programs of work that are declared by the Employment Secretary under SSAct section 28 to be approved programs of work for the APWS are:

  • Work for the Dole, and
  • National Work Experience Programme.

How APWS is paid

APWS is paid fortnightly with the person's main payment. A person who is in an employment income nil rate period is still eligible to receive the supplement.

The APWS is not indexed or income and assets tested, but is taxed and is covered by the debt recovery provisions of the SSAct.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'approved program of work for income support payment', section 28 Approved programs of work for income support payment

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.18 APWS - qualification & payability, APWS - current rates

Last reviewed: