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. Indicators of vulnerability

Indicators of vulnerability

An indicator of vulnerability is 1 of the following:

  • financial hardship
  • financial exploitation
  • failure to undertake reasonable self-care
  • homelessness or risk of homelessness.

Financial hardship

For the purposes of a determination under SS(Admin)Act subsection 123UGA(1), a person is in financial hardship when they are not effectively using their available financial resources; particularly where a person is unable to purchase goods, access services or engage in activities to meet their priority needs ( due to a lack of financial resources.

The person must be demonstrating a lack of skills or ability to manage their money and they must not be making effective use of the resources that they have.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 123UGA(1) Determination by Secretary

Financial exploitation

Financial exploitation occurs when a person is subject to undue pressure, harassment, violence, abuse, deception or exploitation for financial resources by another person or people, including other family members and community members.

Failure to undertake reasonable self-care

A failure to undertake reasonable self-care applies when a person's physical or mental wellbeing is threatened because they are engaging in conduct such as substance misuse or problem gambling and they are not taking sufficient steps to address the conduct.

Homelessness or risk of homelessness

A person may be considered to be homeless or at risk of homelessness where the person does not have, or is at risk of not having, access to safe, secure and adequate housing. Examples of these circumstances include:

  • where the person is at risk of eviction from accommodation
  • where advice has been received from a state housing authority that a person is at risk of homelessness
  • where a person is sleeping outdoors (sleeping rough) or is sleeping in an abandoned or untenanted building (squatting)
  • where a person lives in, or moves between, temporary accommodation with friends or family, or temporary accommodation provided by a charitable organisation
  • where the person's accommodation damages, or is likely to damage, their health
  • where the person's accommodation threatens, or is likely to threaten, their safety, and
  • where the person's accommodation does not provide the person with access to a reasonable level of personal amenities.

Last reviewed: