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.

12.2.5 Qualified & unqualified portion


If a person is subject to the enhanced income management regime, eligible welfare payments will be split into a 'qualified portion' and an 'unqualified portion'.

The qualified portion of the payment that will be paid cannot be used to purchase excluded goods, excluded services, or a cash like product that could be used to obtain excluded goods or excluded services. The unqualified portion of the payment may be used at the person's discretion.

The percentage of the payment that is qualified and unqualified will depend on the measure under which the person is subject to the enhanced income management regime. For further information, see 12.3.

In some situations, the Secretary may make a determination that temporarily varies the qualified portion of an eligible welfare payment. There are 2 broad classes of such determinations, which apply to all measures.

The first includes where a person is unable to use the debit card attached to their BasicsCard bank account, or is unable to access that account, as a direct result of:

  • a technological fault or malfunction with a participant's CDC or BasicsCard bank account, or
  • a natural disaster.

The second is where the Secretary is satisfied that the any part of the person's payment by instalments is payable as either:

  • an urgent payment due to the person being in severe financial hardship as a result of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, or
  • a hardship advance payment pursuant to SS(Admin)Act section 51.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 123SB Definitions

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