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. Recipients eligible for working credit


This topic covers eligibility criteria for working credit, and explains the notion of daily eligibility for working credit.

Eligibility criteria

Working credit applies to recipients (working credit participants) who:

  • are below age pension age
  • have their rate of payment of pension or benefit worked out with regard to the income test module of a rate calculator in SSAct Chapter 3
  • are not eligible for access to the student income bank, and
  • are receiving one of the following social security pensions or social security benefits as defined in SSAct section 23(1)
    • jobseeker payment
    • DSP (including permanently blind recipients)
    • carer payment
    • YA (other than full-time student or Australian Apprentice)
    • parenting payment.

Exceptions: Recipients are NOT eligible for working credit if they:

  • have reached age pension age (1.1.P.129) regardless of the social security pension or social security benefit they receive
  • receive Austudy, Austudy (Australian Apprentice) or YA (student or Australian Apprentice)
    • Explanation: Recipients receiving student payments have access to the student income bank, a similar scheme to working credit. Recipients receiving YA or Austudy as an Australian Apprentice have access to the Australian Apprentice income bank.

  • receive SpB.

Note: Income support payments from another agency, for example, DVA, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, etc., are not eligible for working credit.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1) Dictionary, section 1073D To whom do working credit accrual and depletion rules apply?

Daily eligibility

Working credit eligibility is assessed on a daily basis so a person may begin to be, or cease to be eligible for working credit on any day of an instalment period. The daily approach is consistent with the working credit accrual and depletion rules that are applied for each separate day in an instalment period, which in turn is consistent with daily eligibility for a social security pension or benefit.

The day a person becomes eligible for working credit

A person becomes eligible for working credit on the day they start receiving their social security pension or benefit or 20 September 2003, whichever is the later. People serving waiting periods and not receiving a payment, become eligible for working credit only after the waiting period has been served.

Act reference: SSAct section 1073D To whom do working credit accrual and depletion rules apply?

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.11 Working credit

Last reviewed: