18.104.22.168 Compliance activities
This section concerns information on compliance activities under the compliance arrangements set out in SS(Admin)Act Part 3 Division 3A. These arrangements only apply to job seekers on participation payments who are declared program participants (i.e. CDP participants) under the Social Security (Declared Program Participant) Determination 2018.
Since May 2021, participants cannot be compelled to engage in compliance activities to waive a serious failure. Instead, serious failures for CDP participants can be waived if the participant attends a waiver re-engagement appointment with their CDP provider.
Failure to attend the waiver re-engagement appointment
If a participant fails to attend the waiver re-engagement appointment, Services Australia will reinstate their serious failure period and their income support ceases to be payable for 8 weeks from the day of their failure to attend the waiver re-engagement appointment. In other words, the period the participant received income support before they were due to attend the re-engagement requirement is not included in the 8-week serious failure period.
Ending a serious failure period when a suitable waiver re-engagement appointment cannot be arranged
Services Australia may waive the serious failure period when a suitable waiver re-engagement appointment cannot be arranged. This may happen when a participant is no longer eligible for CDP due to a change in address, or the participant has already negotiated a re-engagement appointment before requesting the waiver.
Ending a serious failure period when a participant lacks the capacity to attend a waiver re-engagement appointment
Services Australia may end or not commence a serious failure period if it determines that the person does not have the capacity to attend a waiver re-engagement appointment and serving the serious failure period would cause severe financial hardship.
Severe financial hardship
If the participant does not have the capacity to attend a waiver re-engagement appointment, Services Australia must decide if serving the 8-week serious failure period would place the participant in severe financial hardship. If it would, Services Australia must reinstate the participant's payment. A job seeker is considered to be in severe financial hardship if they have less than $2,500 in liquid assets or, if they have children or are a part of a couple, less than $5,000 in liquid assets. The definition of what can be considered liquid assets (1.1.L.50) is the same as that used for the liquid assets test.
If the person has served some of their non-payment period before meeting the hardship test, the date the non-payment period ends is the day before the decision is made that the person is in severe financial hardship. Where the person has been unable to notify a change of circumstances through no fault of their own (e.g. unexpected hospitalisation or as a result of a natural disaster), the delegate may reinstate payment from an earlier date where it can be shown that the person was in severe financial hardship from that date.
When a person does claim to be in severe financial hardship after having initially failed the hardship test, the rules relating to reasonable expenditure (outlined in 1.1.U.20) that are used for the liquid assets test apply.