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. Notification & recipient obligations for JSP

Notifiable events

In addition to the common notification obligations (see 'Common provisions' below), JSP recipients MUST notify Centrelink if any of the following events occurs, or is likely to occur:

  • the person or their partner

    • starts work, OR
    • is paid income from employment, OR
    • receives any money from investments, OR
    • changes investments, OR
    • has a change in their assets, OR
    • receives compensation, or claims compensation, OR
    • receives money from a superannuation or roll-over fund, OR
    • receives any other money, OR
    • receives any leave payments, OR
    • has a child under 16 come into their care, OR
    • has a child under 16 leave their care, OR
    • is imprisoned, OR
    • is intending to go overseas, for any period, OR
    • have been overseas, OR
  • the person
    • starts living with a partner, OR
    • separates from their partner, OR
    • starts a rehabilitation program, either private or with the Commonwealth rehabilitation program, OR
    • starts or ceases a course of full-time or part-time study, OR
    • changes enrolment from part-time or full-time, OR
    • applies for, or starts to receive ABSTUDY or another allowance.

Failure to comply with notification provisions could mean the imposition of a 6-month prison sentence. However, a compliance penalty is normally applied rather than a prison sentence.

Statement reporters (1.1.S.350)

JSP recipients are usually required to lodge a Reporting Statement to request the continuation of their payment on a specified day each fortnight to allow their continued payability to be assessed. These statements require answers to questions about salient issues. This is known as statement reporting. All JSP recipients who have employment income, or whose partner have employment income (where relevant), are required to be statement reporters and generally need to report their income fortnightly (excluding those listed in 1.1.S.350).

Some JSP recipients who have a low risk of not complying with their obligations or accruing a debt can be allowed to lodge their Reporting Statements at intervals other than fortnightly in certain restricted circumstances. This is known as variable reporting.

Example: Job search, study activities and income.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card

Policy reference: SS Guide Variable reporting for JSP

Late lodgement of Reporting Statements

Where a person who is required to stimulate their payment by lodging a Reporting Statement does not do so by the due date, payment will not be generated. This delay may also affect the person's partner. A person who does not report more than 14 days from their report due date will have their payment automatically cancelled, unless there are special circumstances that justify the late lodgement. Late lodgers may be asked to explain the circumstances that prevented them lodging on time to determine:

  • whether or not the reason is acceptable
  • if special circumstances apply for lodging the form late, and
  • if payment will be approved.

Example 1: Centrelink contributed in some way to the delay, by not giving necessary information when requested, or by giving incorrect information.

Example 2: Young people in unstable accommodation or whose personal circumstances have made lodgement difficult.

Exemption from personal lodgement of Reporting Statements

JSP recipients should personally lodge their Reporting Statements where they can reasonably be expected to do so. Recipients may do so through a range of methods including, online, using the Express Plus mobile, over the phone or in person.

In certain circumstances, a personal lodgement exemption may be granted and a Reporting Statement may be lodged by post, faxed or lodged by another person on the recipient's behalf.

A person may be exempted from personal lodgement if the:

  • person resides in an area remote from a Centrelink office
  • travelling time involved is generally in excess of one and a half hours each way by public or private transport
  • person is receiving bereavement payment
  • person is attending a Centrelink approved training course
  • person is participating in an approved activity as part of their Job Plan and the activity coincides with their due-to-lodge date
  • person is working part-time or casually on their due-to-lodge date
  • person lodges a medical certificate indicating a period of temporary incapacity, and/or
  • cost of attending a Centrelink office exceeds 10% of the maximum basic payment each fortnight.

Explanation: If a person visits a centre where a Centrelink office is located, whether to shop or look for work, the person will be required to report in person regardless of cost.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.11.14 Consequences for not meeting mutual obligation requirements - CDP job seeker compliance framework

Common provisions

Some notification and recipient obligations are common to MOST payments, and are explained in 3.1.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.3 Notification & recipient obligations

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