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 intended only as a guide to social security payments. 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.

3.2.4.160 Other special circumstance exemption for under 18s

Circumstances of exemption

This exemption may be given when none of the other exemptions apply, but it would be unreasonable to expect the young person to participate in full-time education or training. While delegates have discretion about when to apply this exemption, the circumstances preventing the young person from participating in full-time education or training would generally need to be beyond their control. A young person's personal choice not to attend school or other forms of education or training would NOT be sufficient reason for exemption. It is possible that personal choice, in combination with other factors however, can be sufficient reason for exemption.

This is the appropriate exemption for young people who have to care for a dependent child on a short term basis, when:

  • they intend to undertake education or training, or have been working, AND
  • they are unable to secure child care, OR
  • the child's usual carers are temporarily unable to care for the child.

Act reference: SSAct section 543A(2A)(g) … is required to provide full-time care for a family member …

Duration of exemption

The young person can be given an exemption for up to 13 weeks, although this can be extended subject to review every 13 weeks. In the case of young people with parental responsibilities, if longer than 13 weeks is required, it probably indicates another payment, such as PP, may be more appropriate.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1 PP - qualification & payability

Mutual obligation requirements (1.1.M.160)

The full-time study exemption does not necessarily exempt the young person from other requirements. Delegates have discretion to determine whether the young person should have mutual obligation requirements, in which case an EPP would also be necessary.

An exemption on the basis of parental responsibility may involve the young person entering into an EPP. Depending on the age of the child, and the availability of child care, part-time study or training may be appropriate.

Act reference: SSAct section 543A(2A)(g) … is required to provide full-time care for a family member …, section 543A(2B) If the following circumstances exist in relation to the person …, Part 2.11 Division 1 Subdivision C Exemptions from undertaking full-time study, section 542(f) Situations in which a person is exempt from undertaking full-time study

SS(Admin)Act section 40L Circumstances making it unreasonable etc. to comply with requirements

Last reviewed: