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.

3.2.4.20 Temporary incapacity activity test exemption for under 18s

Circumstances of exemption

This exemption may be given when the young person does not have the capacity to undertake full-time education or training, or other required activities specified in their EPP, due to an illness or an accident. It is ONLY applied where the incapacity is, or is likely to be temporary - that is, less than 13 weeks.

Act reference: SSAct section 542A Temporary incapacity exemption

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.M.160 Mutual obligation requirements, 3.11.9 Mutual obligation requirements for early school leavers

Duration of exemption

Exemption is granted for the period covered by a medical certificate, up to a 13-week maximum. The maximum period can be extended up to another 13 weeks if another medical certificate is provided, or up to 4 weeks if other written evidence is provided and the Secretary is satisfied that the young person's incapacity will continue after the end of their initial exemption period.

When the young person has been incapacitated for a lengthy period that ends late in the academic year, it may be unreasonable and/or unproductive to require them to return to study immediately. In such cases, an exemption from the full-time study or training requirement can be extended to the start of the next semester or term. However, the young person may be required to undertake other suitable activities specified in their EPP.

Act reference: SSAct section 542A Temporary incapacity exemption, section 542C Time limit for temporary incapacity exemptions-maximum exemption period

Mutual obligation (1.1.M.160) requirements

The young person is NOT required to satisfy the terms of their EPP for the duration of their exemption.

An early school leaver (1.1.E.05) should have their circumstances carefully considered before an exemption from the terms of their EPP is approved. In some cases, it may be reasonable to reduce the young person's requirements for the period of incapacity. In other cases, an exemption from the study or training requirement ONLY, may be appropriate.

Act reference: SSAct section 540 Qualification for YA - general rule

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.11.3 Suitable activities

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