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.

3.2.4.30 Physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability or learning difficulty exemption for under 18s

Circumstances of exemption

This exemption may apply when there is a locally accessible approved course of education or training available, but the young person lacks capacity to undertake the course because the young person has:

  • a physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability, OR
  • learning difficulty.

Example of learning difficulty: Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or a limited activity capacity because of permanent physical disability.

Act reference: SSAct section 540 Qualification for YA - general rule, section 543A(2A)(b) … has a physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability …

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

Duration of exemption

The recipient can be given an exemption for up to 13 weeks. The exemption can be extended, but must be reviewed regularly after 13 weeks. In situations where the young person's limited study capacity is likely to be permanent in nature the exemption may be extended to a period as determined appropriate by the delegate.

Act reference: SSAct section 543A(2A)(b) … has a physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability …, section 543A(2B) If the following circumstance exist …

Mutual obligation requirements (1.1.M.160)

The full-time study exemption does not necessarily exempt the young person from the mutual obligation requirements. Delegates have discretion to determine whether a person would benefit from other requirements. Young people who, because of a physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability or learning difficulty, are unable to study or undertake training full-time are still expected to undertake activities appropriate to their capacity. Activities may include participation in life skills training and alternative education programs if available, and an EPP is required.

Act reference: SSAct section 543A(2A)(b) … has a physical, psychiatric or intellectual disability …, 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, 3.11.5.10 Temporary incapacity

Last reviewed: