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.

3.2.4.90 Major personal crisis exemption for under 18s

Circumstances of exemption

This exemption may be given in a range of circumstances which constitute a major personal crisis, and which prevent a young person from participating in full-time education or training for a period not authorised by the educational institution.

Examples: The following list contains examples of circumstances in which this exemption may be granted:

  • death of an immediate family member
  • breakup of marriage or de facto relationship (whether of the same sex or of a different sex)
  • domestic violence
  • physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, and
  • family dislocation.

Duration of exemption

The young person can be given an exemption for up to 2 weeks, although this can be extended if a special circumstances activity test exemption is applied.

Mutual obligation requirements (1.1.M.160)

A special circumstances exemption may also apply.

If an exemption is not granted, early school leavers (1.1.E.05) who are unable to study or undertake training full-time are still expected to undertake education or training or other activities appropriate to their capacity. Activities may include participation in part-time education or training or other approved activities, such as counselling or mediation.

Act reference: SSAct section 542 Situations in which a person is exempt from undertaking full-time study, section 542H Special circumstances exemption, section 543A(2A)(h) … has suffered a personal crisis …, section 543A(2B) If the following circumstances exist in …, section 540 Qualification for YA - general rule

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.11.5 Exemptions - overview, 3.11 Mutual obligation requirements, 2.2.5.10 Determining a de facto relationship

Last reviewed: